River Thames, London

4.5 out of 5 stars 216 Reviews

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  • A traffic free walk,busy with people.
    A traffic free walk,busy with people.
    by alectrevor
  • view from Millennium Footbridge
    view from Millennium Footbridge
    by mindcrime
  • River Thames
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    The great waterway

    by mikey_e Written Dec 29, 2012

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    London, just like Paris, Rome, Lisbon and countless other Imperial capitals, was founded on the banks of a great resource: a river wide and deep enough to ensure transport by water of heavy commercial goods. The Thames, of course, is more than just an economic resource for London. Its geography has defined the city and its constituent neighbourhoods, providing romantic backdrops for some and a reminder for others of their isolation (elected or coerced) from the borough of power and wealth. The Thames has also given rise to the various bridges that define London’s various periods of development, and has allowed the city’s inhabitants to maintain their maritime tradition and self-identification, despite the relative isolation of London from the sea. Today, cars, planes and rail have all made travel by water somewhat obsolete for passengers, but the Thames continues to exert a strong influence over the identity of London and its inhabitants. For those who wish to experience a bit of the pleasures of the river, cruises are of course offered, and there’s always the London Eye for the opportunity to get a glimpse of the entire expanse of this great waterway.

    The Thames Boats on the River More of the Thames View from Southbank The city from South Bank
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    VICTORIA EMBANKMENT GARDENS--2

    by davidjo Updated Dec 8, 2012

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    This gateway used to mark the northern bank of the Thames back in 1862 before the Embankment was built, but now you can find it at the western end of the Gardens, probably 30 metres from the Embankment now.

    1862 Gateway information plaque Victoria Embankment info
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    When the Lions drink London will flood

    by davidjo Written Dec 8, 2012

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    By Victoria Embankment at regular intervals there are bronze lion heads with mooring rings in their mouths for boats to be attached, so the saying is 'when the lions drink London will be flooded', true enough isn't it!!! Just look carefully over the wall of the embankment!!

    LION HEAD MOORING RING
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    TEMPLE STAIRS ARCH, KINGS REACH

    by davidjo Written Dec 8, 2012

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    The Temple Stairs Arch is on Victoria Embankment and on top of the Arch is the head of Neptune which was erected in 1868, but through the arch you will find a memorial from 1935 placed there for the silver jubilee of King George V. During the Jubilee that part of the embankment was called the King's Reach.

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    THE DRAGON MARKS THE BOUNDARY

    by davidjo Written Dec 8, 2012

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    Originally these colourful dragons guarded the entrance of the Coal Exchange in Lower Thames Street from 1849 but were moved to just outside the Temple Gardens in the 60's when the Coal Exchange was demolished. They now mark the boundary to the City of London.

    colourful dragons by the Temple Gardens plaque
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    H.M.S. WELLINGTON

    by davidjo Written Dec 8, 2012

    Just by Waterloo Bridge you will find H.M.S.Wellington moored by Temple pier which was a Royal Navy ship built in 1934 and serve in the Pacific before the 2nd World War, mainly on convoy duty in the North Atlantic. It is the only surviving member of the Grimsby class of sloops but for the last 60 years it has been London's only floating Livery Company.

    last of the Grimsby sloops livery company
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    SUBMARINE WAR MEMORIAL

    by davidjo Written Dec 7, 2012

    The Submarine War Memorial is on the wall of the Victoria Embankment and commemorates the Navy submariners who died in the service of their country during WWI and WWII. There is a bas relief showing the inside of a submarine on the memorial and another with nereids swimming. There are the two statues of Truth and Justice and at the front is the Memorial Plaque.

    submarine memorial inside the submarine
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    H.M.S. PRESIDENT 1918

    by davidjo Written Dec 7, 2012

    Originally HMS Saxifrage, built in Scotland, the HMS President is now moored by the Victoria Embankment and serves as a venue for conferences as well as housing some media offices. It was primarily a drill ship for the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and it was used to protect merchant convoys during WWI and was intentionally built to look like a merchant ship.

    protected convoys in WWI
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    TOWER LIFEBOAT STATION

    by davidjo Written Dec 5, 2012

    The Royal National Lifeboat Institution set up a branch at Tower pier in 2002 and moved to Waterloo Bridge in 2006. The Station was operating in 2002 due to a collision involving two boats years earlier when 51 people died. It is the first time that the RNLI who are supported by charity have operated on a river instead of the sea. The station is manned 24 hours round the clock and has two lifeboats should they be required. Each year they have helped save many lives and have been called in to action several times each month.

