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Totally Thames - The Ultimate Guide for Things to do Along the River Thames (Pt. 2)

Updated: Oct 8, 2020

As the Totally Thames Festival is now well underway, The Lifestyle Guide continues to celebrate The Thames in all its glory. On it’s banks you are never far from something interesting to do or see and we encourage you to revisit it often. From the best bars to the most impressive views it really has everything on offer.


Discover Culture

You already know that London is rich in culture but did you know that some of the best theatres in the world can be found along the riverbank? The likes of The Shakespeare’s Globe where you can catch one of the famous plays in action from as little as £5 for a standing ticket. You can also find the best of our galleries, The Tate Modern stands proud and plays host to some of the best artworks throughout history, with a series of one-off exhibitions that are always worth looking out for too. As well as these incredible landmarks other venues such as The National Theatre and The Southbank are alongside each other and guarantee an array of music, dance and theatre aplenty to be enjoyed.


The experiences you can enjoy via boat drastically range in adrenalin and budgets. With thrill-seekers who would enjoy the high-speed Thames Rib Experience to a slower romantic evening dinner cruise. The more unique ideas that are offered include the Skuna Floating Hot Tub (HotTug UK) or BBQ boats. Whatever you decide, just get on the river!


Visit The Top Attractions

To beat seeing the river by foot, there are multiple unique opportunities to get the best views from the sky. Head over to Greenwich where the Emirates Air Line has a cable car from one side to the other. It has to be said, this is a prime spot to enjoy a sunset with The O2 (previously the Millenium Dome) looking rather striking from this viewpoint. Alternatively, visit The London Eye for impressive 360 views of the whole city or of course the top of The Tower Bridge Walkways where you can see below your feet through the glass floor 42 metres about the river (not for the faint-hearted).


Enjoy a Bite to Eat

The river stretches for 215 miles but we wanted to round up our favourite and the ones you can find us at most. There are so many to choose from but we are taking a slight focus on our favourite view which has to be overlooking Tower Bridge - always a hot spot for tourists and Londoners.

  • Le Pont De La Tour a fabulous French restaurant that ticks every box if you’re looking for something special. Its stunning interior with a food & wine menu to match and the views will not disappoint

  • Coppa Club which is famous for its igloos overlooking Tower Bridge, they were way ahead of the game when it comes to social distancing. They usually get booked up months in advance but there are other seating areas for you to still experience this great location.

  • Gaucho Tower Bridge Yes, the famous steak chain and probably our favourite Gaucho location too, iconic views and an exquisite Argentinian menu with lavish décor inside

  • OXO Tower just a little further along the Thames is this Modern bar & restaurant, in an old (you guessed it) OXO factory, with a globally influenced menu and panoramic views

  • Savage Garden which has amazing views over the Thames alongside its instagrammable dishes - please make sure you try the dessert doughnuts!

  • On the rooftop vibe, you could also head to Sea Containers Hotel, where you can enjoy the 12th Knot restaurant or The Lyaness. Both have sassy, London vibes that you won’t want to miss.

  • Blueprint Cafe which is nestled close to London Bridge has magnificent views (and a menu to match) from  Canary Wharf to the east through Tower Bridge and the City to the West. 

  • If you want something with a buzzy outdoor atmosphere, head to The Oyster Shed, its known for the crowds outside overlooking the Thames with panoramic views, of course you can enjoy oysters there (and amazing seafood platters).. Or just a drink with a view!

These are just some of our favourites, get in touch with if you want some more options or for assistance with booking tables for private groups!

Picture courtesy of Le Pont De La Tour


Stay Over at The Greatest Hotels

A Thames view for your visit to London is a luxury, to wake up on the river or enjoy the hotel bar whilst watching the world go by via the waterways is a relaxing and beautiful way to vacate. Whether it be staying within walking distance of the main city or further afield along this glorious riverside our favourites include:

  • The Runnymede-on-Thames Hotel and Spa near Windsor is a perfect little place to stay with riverside grounds and activities aplenty.

  • The MacDonald Compleat Angler is simply stunning with plenty of reasons to indulge in this picturesque and popular part of England, not least the opportunity to see rowing Olympians train on the River as part of the nearby Marlow Rowing Club.

  • The Swan at Streatley in Reading also provides relaxation along the river with its stunning design.

  • The Sea Containers with a design reminiscent of a 1920s transatlantic cruise liner, award-winning food and drink outlets and electric energy, Sea Containers London is the remarkable South Bank hotel. It’s a destination where glamour meets brutalism – and it's your London anchor on the River Thames.

  • The Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard for ultimate luxury and boasting abilities

  • Monkey Island beautifully situated on a private island in the River Thames at Bray, visitors will again have their very own private countryside escape to enjoy, surrounded by picturesque views and beautifully manicured gardens

  • The Sunbourn London Yacht Hotel is something totally different from what most have ever experienced! "See a different side to the most exciting City in the world from the deck of a luxurious superyacht hotel"


Explore The Greenscapes

Enjoy the beautiful green spaces along the riverside for a stroll. The Jubilee Gardens sits underneath the London Eye on the South Bank (created to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II). Battersea Park shares its border with the river and has 200 acres of greenery to explore, hire one of the Santander bikes located nearby and take the park by bike instead. A historic enclosed space, Whitehall Gardens is well kept with flowers and fountains situated on the Victoria Embankment.

Wandsworth park also boats historic elements and is a grade II listed urban park. Further along, is Syon Park and Kew Gardens which are stunning locations for a day out and of course head the other direction towards Greenwich to find the amazing Greenwich Park which you can enjoy the view from the top of the observatory.

Thanks to the Tideway project we have 7 new exciting green spots on the way. The project which is an enhancement on our sewers to keep the river cleaner and ease the pressure on our current system. The construction work will also add the parks situated from Putney Embankment all the way to Shadwell for you to gaze upon our clearer river.


Totally Thames is an annual celebration of the fantastic River Thames. The Festival is still ongoing until the 30th September so there is still plenty time for you to get involved in some way or another.

See the full programme of events left to attend here:


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