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Favorite thing: Among favorite exercises and fondest memory we have had in London were walks along the Themes River crossing it along numerous bridges: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Southwark Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge.
We were changing our ways from the left bank of the river to the right bank and back and enjoyed exciting scenery.
The River Thames flows through southern England. It is the longest river entirely in England. While it is best known because its lower reaches flow through central London.
You can watch my 4 min 33 sec Video London Walk along the Thames out of my Youtube channel or here on VT.
- Historical Travel
New years eve fireworks at the Thames
Favorite thing: One of the most beautiful things I have experienced was celebrating the arrival of the new year with good friends along the banks of the Thames and watching the fire works light up the sky. It was very cold, but worth going down there.
Favorite thing: Like many cities, London would not be where it is today were it not for its river. Yet for many years the city seemed to turn its back on its famous waterway, regarding more as a barrier between the north and the south of the city than as a feature to be enjoyed and celebrated. Nowadays though the river is one of the delights of London, and a walk on its banks (preferably the south bank where there are fewer roads) is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. My own favourite stretches are near the Southbank Centre where Sunday afternoons are particularly lively, and further east near the modern buildings surrounding City Hall. From both of these stretches there are particularly fine views across the river to some of London’s most famous landmarks – Parliament and Westminster from the former, the Tower of London and Tower Bridge from the latter. In 1802 the poet Wordsworth was inspired by the view from Westminster Bridge to write his famous sonnet, “Composed upon Westminster Bridge”, which still for me has one of the most beautiful views in the city:
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning;
Not all visitors realise that the Thames is tidal for all of its length in the centre of the capital - ocean tides move up the river as far as the south-western suburbs. You can see the effects of this at low tide, when muddy stretches are revealed on either bank. Years ago poor children would eke out a living as “mud-larks”, searching for anything of value that had been buried in the mud, and treasure hunters still do the same today.
The river has long been a focus for public celebration, for instance with the famous 17th and 18th century Frost Fairs, held on the river when it occasionally froze, with barbecues, stalls, fairground amusements and performing animals. The winter of 1813-14 saw the greatest and last Frost Fair. The replacement of the old London Bridge in 1831 meant that the river flowed faster and no longer froze sufficiently to bear public events.
This tradition of using the river as a focal point for events has however been revived in recent years, with the current city administration organising wonderful fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve, and a series of free festivals on its banks throughout the year. For instance in September is the Mayor’s Thames Festival, an annual free event celebrating the river. The Festival takes place in the heart of London, between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge, on the river banks and on the adjacent riverside walkways and public open spaces.
Directions If you spend any time at all in London you won’t be able to avoid the river. Try Embankment (District & Circle lines), Waterloo (Jubilee, Northern & Bakerloo lines), London Bridge (Jubilee & Northern lines) or Tower Hill (District & Circle lines) to be sure of getting quite close.
Favorite thing: The south bank of the river Thames between Waterloo Bridge and Tower Bridge has got a pedestrianised pavement and leads along many interesting sights. It is a nice walk which offers scenic views of the opposite side.
Among the many sights in this area are the London Eye, the Royal National Theatre, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Tate Modern Museum, the Millenium Footbridge, Southwark Cathedral, Hays Galleria, the HMS Belfast and the new City Hall.
- Budget Travel
Favorite thing: The River Thames winds along London for 220 m (135 miles). It serves as a drainage channel and provides London with two-thirds of its drinking water.
Make a boat tour and see some attractions (London Eye, London Bridge) and historical and modern buildings along the banks.
- Family Travel
Dull sky and no beaches
Favorite thing: I love the example VT suggest for your general tip, "Blue skies and beaches". I can't think of anything other than the Sahara that's further from that than the Thames is on a murky autumn day.
None of which is to construe for a moment that I didn't enjoy it. My youngest son used to work casual shifts on one of the pleasure craft in the foreground but my favourite memory from here is of "Cleopatra's Needle", just visible, left rear.
Read all about it in the next tip
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
Life Blood of London
Favorite thing: The Thames, which is a beautiful little river in and around Oxford, has been the main source of commerce in London for many years. It's been a very dirty river in the past but quite a bit of work has been done in recent years to clean up both its image and the river itself.
Across the Thames are some lovely bridges, especially Tower Bridge which is instantly recognisable. A cruise down the Thames is recommended as something to do in London as you pass by many icons of London and get a unique perspective of this classy old town.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
World's greatest skyline.
