Hitting headlines recently as the 2012 Olympic Shooting venue, the London Royal Artillery Barracks boast a long military history, built in 1776 for the companies of the Royal Artillery and used by them until 2007. Not only that, the Royal Artillery Barracks once hosted the Royal Arsenal complex, home to the British Government’s principal armaments manufacturing facility, and the Royal Military Academy which trained officers and engineers from 1741 to 1939. Nearby Woolwich Common is still a military training area, so if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the Royal troops marching through the park.
Located on the edge of Woolwich Common in south-east London, the Barracks are renowned for their architecture, featuring the longest Georgian façade of any building in the UK and the biggest parade ground of any military building in England. The Ministry of Defence property is not open to the public, but it’s still possible to stroll some of the grounds and admire the stately frontage.
To get there, catch either the DLR (Docklands Light Rail) from Bank, Tower Hill, Stratford (or any station in between), National Rail from London Cannon Street or London Charing Cross to Woolwich-Arsenal Station, where the Barracks are about a 20-minute uphill walk from the station. For a day trip, combine a visit with a trip to nearby Greenwich, where you can head for a meal at one of the atmospheric pubs or restaurants, visit the National Maritime Museum and take a walk in Greenwich Park, home to the Royal Observatory and Planetarium.