    2 lifeboats on standby

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    RIVER TOURS

    by davidjo Written Dec 5, 2012

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    There are several companies that provide tours on the River Thames including some that you can hop on and off at certain attractions, and they also provide a commentary on the way. The prices range from £13.50 for a rover tour that you can hop on and off and it will take you as far as Greenwich to £32.50 that will take you from London Eye to Canary Wharf and back. Shop around and see which one suits you, see where the drop off points!

    River Trips River Tours

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    THAMES CRUISE - LONDON BRIDGE'S

    by balhannah Updated Sep 6, 2012

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    Bridges, there are many that cross the River Thames, some very important, others not so!

    So, we cruised underneath London Bridge, and once again I think of the childhood rhyme, "London Bridge is falling down, falling down......"
    It didn't even look the slightest like falling down!

    The Nursery rhyme isn't so silly though, as the first London Bridge was built during Roman occupation of England in the first century. The first Bridge was made of wood and clay and was re-built with the various materials mentioned in the children's nursery rhyme. Many London Bridges were built, and in a way, they did fall down one way or another. Today, the new London Bridge was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1973.
    It is very plain, not like the photo's I have seen of the very old London Bridge.

    Others we passed under were Southwark Bridge, which was often mentioned by Charles Dickens.
    Cannon Street Railway Bridge, has some impressive Tower's on one side, and the Millenium Bridge which was in the 2009 film "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The Millennium Bridge is shown to be destroyed due to an attack by Death Eaters instead of the fictional Brockdale Bridge mentioned in the book.

    Cannon Street Railway Bridge Southwark Bridge Millenium Bridge
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    THAMES CRUISE - THE GOLDEN HIND

    by balhannah Written Sep 6, 2012

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    Not the best of views of the replica of the Golden Hind from the cruise, but at least I could say I had seen it!
    This is a complete replica of the Ship which in 1577, Sir Francis Drake sailed from Plymouth, completely circumnavigating the globe over 3 years.

    Queen Elizabeth I gave Drake a charter granting him permission to attack and loot ships belonging to England's enemies, really meaning the Spanish. Funny that Drake and his men regarded themselves as privateers, not pirates, a Pirate is more what comes to my mind, and it did to the Spanish too, not happy chappies!

    There is a self guided tour of the ship available
    OPEN 10 - 5.30PM DAILY
    ADMISSION....Adult - £6.00, Children/ Concession - £4.50, Family - £18.00

    Golden Hind
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    THAMES CRUISE - OLD BILLINGSGATE MARKET

    by balhannah Written Sep 6, 2012

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    This historic building was once the home of the Old Billingsgate Fish Market, once the largest open air Fish market in the World.
    The original building was built in 1850, then demolished and replaced in 1873 with the lovely arcaded market hall.
    What first caught my eye, was the Fish at the top of the weather vanes!

    It is a London landmark and now used for venues.

    Old Billingsgate Fish Market
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    THAMES CRUISE - HMS BELFAST

    by balhannah Written Sep 6, 2012

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    What a good view we have of the HMS Belfast from the Thames Cruise Boat.
    Once, a Royal Navy cruiser from the 2nd World War, now a floating Museum.

    HMS Belfast was launched in 1938 and served in WWII and the Korean War. This Ship is a chance to view what it was like to live, work, eat, sleep and socialize on board the Ship. Cramped quarters, noise, imagine what it was like during the war.....not for me!
    The Gun Turret Experience puts you into battle in WWII, while the interactive Operations Room puts you in the Captain's shoes as you control a fleet of ships off North Borneo.

    OPENING HOURS....
    March to October 10am - 6pm....Last admission 5pm
    closed 24, 25, and 26 December

    ADMISSION INCLUDES FREE AUDIO GUIDE...
    Adults £14.00
    Child (under 16) Free
    Concessions £11.20 (Senior, Student, Disabled)

    FREE ADMISSION WITH THE LONDON PASS

    HMS Belfast
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    THAMES CRUISE - THE SHARD OF GLASS

    by balhannah Written Sep 6, 2012

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    The Shard is a very new building we saw being built in 2011. The Shard was formally opened on 5th July 2012, by the Prime Minister of Qatar, in a ceremony attended by Prince Andrew, Duke of York. The height of the tower is 309.6 metres (1,016 ft).

    The Shard is to contain office space, a 200-bed 5-star hotel, three floors of restaurants, ten apartments (priced at approximately £50 million each), and a public viewing platform, none of this is available at the moment, so, just a view from the distance is all you will get!

    The Shard
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