Try something new this weekend and visit London’s top attractions Thameside.
If the thought of another sweaty, overcrowded and polluted journey doesn’t fill you with joy, then maybe consider a calmer trip into London this weekend. Stretching from Putney to Woolwich Arsenal, the Thames Clipper is London’s fastest and most frequent River Bus service. Spanning 22 piers (with another at Royal Wharf due to open this year) the 17 high speed vessels transport an average of over four million passengers a year. As the service celebrates its twentieth birthday this year, there’s no better time to explore the amazing attractions that are only a short boat ride away.
The Cutty Sark, National Maritime Museum, Royal Observatory, Queen’s House, Royal Park and an excellent market, all make Greenwich a stop that cannot be missed on your voyage. If you want to maximise your time in this beautiful part of London, then book onto a Royal Greenwich Tour where enthusiastic local guides take you on a half or full day excursion around the highlights.
If you’re short on time and can only fit one attraction into your day, then definitely head to the Royal Observatory where you can discover the history of Greenwich Mean Time, the Prime Meridian Line, and London’s only public planetarium. Make sure you take a photo astride East and West of the World, have your eyes and mind opened during a tour of the universe and the night sky, and then finish with a brief introduction to the work of John Flamseed and 5th Astronomer Royal Nevil Maskelyne.
If you’re feeling peckish, head to Goddard’s for one of the most authentic pie and mash experiences in London – they’ve been serving up the most traditional of London dishes since 1890. Alongside the most popular beef pie, other options include chicken breast, cheese and onion, and vegetarian soy mince pie, with prices starting at a very modest £4.30. The classic way to enjoy this wonderful London dish is with salt, pepper and a splash of chilli vinegar, but if you have more of a sweet tooth you can find apple and cherry pies and rhubarb and apple crumble all served with a hearty helping of ice cream or custard.
The O2 is an iconic piece of the London skyline, yet many people have never seen inside this incredible building since it ceased to be the Millennium Dome.
Now you can watch your favourite artists, comedians, composers and even a former First Lady in the vast O2 arena. If you want to spend the whole day in this quirky venue, how about booking Up at The O2, an exhilarating 90 minute ascent up and across the roof of the building. There’s also the option to climb at sunset, at twilight or as a celebration climb, where you can celebrate that special birthday or occasion in style and enjoy a glass of Lanson Champagne at the top.
If you’re feeling peckish after all of this climbing, do not fear, The O2 has plenty of choice. Whether you fancy Thai, Italian, Mexican or Brazilian, fast food or something more gourmet, there are plenty of options for all tastes and budgets. There’s now also the option to combine your climbing with your dining and buy a package ticket to save time and money if you don’t have long to explore North Greenwich.
If shopping is more your thing, then make sure you check out the amazing discounts available at the various outlet shops. Brands such as Aspinal of London, Cath Kidston, Gant, Radley, Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and so many more, all have great offers and promotions, with even more brands coming soon.
The Tower of London at Twilight
Moving along the river on your aquatic adventure, you’ll soon find Tower Millennium Pier, home to The Tower of London. Steeped in rather gruesome but fascinating history, this incredible London landmark is running a series of spooky evenings to tour The Tower at twilight. During your ghoulish evening you’ll learn about the Traitor’s Gate, Bloody Tower and Scaffold Site where some of the more famous executions took place. Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard (two of Henry VIIIs wives), plus Lady Jane Grey (who was just 16 at the time and had only been on the throne for nine days) were all beheaded here. The Yeoman Warder leading the tour will appal and amaze you with royal gossip, history, intrigue and fascination into the secrets held within the walls of the Tower.
Tate to Tate
If you’re more into sculpture than being scared silly at The Tower, then why not try the ‘Tate to Tate’ experience. The RB2 service runs every 30 minutes, with a journey time of only 18 minutes, taking you from the Tate Britain at Millbank Pier to the Tate Modern at Bankside Pier.
