The River Thames in London is sandwiched by famous architecture, cultural sights, restaurants, bars and expensive property. The River can be viewed from these buildings, or it can be enjoyed with a leisurely walk along the bank. If you are slightly more adventurous, you could take a boat trip or even a scenic flight to take in the full glory of the Thames. It plays host to London’s annual new-year fireworks displays, it forms the main part of the track for the London Marathon, it enjoys a festival every September and on Sunday 3 June, it will be integral to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
For a more unusual take on Riverside London, take a trip to North Greenwich. Not to see the world’s largest single roofed structure in the form of a Dome, but to take in a modern sculpture named Quantum Cloud. Constructed by Antony Gormley’s, it is made from squared bars of galvanised steel and stands 30m high with the Thames in the background. If you are interested in quirky things to see on the Rover, you may also like the idea of visiting St Peter’s barge, London’s only floating church. The church is located in amongst London’s financial district and in contrast to the huge, shiny investment banker’s offices it is just a humble retired freight barge. St Peter’s serves coffee, hosts a quiz night, writes a blog and delivers short services on Wednesday and Thursday lunch times.
In case the Quantum Cloud or the floating church do not float your boat, perhaps you would enjoy a delicious meal on the Bateaux London. The Bateaux offers an elegant cruise along the river at night, with sumptuous food and ambient live music. It is a grown up affair (no children allowed) and there is formal dress code, if you want to feel like you are starring in a Bond movie for one night or you simply desire a luxury dining experience - this is for you. A more affordable river dining experience can be found on the Southbank with trendy chain restaurants such as Wagamama, Simply Italian and Las Iguanas, all just a stone’s throw from the Royal Festival Hall.
If you love being by the River and you have a few million pounds to spare, you could invest in becoming one of the exclusive London riverside homeowners. Currently on the market is a lovely three bedroom, garden flat with riverside views and it is just a short walk from Chelsea Harbour. Alternatively, on the same street is an amazing rental property that is available for 6k per week. Even if you don’t have that sort of money, which most people don’t, you can live the dream for one night on a riverside hotel, such as the Rafayel on the Left Bank. The Rafayel is an award winning hotel and spa located right on the river in West London and rooms with a river view are available from just £150 per night.
Whether you are on a budget or you can afford to splurge, the River Thames offers an abundance of activities, on the river and alongside it. A walk, a meal, a trip to a museum or landmark, an exciting day of jubilee celebrations or a boat ride with the kids, it has something to offer everybody. Post your comments on what your favourite thing to do by the Thames is, or post a photo of a view of the river. Whether you do it just for fun, or as an entry to our photography competition on Facebook, we look forward to seeing your response to the latest London Shared blog.