Weaving through the city and stretching 346 km, the Thames is England’s most famous waterway. An important trade route through London’s history, there are plenty of important cultural landmarks dotted along the riverside. Whether you plan to take a stroll along the water or drift down the Thames on board a river cruise, be sure to check out these great things to do on the Thames!
Join the cultural throng at Shakespeare’s Globe, an open-air theatre built on the same site that Shakespeare frequently performed his plays. Located just a few minutes walk from the Tate Modern, the Globe is a stunning recreation of old English playhouses and there’s always a Shakespeare play on. There’s also the option to step back in time with a special exhibition displaying the rich history of the Globe and British theatre in London, as well as a tour of the theatre.
Pay homage to the soldiers of the second world war onboard the HMS Belfast, a Royal Navy warship that has been transformed into a naval museum. With an exhibition spanning nine floors, see what it was like to live on a warship and discover the stories of soldiers who once called the vessel home.
See London from one of the capital’s most famed attractions: Tower Bridge. This distinctive feat of engineering has recently opened up a high level glass walkway that arc overs the traffic below and provides a gorgeous view of the city. Visitors can learn about the iconic bridge and its history in an exhibition open to the public.
Image via Tate facebook
As one of London’s most important artistic institutions, the Tate Modern has remained a source of inspiration for creatives everywhere. Walk through the impressive Turbine Hall and explore their extensive collection of international modern art, featuring works by well-respected artists such as Pollock, Picasso and Rothko. Keep an eye out for the guest exhibitions as some fantastic names have been listed on their programme, such as Georgia O’Keefe.
The Tower of London is one of the city’s most striking landmarks and continues to capture the imaginations of visitors from all over the world. Dating all the way back to the Norman conquest of England, this fortress is full of British history and most famously the Crown Jewels, which are watched over by the instantly recognisable Beefeaters (who also double as tour guides).
Take to the water in the Thames River Boat Cruise, which traces the length of the Thames and takes tourists past sights like the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Cutty Sark and more. There are different journey durations spanning anywhere between thirty minutes to three hours with various hop-on and hop-off locations spaced out along the ride. No matter the weather, the river boat cruise runs daily from 10am onwards.
The best way to enjoy South Bank is with a camera in your hand. Photo Walks of London have a number of specialised two hour tours for photography enthusiasts, whether you’re into historical landmarks like the Globe Theatre or prefer snapping portraits of the colourful crowd at Leadenhall Market. Held both in the day and the evenings, it’s a fantastic way to make a hobby part of your holidays.
This sleek, modern suspension bridge has been featured in many blockbuster movies including the Harry Potter franchise and connects Bankside to the City of London. When it was first opened, it initially terrified pedestrians for the way it would sway when crossing it and was quickly closed for renovations. Crossing it now isn’t as shaky an experience, however its nickname ‘The Wobbly Bridge’ persists.
These two structures never fail to amaze visitors with their sheer size and gorgeous architectural details. While both of these landmarks aren’t open to the public, it’s worth going to see them along the River Thames and hear the clock tower’s distinctive chimes.
Image via SEAlife Aquarium facebook
Following along the theme of aquatic adventures, London’s SEAlife Aquarium is a fantastic indoor adventure for when the weather doesn’t quite agree with your holiday. Meet the Sand Tiger Sharks at the Shark Walk and explore their numerous themed zones, including the Pacific Walk and Rockpool areas. There’s also a dedicated exhibition for the River Thames which charts the river’s ecological history and the creatures that call it home.