Famous sights of the Thames waterway
The River Thames stretches over 210 miles of southern England, flowing from near the quaint town of Kemble in Gloucestershire all the way through to London and out into the North Sea. Along this vast stretch of water there are numerous attractions, including royal castles, museums, famous gardens, palaces, bucolic fields, rolling hills, and of course, some excellent taverns to enjoy a traditional British meal with a pint of ale. Here are some of the must-see attractions located in the immediate vicinity of the River Thames.
Tate Britain (formerly know as the Tate Gallery) is home to an exquisite collection of British art which dates all the way back to the 16th century. Since opening in 1897, Tate Britain has expanded to showcase historic works by artists such as William Blake and J.M.W. Turner, as well as the works of more contemporary artists such as John Latham, Tracey Emin and Douglas Gordon. Whether you’re a connoisseur of fine art or are simply interested in having a glimpse into one of Britain’s foregone eras, Tate Britain is an excellent place to visit if you’re strolling along the Thames waterway in London.
Towns and villages
Historically, the River Thames was a major transportation artery, meaning some of Britain’s most picturesque towns and villages are conveniently located along its banks. For instance, Windsor in Berkshire is the home to the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world, but the town also features tranquil rural walkways, the gorgeous Savill Garden and numerous fine dining establishments where you can eat and drink to your heart’s content. In addition to this, you may wish to finish off your countryside walk with a relaxing boat ride along the River Thames, as these are highly popular with visitors to the area.
Henley-on-Thames is another excellent town to visit and is home of the famous Henley Royal Regatta which people have flocked to every summer since 1839. Even if you’re visiting at a different time of the year, there’s still plenty to explore. The Thames Path stretching from Marsh Lock to Hambleden Lock is a popular walkway, while Henley’s River & Rowing Museum is an excellent place to learn about the history of a sport which seems so quintessentially British. While you’re in Henley, why not catch a drink at The Old Bell? The rustic inn is timber framed, serves the finest locally grown food and dates all the way back to 1325.
Moulsford village, Oxfordshire, was positioned on a trade route during the Roman occupation of Britain, and some speculate that William the Conqueror may have passed through the village during his march toward London in 1066. Moulsford is home to a beautifully quaint riverside restaurant, The Beetle and Wedge Boathouse, offering a stunning view of the River Thames. Featuring an open charcoal grill, you can watch delicacies such as sirloin steak being cooked right in front of your eyes.
Also overlooking the Thames is the delightful Riverside Restaurant located in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Situated within the Compleat Angler hotel, the Riverside Restaurant provides many luxury dishes, such as roasted pave of salmon, foie gras and fillet of cod. After exploring the countryside thoroughly, what better way to relax than by dining on some fine cuisine while overlooking the glistening blue waters of the River Thames.
The Thames features in several of our tours, making it easy for you to explore this magnificent and historically important waterway, so what are you waiting for? Our Henley on Thames tour, currently in production will feature extended sections along the river including a section used for the Olympic Rowing events, while our upcoming tour of Dorchester on Thames includes quainter stretches of the river, including the site of the world famous Pooh Sticks competition! Additionally, our Theatrical London Tour crosses the Thames, taking you along the south bank before finishing at the famous Globe Theatre.