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On The Thames – Thames Clippers

Think London, think the River Thames. There are so many exciting ways to explore the river.

One of our favourite ways is to take a Thames Clipper catamaran along the Thames.  We managed to pick a glorious day and spent the whole trip on the outside section at the back of the boat.  We had been doing our quiz walk at Greenwich, so taking the boat was a great way to rest our feet while sightseeing. Our previous Thames Clipper trip was on a cold wintry day, but we were very comfortable sitting in the cabin seeing all the sights along the river.

 

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Where: Board at major piers – Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge, Bankside (Blackfriars),Embankment and London Eye (Waterloo)  See route map.
Fares: under 5 free.  variety of tickets : Daily/Family Roamer tickets as well as Single and  Return,  
Discounts with Travelcard, Oystercard and for Freedom Pass holders 
Website: www.thamesclippers.com

We shared our trip with business people going from Canary Wharf to Central London, as well as families with children of all ages, tourists and a party of very well behaved school children.

It is a good idea to take a map so that you can identify the buildings.  Don’t expect a commentary about the river and buildings as the boats are designed as a fast commuter service. This does mean that the boats have comfortable seating in the cabin. There is wi-fi and even a coffee bar.  Every boat has toilets, with the disabled toilet also having a baby changing unit.   The boarding ramps make it very easy to push buggies on and off the boats.

As the boat pulled into London Bridge Pier, we had a superb view of The Tower of London, St Katherine’s Dock and Tower Bridge.

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Tower Bridge looking towards the south bank of The Thames at Shad Thames

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HMS Belfast and The Tower of London

The main route taken by the Clippers is from The London Eye Millennium Pier (which is opposite The Houses of Parliament) to Greenwich, from where the boat continues to The O2 Arena at North Greenwich.  If you feel like continuing to the O2, you will be able to experience another great river trip.  A short walk from the O2 will lead you to to The Emirate Airline cable car which “flies” to the opposite side of The Thames.  There are also other Clipper routes for commuters in the morning and evening.

Our tip is to indulge in a Roamer ticket.  Then you can hop on and off the Clippers when and where you like.  All  the main piers are close to interesting places to visit and it can be faster taking a Clipper between the sites than a bus or train. Boats run every 20 minutes throughout the day and early evening.

We were told about an activity workbook that you can print from the Clipper website.  We printed one out and took it with us, but there was so much to see that we did not need to use it.  The workbook is designed for school groups and is aimed at a wide age range so I am sure you will find some of the activities suitable for your grandchildren.

 

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Getting There Major piers at Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge, Blackfriars, Embankment and London Eye Millennium Pier (Waterloo)
  Other stops Masthouse Terrace,Greenland Pier.   Royal Arsenal Woolwich Pier in rush hour 
Google see map or get directions

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