Yesterday morning I was enjoying a cup of coffee on the open top deck of the William B from our mooring near Tower Bridge. Looking out over London Bridge all I could see was a never ending stream of people flowing from the station into the City for work. The quiet still morning on the river was so unbelievably different from the hustle and bustle only few hundred yards away.
The most popular city in the world
An investigation in The Telegraph looked into how population changes during a working day in London. Amazingly, the City of London on our door step had the highest change. It grows by 56 times from 6,307 grows to 358,266 during a work day, an increase of over 5,500 per cent! Put this onto a city that already houses 8.3 million people and that you start to see the scale of what London has become after all these years. Last summer was even a record breaking year in the tourism industry with 26 million tourists to the capital – up 20% on 2012. Ok, so lots of facts and figures can get a little confusing and I may have got a little carried away on Google! Importantly this just highlights how busy London has become as one of the world’s most popular and successful cities.
A calm way to travel
With all of London’s congestion, it’s remarkable how I can sit in peace and quiet while the sun reflects off The Shard on a beautiful fresh morning! Once the Thames was the largest and busiest port in the world but that is long gone now. In many ways it is now a tranquil oasis snaking through a sea of people and metropolis. At Thames Leisure we have always enjoyed taking guests out for parties on the Thames – it’s what we’re best at. The views make it a must for any visitor. However, we also want people to see the Thames as great way to get about too.
We specialise in transfers with our smallest vessel Tideway for quick trips across the capital. Or, William B is perfect when you want to entertain guests along the way with a bar and delicious canapés. Then Dutch Master comes into its own late at night bringing clubbers back from the O2 and surrounding clubs to central London.
London’s destinations from the river
With piers throughout the capital, getting free on the river really can be the quickest and most stress free way to travel. There are loads of piers to suit many different travel plans. Click here for our latest Underground-styled River Thames pier map. North Greenwich Pier for the O2 and Excel Exhibition Centre via the Emirates Cable Car (a landmark in itself!), Greenwich Pier for the Royal Museums and Observatory, Tower Millennium Pier for Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Bankside Pier for the Tate Modern, Festival Pier for the South Bank and the National Theatre, Westminster Pier for the Houses of Parliament, Hampton Court Pier for the Royal Palace – the list could continue and dizzies the imagination, so much of London’s history and future lies on the river. It is simply the perfect and most exciting way to get about.
Interestingly, the Thames has become the first European river to appear in Google’s Street View system, joining the Antarctic, Grand Canyon and Moscow’s Red Square as an “iconic global location”.To make this a reality Google worked with the Port of London Authority to load a camera onto a boat and travel the 30 miles between Woolwich and Richmond to map the capital’s river just like the online road system we are familiar with. (If you were wondering what the alien in image above was it is one of Google’s special Mapping Cameras!)
As you can see the Thames is still at the heart of London. What not make transport a key tourist experience in itself? We can wiz you across in the capital with a stress free fresh breeze – nobody enjoys the cramped tube in the summer! Let our Sales Team know if you have any ideas, we work with bespoke quotations all the time and will happily put something together to perfectly suit your needs.