Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Visit to London -- A day on the river

As part of our Christmas present, our daughter had sent us vouchers to buy a River Rover ticket on the mbna clipper boats that travel up and down the Thames. So we left the hotel and walked to the pier by Tower Bridge where we caught a boat heading for the O2 arena. The boats are very comfy and there is even a small cafe on board! So we breakfasted on the beverage of our choice (tea in my case, coffee for my husband) and a giant cookie each.

Here is the view from the pier. This photo is also my final shot for the 52 week challenge for 2014.

Tower Bridge from St Katharine pier

In what seemed like no time at all, we disembarked at the O2 arena and then set off along the river on foot towards Woolwich.

There is still a terrific amount of construction work going on alongside the Thames. As well as all the new buildings under construction, you can also see the tall buildings of Canary Wharf, the O2 arena and the cable car across the Thames that was built for the 2012 Olympics.

O2 arena

We've walked as far as Woolwich before and have crossed the river a couple of times via the foot tunnel. This time, for a change, I insisted on taking the ferry, which is free for both vehicles and foot passengers. There are two ferries that travel back and forth, passing in the middle of the river. Here is a view of the other ferry as it passed by.

Woolwich Ferry

From Woolwich, we caught the DLR back to Canary Wharf and then (eventually) found the tube line that would take us back to the O2 to catch the mbna clipper. For some reason, you seem to have to go through a shopping mall to find the tube station, but we did find it and then, after a bit of a wander around the outside of the O2 dome due to coming out of the entrance furthest from the river, we made our way to the pier and hence, by clipper, to the South Bank and our favourite pizza restaurant.

Determined to extract as much value as possible from the River Rover tickets, we boarded another boat, this time heading west. Unfortunately, we could only travel as far as St George Wharf, Vauxhall, because it was evening by now, so we disembarked there and then walked back past the Houses of Parliament to the pier at Embankment, where we parted company for a while. G wanted to walk all the way back but my feet and legs were tired, so I took the boat back to Tower Bridge and arrived back at the hotel about 25 minutes before G.

So altogether a good trip and we were pretty lucky with the weather. As you can see from all the photos, it was grey and overcast almost the entire time but it wasn't too cold and it stayed dry, which is not bad for the time of year.

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