London is a large city full of famous attractions. However, the less traveled neighborhoods and sights often surprise even the most seasoned London travelers. Their beauty is only seen by those who venture into the unknown corners of the UK capital. Travelers find those attractions on or around the River Thames. Day trips often start with cruises and water tours or energetic strolls along the river banks, and they end tastefully with a bite or drink in a carefully hidden local restaurant or bar. Here are five of the most interesting attractions and dining possibilities along the Thames.
1. The Thames Barrier
Vacationers who like to see water engineering and water protection structures can have a look at the Thames Barrier. The construction work of this impressive water barrier ended in the year 1982. It has been build to protect Greater London against floods. The structure consists of 10 gates. London closes these gates during heavy storms or dangerously high tides. The southern bank of the barrier lies in New Charlton and the northern bank stands in the Silvertown district. Also try to spot the steel sculpture of The Diver when visiting the River Thames at low tide.
2. Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum
Vacationers find other forms of protection at Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum. This Woolwich-based museum is the oldest in its kind. It showcases collections of modern and historic artillery. Visitors also hear wartime stories of the men and women who used the weapons during their time in the Royal Regiment of Artillery.
3. Lower Marsh
Vacationers who are into shopping and theaters will enjoy a hotel stay in the Piccadilly district and the nearby historic Lower Marsh Street, where they can shop at the Lower Marsh Market. This market has been present since the 19th century. Because of the street’s historic character, visitors will also see vernacular and Victorian architecture. A stop at Lower Marsh in Waterloo is not complete without a visit to the iconic Old Vic theater. It is one of the most famous and beloved theaters among actors and spectators.
4. The Upper Deck Bar at the HMS Belfast
Enter the maritime-themed Upper Deck Bar above the HMS Belfast entrance for a late afternoon snack or drink. This is a good spot to end your day of exploring. It will reward you with an excellent view of the lowering sun that caresses the Tower Bridge and the river with its orange beams. Travelers find the Upper Deck Bar at Queen Walk, Tooley Street.
5. Hidden Attractions Near the River
No matter if they want to visit famous sights or unexplored attractions, the River Thames will guide travelers along. See everything from the famous Tower Bridge in the central touristic area, to historic markets and museums in surrounding neighborhoods, and eventually the Thames Barrier that protects all these beautiful sights from the incoming North Sea water. Travelers can visit the official Transport for London website for information about various river services.