Favorite thing: From anywhere along the Thames you will be able to see something that you immediately recognise as being in London. One of my greatest pleasures is cycling along the embankment to Battersea Park for some exercise, on the way i took these pictures. The Thames is a wonderful place to be in the evening, along the embankment there bars on some of the ships anchored there, there are some great places to just sit and watch people go by and of course there is that skyline , it can only be London.
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: The city of London and the Thames River have had a harmonious relationship for many a year.
The river helps feed the city and the city helps feed the river.
We love walking along it, some places are nicer than others, most are really enjoyable.
This photo was taken alongside the Thames just under Tower Bridge. It speaks of flooding of the river and how the city is protected from such an event occurring.
It would certainly be catastrophic!
- Sailing and Boating
- Hiking and Walking
View from the Royal Festival Hall
Favorite thing: This is a view of Charing Cross Station, Hungerford Bridge and the Thames taken from the Royal Festival Hall during the VT meeting we had on 19th June.
The RFH is Europes largest cultural complex and there are many free foyer events throughout the year.
Tel: 020 7960 4242 (box office) for more information.
Walk along the River Thames
Favorite thing: The river's name appears always to have been pronounced with a simple "t" at the beginning; the Middle English spelling was typically Temese and Latin Tamesis. The "th" lends an air of Greek to the name and was added during the Renaissance, possibly to reflect or support a belief that the name was derived from River Thyamis in the Epirus region of Greece, whence early Celtic tribes are thought to have migrated. However, most scholars now believe Temese and Tamesis come from Celtic (Brythonic) Tamesa, perhaps meaning "the dark one".
Fondest memory: The Thames has a length of 346 km (215 miles).
The Thames is a motif in many books. My favorite - Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome describes a boat trip up the Thames..
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
- Work Abroad
Take a break on the South Bank
Favorite thing: You will surely take a walk on the South Bank on the way to London Bridge or H.M.S. after checking what's going on at the Tate Modern. You can't miss the "pocket" with snack stands and small shops on your way, to your right. You can snack on a bagel, have a Nero coffee or shop around at a smaller version of Monsoon (dreamy outfits), accesorize (for bijuterie) etc... You will also find these statues made of steel, to co-memorate the happenings of the WW II. They're modern and kinda cool..
Of course, I'm such a wonderful traveler that I don't remember the name of this spot and never actually paid attention! Anybody who knows; please let me know? Thanks...
Fondest memory: Countless times, I sat by the river with a coffee in my hand, alone or with many of my friends who were so kind to visit me... On happy days, sad days, lonely days, the day that I got promoted, the day that I thought I'll never find a job, an apartment, etc... The river, just has this calming effect, reminding you of life flows just the way the Thames does...
Who studies on a study abroad?!
Favorite thing: I am not the studying type. I hate the idea of studying and have never subjected myself to such torture.
However, I adore reading. So I'm kinda stuck. My personal solution is to read far, far, FAR ahead of the class. That way, it's not an "assignment" so it doesn't feel like I'm studying. Crafty, eh?
Sitting on one of the benches on the north side of the Thames, between the Temple and Blackfriar Tube stop, near the MIllennium Bridge and across from Tate Modern and Shakespeare's Globe is my favorite place to chill and read a good law book. Haha. Seriously!
- Work Abroad
- Study Abroad
Walk along the Thames
Favorite thing: Walk along the Thames. Take the tube to Embankment or Waterloo, and start with a coffee at the South Bank complex (National Theatre, Royal Festival Hall, National Film Theatre) where you can enjoy wonderful views across the river to the Houses of Parliament. Then carry on along the riverbank passing the Oxo Building (take a lift up to the top for incredible views across the city), Tate Modern (free entry to twentieth- and twenty-first century art), the Globe Theatre (reconstructed Elizabethan playhouse) and a recreation of Drake's ship, the Golden Hinde. Keep looking across the river - you pass Temple (the legal area, well-screened by trees) and St Paul's Cathedral. Notice also the new Millenium Footbridge. Turn away from the river when you reach the Golden Hinde and walk past Vinopolis (museum of wine) to Winchester Palace (now just a few ruins,unfortunately), and on past the ancient Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral to London Bridge station.
Alternatively, carry on along the river to see Shad Thames (former warehouses, now fashionable restaurants and shops), the Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum, HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.
Magical! This walk is lovely by day, but perfect in early evening.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
- Theater Travel
TS Queen Mary
Favorite thing: Moored on the North bank of the Thames, almost opposite the London Eye, you will find the TS Queen Mary. Now it’s not to be confused with the former ocean liner now moored in LA but it’s a nice bar and a great place to go on summer days in London. There is also a bar menu but I’ve never tried the food.
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