Cutty Sark ☆☆☆

The Cutty Sark, moored in Greenwich (Photo by Krzysztof Belczyński)
The Cutty Sark, moored in Greenwich
The Cutty Sark, moored in Greenwich, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by Krzysztof Belczyński)
The prow of the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by John Purvis)
The tea clipper 'City Sark' in full sail sometime before 1916, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by Allan C. Green)
The deck of the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by techboy_t)
The figurehead of Nannie Dee on the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by Azu)
The prow of the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by Andy Sedg)
The main mast and ropes on the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by felibrilu)
The underdecks of the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by ~Ealasaid~)
The world's largest collection of merchant navy figureheads, at the Cutty Sark ship museum, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by Trevor Hicks)
The 2007 fire that consumed the Cutty Sark, Cutty Sark, London (Photo by Elfar Ingvarsson, via the BBC)

Explore the decks of the fastest 19th century clipper ship (also the world's largest unintentional liquor ad)

The ur–clipper ship, the Cutty Sark, sits moored by the ferry dock, unintentionally acting the world's biggest liquor ad.

The ship was christened in 1869, the fastest tea clipper ever built—and one of the last. The one-two technological advances of steam ships and the opening of the Suez Canal spelled the end of the fleet of fleet sailing ships.

Though she did set a record for sailing time back and forth to Australia to trade in wool, by 1922 the Cutty Sark was reduced to a training ship and, by 1954, was fully retired and docked here at Greenwich as a museum. 

The Cutty Sark was lavishly restored in 2012 after a disastrous 2007 fire (which occurred, ironically, during an earlier restoration). There's also a display of carved wooden figureheads.

As for the ship's name, "Cutty-sark" was the nickname of the witch Nannie Dee in Robert Burns's 1791 poem Tam o' Shanter, after the Scottish description for the short (cutty) linen shirt (sark) she wore. Nannie Dee is also the white figurehead on the ship (she's clutching the tail of Tam o'Shanter's horse).

As for the eponymous liquor—in 1923, a year after the ship retired to its training mission, a Glaswegian distillery about 10 miles from the River Clyde shipyards where the Cutty Sark was built, bottled a new blended Scotch whisky and named it for the famous ship, with a drawing of the ship by Swedish artist Carl Georg August Wallin.

Cutty Sark Tours

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How long should I spend at the Cutty Sark?

It only takes about 30–45 minutes to explore the ship, duck belowdecks, and read the placards.