If you fancy a change in your evening commute, journey down to the Tate Britain on the 5th April for an evening of wine tasting and Vincent Van Gogh. A full portfolio of drinks will be available to sample, ranging from Grand Cru Saint Emillon from Bordeaux, Aristea Wines from South Africa and Vidda distillery from Oslo, Norway. Visitors will also have the opportunity to access the EY Exhibition: Van Gogh in Britain during this late night opening of the gallery.
Meanwhile at the Tate Modern, Uniqlo are throwing their monthly after-hours event full of music, food, workshops, art and film. Discover new and emerging DJs, Bollywood lip sync battles, Art Beyond Brexit, award-winning poetry and an ode to the Eurovision Song Contest – all under one roof. Whilst the event is free, the Tate offers excellent £5 tickets, creative opportunities, free events and discounted food, drink and retail for those aged 16-25. For more information on joining The Tate Collective scheme, visit their website.
Battersea Power Station
Once providing 20% of the total electricity to London as a 509 megawatt generator, Battersea Power Station has remained an integral part of the London skyline, and remains a key icon for our industrial past. As the largest brick building in Europe, the power station has inspired many an artist, musician, photographer and designer, and was only fully decommissioned in 1983.
Since then it has undergone a £9 billion transformation, and once completed in 2028 it will become the third largest retail destination in Central London. Visitors will also be able to dine in over 40 restaurants and cafes in a giant food hall that will connect the two turbine halls with the main central boiler room becoming a major hub for the arts and culture. Apple have also selected the site for their 50,000sq ft office.
Even though it will be a few years before the whole regeneration process is complete, there is already so much to see and do in and around Battersea and Nine Elms. At Circus West Village, explore London’s newest cultural and dining quarter. Tapas, Italian, Japanese Ramen, amazing pizza and wonderful coffee all await your tastebuds at the plethora of amazing restaurants and cafes available. Public tours of this impressive building take place every few weeks by ballot entry due to high demand.
If you’re just after a drink, the No.29 Power Station West bar offers a beautiful riverside terrace where you can while away an hour or two on their outdoor seating from dawn until dusk. They also have a great selection of lite bites and main meals, with an all-day weekend brunch option if you fancy a change to your weekend routine.
As part of their Spring into Spring campaign, there will be a whole host of discounted and free events to help you feel your best as the days get longer. Carney’s Outdoor Boxing Class are offering free taster sessions that aim to teach you the basics in boxing whilst working up a sweat! The Pilates PT method is also offering a discounted way to get fit this spring with £10 classes available from 13th March-3rd April. To book time slots, check their website here.
A trip to Battersea wouldn’t be complete without visiting the stunning Battersea Park, first opened in 1858 by Queen Victoria. On a sunny day why not hire a pedalo on the lake, or visit the children’s zoo where you can see lemurs, meerkats, monkeys, emus, kune kune pigs and many more animals. If you fancy swinging like a monkey yourself then GoApe is the perfect rooftop hangout to see Battersea Park from a treetop perspective.
If you get back on the Thames Clipper and find yourself wishing you lived in beautiful Battersea then check out our website here for our Battersea Power Station homes and the other new developments in and around the Nine Elms area.
After a long day exploring, why not wind down with a sunset drink overlooking the river? It takes just under 30 minutes from Battersea Power Station to Putney (the final destination on the Thames Clipper Westbound route).
If you have time, take a trip to the Dorich House Musuem, the former studio home of sculptor Dora Gordine and the Hon. Richard Hare. Gordine was heralded in 1938 as ‘possibly the finest female sculptor in the world’, and continued to remain at the forefront of European sculpture until the late 1960s. Following Gordine’s death in 1991, Kingston University acquired this fascinating and beautiful building that has picturesque views across Richmond Park. In the spirit of Gordine’s exemplary life and career, the university ensures that the museum operates as an international centre to promote and support female creative practitioners.
If you decide to save Dorich House for another day, then make your way to the Boathouse Putney where you can watch the sun go down on one of the more scenic parts of the Thames. Relax with a glass of something chilled and enjoy the serenity of the water as you look back over your day of exploration.
If you decide to take to the Thames this weekend, tweet us with your personal highlights or any hidden gems that you’ve found along the way!
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