A Cruise along the Fascinating Thames

Big Ben, formally known as the Queen Elizabeth II Tower. Notice blue skies! The statue to the right shows Boudicca, Queen of the Iceni, who led a rebellion against the Romans in around 60 CE.

I lived near the Thames for the first twenty-one years of my life, yet, for some reason that I cannot now account for, I have never actually been on the river.

So when friends came in from California, taking in the sights and sounds of London, I suggested a cruise to Hampton Court Palace, most famous for being the home of Henry VIII (the sovereign with VI wives).

We embarked at Westminster Pier on what I thought was going to be a cloudy and rainy day. Yet, to my delight, I was wrong!

The Houses of Parliament with its patio. Notice Green Awning is for the Commons, whilst Red denotes the Lords.

The boat driver elected to give the commentary and his cockney wit and good humor made this voyage a joy. For example, on passing the Houses of Parliament pictured here, he remarked that our leaders liked to entertain each other on this patio with “liquid lunches, which probably explains the state this country is in.”

As I said, I have never been on this river before, so I was very surprised to find out how many buildings along the river had been so recently built.

Chelsea Harbour. Cher lives here…at least according to our waterman!
Chelsea Waterfront, which is right next door to Chelsea Harbour. Notice the old Gas Station peeking behind the Glass & Steel. You can’t knock down such a building in Britain, so it has been turned into a Shopping Mall.
St George Wharf Vauxhall ~ A South Bank Revamp. Formerly factories with bombed-out buildings, this part of London has been completely redone.
Notice how different this bucolic view is from all that has gone before ~ a view of Richmond Bridge in the Beautiful Surrey Countryside, where I am from!
And here we are at our destination, the Great Tudor Gateway of Hampton Court Palace.

To find out more about cruising from London to Hampton Court, visit this website. I can highly recommend Thames River Boats!

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