Take a step further...
We all love a bit of Tower Bridge action, with Big Ben and the London Eye thrown in for good measure but there is certainly more to the Thames than these famous landmarks. Let us take you on an alternative tour of the Thames to reveal what else our mighty river has to offer.
1. The White Swan, Twickenham
Tucked away by the river, the White Swan is reminiscent of an English countryside pub and yet it’s surprisingly close to the centre of Twickenham. Summer days see the veranda and garden festooned with flowers and plants and lovely views over the river. In the colder months, the low ceilings, wooden floors and open fire make this a seriously cosy spot for a winter warmer.
2. Hammertons Ferry
Hammertons ferry is charming. Situated in the idyllic surroundings of Richmond upon Thames, this passenger and cycle ferry is a little hidden gem which links the North bank at Marble Hill House with the South bank near Ham House. Originally opened in 1908 by Walter Hammerton, a song then went on to name it the ‘Ferry to Fairyland’ after Hammerton won a legal battle involving nearby rival, Twickenham ferry. Hammertons Ferry is the last remaining privately owned foot ferry on the Tidal Thames and if you are after a very unique, ‘step back in time’ experience, we highly recommend it.
3. Tamesis Dock
Thirsty again? Situated between Vauxhall and Lambeth bridges is a converted green and yellow 1930s Dutch barge. Serving up a healthy mix of al fresco refreshment, live music and obligatory double spirit measures, Tamesis never lacks atmosphere. Drink in spectacular views of Westminster with your pint and watch the sunset over the Thames.
4. Honey bees @ National Theatre
Did you know the roof of the National Theatre is home to approximately 60,000 bees? They keep bee hives on their roof to promote the declining bee population. Pop into the National Theatre shop and buy some of their honey!
5. Brunel’s Thames Tunnel
Described as the Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened in 1843, Brunel’s tunnel is the oldest tunnel in the oldest underground system in the world. In its first 3 months of opening it attracted a million people, which at the time, was half the population of London! Walking tours of the tunnel are rare (every 150 years so far…) and extremely popular but look out for the more regular tours with entry into the grand entrance hall.
6. Crossness Pumping Station
A hidden treasure in the hinterland of Erith and Thamesmead, Crossness Pumping Station is justly described as the ‘Cathedral of the Marshes’. It boasts 1,000 tons of cutting edge Victorian engineering, hailed in its day as a modern wonder of science and engineering. Take the time to venture a little further East and this special building will not disappoint.