The Iconic River Thames – Lifeline of London

One of the most outstanding land (?) marks and the lifeline of London, the River Thames is the longest river in England, flowing through southern England all the way from Thames Head in Gloucestershire into the North Sea, through the Thames Estuary. It is the second longest river in the UK after the River Severn. Along with flowing through London, it also flows alongside other towns and cities, including Oxford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames and Windsor. The river has a total length of 215 miles (346km). In London, it is deep and navigable to ships. Its tidal section has a rise and fall of 7 metres (23ft).

London has derived its characteristics mainly because of this river which attracts people from all over the world to see it. It is indeed very special for London and it offers a lot to do and to see, making it different from other rivers. A lot of activities are available along the Thames mainly because it is navigable to such vessels. For these activities, rowing and sailing clubs are quite common along the Thames. You can also indulge in Kayaking and canoeing. Many annual events also take place here such as the Henley Royal Regatta and the Boat Race. Moreover, during two Summer Olympic Games (rowing in 1908 and rowing and canoeing in 1948), the Thames has been used extensively. For organised swimming in summer, Safe headwaters and reaches are the venue but it is prohibited for safety reasons in a stretch centred on Central London.

The river has 45 navigation locks with accompanying weirs and its catchment area covers a major portion of South Eastern and a minor part of Western England. Being fed by 38 named tributaries, the river contains over 80 islands. It supports a variety of wildlife as its waters vary from freshwater to almost seawater. There are a number of adjoining Sites of Special Scientific Interest of which the largest is the remaining parts of the North Kent Marshes that cover 5,449 hectares. At various points along the river, signs of human activity can be seen with some of them dating back to pre-Roman Britain. These activities include different types of structures relating to the use of the river, like navigations, bridges and water mills along with prehistoric burial mounds. Along much of its length, a major maritime route for shipping and supplies through the Port of London for international trade, is visible

If you are visiting London for sightseeing or for business, you will find it most convenient to stay at Grand Royale London Hyde Park Hotel as it is located in the heart of the city, close to most attractions and places of interest and it offers luxurious accommodation with excellent facilities and amenities along with best services.

The name of the river has been given to three informal areas: the Thames Valley which is an area around the river between Oxford and West London; the Thames Gateway; and the Thames Estuary that goes around the tidal Thames to the east of London and includes the waterway itself. Moreover, the police body that covers three counties is named Thames Valley Police.

Along the Thames, you can find the Thames Path that is an ideal place for getting a feel of the city by taking a lazy afternoon stroll to see the various sights. This will enable you to soak the culture of London as you walk alongside other commuters taking in the attractions that Londoners are so used to seeing every day. You can have a relaxed afternoon due to the beautiful and calm surroundings as you explore the capital’s history on your stroll.

Some of the Best London Restaurants are also situated along the river where you can enjoy excellent food of different cuisines prepared by expert chefs.

The Thames Path passes by some pretty iconic buildings, although some of its parts are closed due to development work at various places. You will see Westminster and Big Ben and you will pass the Coca Cola London Eye, which along with the Shard offers splendid views of the city. If you wish to see more of the Thames or of London, you can choose to ride a helicopter that will give you an insight to London that not many people can see as you will see how the Thames winds its way through the city and other incredible views of the city.

Besides going along the river and seeing it from high above, you can also spend some summer evenings relaxing on the river on one of the pub boats that are stationed along the length of the Thames. These include Tamesis Dock and Tattershall Castle that are easily accessible from Vauxhall and Waterloo train stations and offer amazing surroundings, These boats provide an ideal way to relax after a hectic day of sightseeing in an environment of traditional British pubs.

Apart from pubs, you have other options that range from lunch cruises, enjoying afternoon tea, to the London Showboat, watching an exotic night of cabaret and dancing and all along the way you can enjoy the superb views of Westminster and Big Ben. If you wish to enjoy a delicious lunch on land, you can take a train from Vauxhall Overground train station and get down at Battersea Park train station. Battersea Park offers a tropical garden and large open spaces where you can indulge in leisure activities as you please. Although you will enter the park off a main busy road, you just have to walk ten minutes to reach the other side where you will find the Thames, which for some may be just a river but, it is an integral part of London, so vital for its survival and its progress.

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