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The Thames Tips (49)

River Thames and Thames Path

Favorite thing With a length of almost 350 km the River Thames is the longest river in England. Besides many other cities it also flows through London.

Almost 300 km of the river are covered by a National Trail footpath called Thames Path. In London the sections are split into those which run along the northern bank and the ones on the southern bank.

In August 2015 I enjoyed an approx. 6 kilometres walk from the Tower Bridge to the Greenland Pier on the southern side of the river. It was well signposted and a good hike away from the typical tourist routes.

A more touristy stroll leads along the southern river bank from Waterloo Bridge to Tower Bridge on a wide pedestrianised pavement. It offers scenic views of the opposite side and runs along many interesting sights.

Among these are 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.


HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
Nov 15, 2015

The Departing of a Cruise Ship

Favorite thing In the last couple of years a cruise ship comes all the way up river up to the Tower Bridge. As is there are not any cruise ship piers for passengers to disembark they ship stops next to HMS Belfast and a bridge links the two ships together and passengers disembark from there.

The cruise ship that comes regular in to London is Silver Cloud which is a small cruise ship operated by Silversea Cruises. When it does enters or leaves London the tide needs to be in and two small boats are pulling it until it gets to a section which is wide enough to turn around and it place near the prospect of Whitby as that is the widest position in the Thames.

Recently it has been in the news that a new pier will be created for cruise ships in Canary Wharf area.
The photos are from two different days that the cruise ship happened to be in London.

Galaxy31's Profile Photo
Aug 27, 2015

Discover small but important things.

Favorite thing I love going around London and discovering different things that most of the times do get missed but they do play a big part how London used to be and how it was transformed over the years.
Most of the times I come upon this discoveris by accident which it does makes it more interesting.
The Granite Stone in the first photo shows where the London Bridge it used to be
I must have gone past it hundreds of times but it was only last week I have seen it when I went to rest my bike on it.
It hardly shows the inscription on it so it can be easily missed.
The granite stones are opposite Southwark Cathedral where the cafe it’s locate and next to the Glaziers Hall.
The third and fourth photo its a quote by Sir Walter Raleigh whith the inscription
"There Are Two Things Scarce Matched in the Universe The Sun in Heaven and The Thames on Earth."

Fondest memory I love discovering this little treasures around London which they had a very big significance back then.

Galaxy31's Profile Photo
Nov 19, 2014

London's river

Favorite thing Update April 2014: extra photos added

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.

toonsarah's Profile Photo
Apr 21, 2014
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River Thames

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.

Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
Jun 22, 2013

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.

mvtouring's Profile Photo
Jul 18, 2010


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.

Helga67's Profile Photo
Nov 10, 2006

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

iandsmith's Profile Photo
Sep 03, 2006
sue_stone's Profile Photo


"My Current Home"
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"Maybe it's Because I'm A Londoner...."
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Regina1965's Profile Photo


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sourbugger's Profile Photo


"Gor Blimey guv''r having a larf......"
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toonsarah's Profile Photo


"Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner ..."
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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.

fishandchips's Profile Photo
Aug 28, 2006

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.

Steve-H's Profile Photo
Jun 13, 2006

The Thames

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!

Jenniflower's Profile Photo
Jun 05, 2006

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.

May 14, 2006

Things To Do Near The Thames

Things to do

Southbank Centre Food Markets

Each Sunday there is a second hand book market held under Waterloo Bridge from 10am to 7pm which is worth attending as there are many stalls with 1000's of books for sale divided in to categories....
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Things to do

Lambeth Bridge

If you want to take pictures with Panoramic Views of Big Ben and Parliament and even side views of the famous London Eye, the best views are not from Westminister Bridge but from the Lambeth Bridge...
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Things to do

National Theatre

I very rarely write a review on places I haven’t been in but even though I’ve not been inside the National Theatre I don’t think I can write about The Queen’s Walk without giving some low-down on one...
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Things to do

Coca-Cola London Eye

The London Eye was built for the Millenium. Its like a big ferris wheel but the carriages are more like cable cars and hold up to 25 people at a time. It takes about half an hour to make a full...
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Things to do

London Duck Tours

I didn´t do this becaus lack of time and I didn´t know it existed untill it was to late. I looked at the website and it sure looks cool to take a ride with this boat thing. For more information look...
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Things to do

River Thames

Every year the whole of September in London they have a festival to celebrate the river Thames. The festival has started ten years ago and is supported by the Mayor of London, London First, The Port...
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Getting to The Thames


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