On August 25th Rosie and I headed down to London for a day of sightseeing – though this wasn’t your typical tourist day out, hopping on and off the underground. Instead, we were traveling in style, boarding the City Cruise ferry from Westminster pier, and embarking on a sightseeing tour of the Thames all the way to Greenwich.
You may have visited London hundreds of time before, but you haven’t properly experienced London until you see it by boat! Removed from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, you truly get to absorb the beauty of London and the juxtaposition of the calm and tranquil cruise compared to the flurry of the City centre.
As we travelled down the Thames taking in the magnificence of this spectacular city, we were provided with on board commentary from one of the very funny staff members. The tour guide made our voyage particularly enjoyable as he had us laughing from start to finish. We learnt all about London’s most famous sites; Big Ben, The Tower Bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, and many more! The knowledgeable guide also talked about some of London’s most historic figures, letting us know which pub William Shakespeare used to spend his Friday nights in!
As we disembarked the cruise at Greenwich, we immediately boarded a second boat… But this time from a completely different time period! You might have guessed it – (but for those of you that haven’t) – the boat I am talking about is in fact the Cutty Sark! The Cutty Sark, built in 1869, is a national icon of British Maritime History and the world’s last surviving tea clipper. As we stepped on board we were pleasantly surprised to find that the ship comprises of three floors, all of which are open to the public to explore. As we made our way through the boat, we found many interactive activities dotted around, from touch and feel games, to dress up boxes – you’re never too old to dress up! The ship has a lot of cabins furnished exactly how they would have been all those years ago, so you can get a real feel for what life on board would have been like for the sailors.
Next, we made our way to The Royal Observatory, situated a short but steep walk away from the Cutty Sark. At the entrance we were greeted by a spectacular view of London, making the walk most definitely worth it! As part of the Royal Observatory experience you gain access to the Flamsteed household, which was the official residence to over ten astronomer royals and their families, for nearly three centuries. Just think how much history would have been made there!
As we walked through the house, we got a real feel for how those that once occupied it must have lived, spending their nights studying the stars. It was in this very house that it was proven that the timekeeper method of finding longitude was practicable.
The Royal Observatory is also home to the Meridian Line, providing an opportunity for you to stand with one foot in either hemisphere, an opportunity that we were definitely not going to miss out on – as it makes for a great photo!
Once we had exhausted ourselves from all the sightseeing we headed down to the pier to jump back on the ferry, not before stopping at the Nando’s conveniently placed just metres from the pier of course!
If you would like to attend the Thames Cruise + Cutty Sark Experience for Two, please click on the link below: