Winter Is Coming As The Clocks Go Back Again

A Small Setback

One hour. 60 minutes. 3600 seconds. That’s how much time those in the UK gained yesterday as we bid farewell to British Summer Time (BST) and hello to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Though seemingly short, this extra amount of time gifted to us can throw routines out of whack for a few days – feel free to start on your lunch at 11am this week!

Naturally, the extra hour we enjoyed yesterday partly cancels out the one we lost in spring, but this is usually ignored in favour of a smug, leisurely Sunday brunch. The darkening nights are an unpleasant shock to begin with and we know the the onset of winter is inevitable – any silver lining to this dreary season is gladly welcomed!

The Great Time Debate

The changing of clocks forward by one hour in spring was introduced to Europe at the beginning of the 20th century – it was to make the most of the light and sunny mornings. At over 100 years old, the clock changing custom has seen a number of experimental changes since BST was first introduced. During World War II, clocks were changed two hours ahead of GMT in the spring and kept one hour ahead in the winter. Obviously there were no automatic time changing watches or radios during this time, so imagine the confusion!

Even Prime Minister David Cameron has waded into the time discussion. In 2010, he said the government would consider reverting back to the two hour time difference during the summer months, predicting it would help boost tourism. Whatever the future outcome, it’s safe to say the GMT and BST debate will rage for quite a while yet!

Where It All Began

London’s very own Greenwich boasts a number of prestigious labels – it’s a World Heritage Site and home of Greenwich Mean Time. If all this time changing business has proven a bit confusing, pay a visit to the Royal Observatory where you can straddle the Meridian Line and get to grips with longitude. The line divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth – who says you can’t be in two places at once!

Greenwich is recognised by international decree as the official starting point for each new day, year and millennium. This was awarded in 1884, as Greenwich’s rich maritime history contributed to much of the world’s commerce at this point in time.

Today, the riverside London district has brilliantly educational attractions, including the famous ship Cutty Sark and the architecturally jaw-dropping Old Royal Naval College. The Royal Observatory also houses a fascinating planetarium for anyone that’s even slightly interested in the world outside our own planet.

Looking to see the best of England and Greenwich? Don’t bother wasting time, book an easy and convenient coach tour that visits Greenwich and some other great English attractions.