Just leaving Westminster Pier, this is the northern side of the Thames
I love being on the water and always try to take a boat trip when I’m in a new city, either along the river or around the bay, if it’s on the coast. I like the different perspectives a river view offers you, so when City Cruises offered me a chance to try their hop on, hop off London cruise, I couldn’t say no.
The journey took us from Westminster Pier, right by the Houses of Parliament, to Greenwich Pier, via stops at the London Eye and the Tower of London. The Red Rover ticket allows you to hop on and off at any of these stops along the way and is valid for 24 hours, so you can use it like a water taxi if you like. We chose to stay on all the way down to Greenwich, where we hopped off to visit the famous tea clipper, the Cutty Sark.
You can choose an audio guide (in six languages, ask at the bar when you board) or a live commentary. Although some of the jokes are as old as the hills, there are some interesting historical snippets you’ll pick up along the way. Did you know that 80% of the workers who built Waterloo Bridge during World War II were women? It’s also allegedly the only one that was built on time and under budget ;)
HMS Belfast and the Shard, which is currently the tallest building in Western Europe
I’ve walked the stretch of the Thames from Waterloo up to Tower Bridge many times and I love the mix of old converted wharves and other sights to see along the way, but I don’t know the stretch up through the Docklands up to Greenwich.
Probably no caption needed, one of London’s most famous landmarks, Tower Bridge
There’s some really interesting old warehouses and pubs along the Docklands part of the river, including one owned by famous actor Ian McKellan (Gandalf in The Lord of The Rings trilogy, amongst other things). It’s an area I’d like to explore more so I’ve made a note of the names to visit!
After about an hour, the striking white buildings of the Greenwich Royal Naval College came into view, with the Cutty Sark alongside. The Cutty Sark was affected by a serious fire a few years ago, but it’s been beautifully restored inside, cleverly reflecting its tea clipper history with a musuem and lots of interactive exhibits on board. Well worth a visit! (you can also get a discounted ticket on board your City Cruises trip)
Have you taken a boat trip on the Thames? Did you enjoy it?
City Cruises kindly offered us two tickets for this cruise, but as always, all views are my own.