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New visitor centre for the Cutty Sark

cs.jpgThe Cutty Sark is the 280ft long sailing tea clipper in dry dock at Greenwich in East London. It was launched in 1869 and used to transport tea and other cargoes from China and Japan to Europe, Australia and the US. In 1954 the Cutty Sark was put into dry dock at Greenwich and became a major tourist attraction that visitors could go board and explore.

The ship was closed to visitors in November 2006 for essential restoration work on the wrought iron framework and timber planking of the hull, its due to reopen in late 2008. In the meantime a new visitors pavilion has been built next to the Cutty Sark and has opened this April. In it you can learn about the conservation techniques and plans for the ship, see how the conservation project works and find out about the history of the Cutty Sark.

They’ve installed cctv on the ship so you can view the restoration work being carried out live and there’s a mini cinema with a new film of the Cutty Sark as a working vessel. There are also tea sampling sessions so you’ll get a taste of what she carried around the world.

The visitors centre is now open from 11am-5pm, 7 days a week and admission costs £5 adults, £3.70 children, all the fees taken go the conservation project. (It will be closed 22 April because the London Marathon goes right alongside the ship).