Taking the Thames over the tube
Looking to see London a different way? We are so used to travelling by tube but on our most recent visit to the city, we tried Uber Boat by Thames Clippers instead. This is a great way to see the London sights without the stress of navigating crowded underground stations and all the different lines. So here is a short guide on how to buy tickets and use Uber Boat by Thames Clippers, what to expect when on the boats and what to see near to a selection of the piers.
Travelling by boat to sightsee in London was certainly impressive, the skyline opening up as you pass by without the stress of normal London transport. We took a seat and relaxed, our most stressful decisions being what to take photos of!
Many of London’s most iconic sights can be viewed by boat, from Battersea Power Station to London Tower Bridge through to Greenwich, the Thames Barrier, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey and more.
Uber Boat by Thames Clippers stops at 23 piers along the Thames between Woolwich (Royal Arsenal) Pier in the East and Putney Pier in the West.
If you are familiar with the London Underground map, you will see that the river is divided into zones: West, Central and East. Your ticket must be valid for all the zones you travel through. For instance, if you are travelling between Embankment and North Greenwich piers you will need a Central and East ticket.
Bikes can be brought onto the boats for free, and all the boats and piers are wheelchair and pram accessible except for Cadogan, London Bridge City and Wandsworth Riverside Quarter piers.
Single and Return Tickets
You can pay for single journeys contactless or with an Oyster card for pay as you go. You can also buy tickets in advance through the Uber Boat by Thames Clipper website, app and Uber app. If using contactless or an Oyster card, remember to touch in when you embark and touch out when you disembark.
If your Oyster card is linked to a Transport for London (TfL) Travelcard, you will automatically receive ⅓ off.
Travel anywhere along the route as many times as you want and all day. You can visit Greenwich, Houses of Parliament and many more throughout the day. Save up to 10% online when buying online.
These joint tickets enable you to buy your entry ticket and travel online. London sights and travel tickets available to book online include St Paul’s Cathedral, Greenwich Old Royal Naval College and the Emirates Air Line.
What to expect on board
Boat sizes vary but on each one, you will find plenty of seating, mostly indoor with seats arranged like a long-haul aeroplane, with a covered outdoor seating area as well.
As you can see bikes are allowed on board and can be brought on for free.
Food and Drink on Board
If you are hungry or thirsty then that is sorted with snacks and sandwiches including vegan-friendly options. Tea, coffee and soft drinks are available or chill out with a beer, a gin and tonic or a quarter bottle of wine (they have at least 4 varieties), which we shared between the two of us costing £6.10 or only £3.05 each.
In these COVID times, there is a contactless café bar service available where you can order in-seat whilst sat inside a vessel’s cabin. To do this visit thegoodtill.com/thamesclippers on your phone, select the boat you are on, place your order and when it’s ready it will be delivered to your seat.
Family-friendly and accessible
There is step-free access to the boats and piers except for Cadogan, London Bridge City and Wandsworth Riverside Quarter piers, as well as baby changing facilities available onboard.
What to see near the piers
The Clink Prison Museum
Battersea Power Station
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo
Battersea Power Station
St Pauls Cathedral
Guidlhall Art Gallery
National Army Museum
Canary Wharf Pier
Museum of London Docklands
Chelsea Harbour Pier
Chelsea Physic Garden
Harold Pinter Theatre
Churchill War Rooms
London Transport Museum
The Royal Observatory
London Bridge City
London Eye (Waterloo)
The London Eye
Apollo Victoria Theatre
North Greenwich Pier
Up at The O2
Emirates Air Line
Tower of London
Vauxhall (St George Wharf) Pier
Houses of Parliament
The Guards Museum
Woolwich Royal Arsenal
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Disclaimer: we received complimentary travel for one day to write this article.