No visit to London is complete without spending some time on or near the River Thames.
Some of the most instantly-recognisable landmarks in the world are located on the banks of the Thames, which dissects the city and is over 200 miles in length. While it may be ridiculously long in total, it’s a stretch of water no bigger than five or six miles in central London that most people are fascinated by.
Because of this obsession we’ve compiled a guide to the best things to see and do on or around the Thames, giving tourists staying in the many London hotels plenty to ponder, especially guests at Tower Bridge hotels who have stunning views of the river and are in a perfect spot to explore.
What better place to start than at Tower Bridge and virtually in the shadows of the iconic architectural masterpiece is HMS Belfast, a museum ship floating on the Thames. HMS Belfast was an active warship during both the Second World War and Korean War before being transformed into a museum with a twist. Explore the nine decks and find all about the kind of conditions that members of the Royal Navy lived and worked in all those years ago.
Continue down the Thames away from the Houses of Parliament and in no time you should arrive in Greenwich, home of the National Maritime Museum. The largest museum of its kind anywhere in the world is crammed with all kinds of different nautical displays and exhibitions, while the Royal Observatory, the only planetarium in London, is just next door. Learn everything you need to know about the solar system before you head back into central London, preferably on the water itself.
There can arguably be no better way to see London than while cruising down the River Thames and probably the best manner to do precisely that is by stepping aboard a boat at the Millennium Dome bound for Westminster. Float by Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Millennium Bridge, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern and London Eye before reaching the Houses of Parliament after countless photograph opportunities.
Disembark at Westminster and the likes of Buckingham Palace, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square are all a five-minute walk away. Another great way to see the various attractions near the river is to go on an open-top bus ride, which quite often also includes the price of a complimentary boat trip as well. They may seem a tad expensive, but if you get the most out of the overall package it can work out as great value for money and means you’ll see things tucked away that may otherwise go unnoticed.