We arrived shortly after opening time at 11 am, but we were the only people there. As there was something wrong with the ticket machine, they let us in free, so after wandering around the display explaining the history of flooding in London and watching the model demonstrating the raising and lowering of the barrier, we spent some of the money we save on the entrance fee on a tea, coffee and huge chocolate muffins.
Then we walked back along the path and on past the O2 arena to the Greenwich foot tunnel and walked across under the Thames. My feet were starting to ache by then, so i was glad when G decided it would take too long to walk all the way to Docklands and we got the Tube instead. :)
We'd explore Docklands last winter, so this time we ignored all the fancy new skyscrapers and visited the London Docklands museum instead. This was well worth a visit and we thought the mix of real items, archive film and explanatory panels struck the right balance. It started on the top floor with the Roman city and the history through the middle ages, then descending floor by floor it covered sugar and the slave trade, the war years and the modern death and regeneration of the area.
It was interesting to stand by the Thames Barrier visitor centre and think that everything that we could see just wasn't there when I lived in London in the early 70s. Instead, the area was covered in old wharves and warehouses that were sadly in decline as goods were, by then, coming in to the new container ports.