9 Must See London Landmarks Along The River Thames

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Last year during a getaway in London we decided to book a City Cruise along the River Thames. A river cruise is the perfect way to take in the London landmarks from the comfort of your seat. Most cruises will have a tour guide telling you some history about the sights and may also point out some London landmarks you may have missed. These are our 9 must see London landmarks along the River Thames.

boy looking at the london eye from a boat

Houses Of Parliament 
Built between 1840-1870 The Houses of Parliament stand on the North Bank of the River Thames. It's easy to spot with it's sand coloured limestone. It's also known as the Palace of Westminster and is made up of the House of Commons, the House of Lords and Westminster Hall. It is also where you will find Big Ben.

sights of London from the Thames

Big Ben
Standing for over 150 years the Elizabeth Tower is one of Londons most iconic landmarks however is mostly known as Big Ben. Big Ben is actually the name of the bell inside the clock tower and weighs more than 13 tons. 

The Shard
The 72 storey skyscraper is home to offices, restaurants and a hotel. It is a very popular visitor attraction also as you can enjoy a View From The Shard which offers you the chance to see for 40 miles across London on a clear day.

sights of London from the Thames

London Eye
The London Eye is one of the most popular attractions in London that charges an admission fee. Standing at 443ft the London Eye was the worlds most tallest ferris wheel from 1999-2006. Each one of the 32 capsules can hold up to 25 passengers for the 30 minute duration. The 32 capsules represents the 32 boroughs (together with the City of London) of Greater London. 

sights of London from the Thames

Tower Bridge
After 8 years of construction the Tower Bridge was opened in 1894, therefore spending over a century of being a defining iconic landmark for not just London but the United Kingdom too. The bridge has the ability to lift to let river traffic through and offers a whole range of other quirky features which can be seen along the bridge itself including a glass walkway. 

Cleopatra's Needle
The Obelisk was made in Egypt for the Pharaoh Thotmes III in 1460 BC, making it almost 3,500 years old. It is known as Cleopatra’s Needle as it was brought to London from Alexandria, the royal city of Cleopatra. 

sights of London from the Thames

St Paul's Cathedral 
Its dome, surrounded by the spires of Wren's City churches, has dominated the skyline for over 300 years. At 365 ft high, it was the tallest building in London from 1710 to 1963. The dome is still one of the highest in the world. St Paul's is the second-largest church building in area in the United Kingdom, after Liverpool Cathedral.

sights of London from the Thames

Shakespeare's Globe
Shakespeare's Globe is a reconstruction of the Globe Theatre, an Elizabethan playhouse for which William Shakespeare wrote his plays.It is recommended that if you go to watch a show at Shakespeares Globe that you dress appropriately for all weathers as the theatre has an open roof. 

HMS Belfast
HMS Belfast is a Town-class light cruiser that was built for the Royal Navy. She is now permanently moored as a museum ship on the River Thames in London and is operated by the Imperial War Museum.

sights of London from the Thames

Our Cruise
We were given the choice of four locations to board. We chose Westminster as it was closest to where we were visiting. You can also hop on a London Eye, Tower Bridge or Greenwich. The cruise offers 24 hours of hop on / hop off however you can stay on for the whole duration of the round trip but it can take over 2 hours. Each pier to pier trip is approx 40 minutes except for Westminster to London Eye which is approx 10 minutes. 

There were plenty of other sights to see along the way and the cruises usually have live or pre recorded commentary which point out landmarks and places of interest along the way. We found the cruise a great way to see the sights of London from the comfort of our seat.

Have you enjoyed a cruise along the River Thames? What was your favourite landmark?


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