Walk the Thames
Things to do

Walk the Thames

Walk the Thames | A free, self-guided tour of the river’s sites

Jogging is dangerous.

You can twist an ankle and fall on your face. And it makes your cocktail go everywhere.

So, clearly walking is the way to go. And this ambling tour of the Thames is the perfect way to indulge in a spectacular little bit of water-adjacent bipedalism.

So, put some comfy shoes on and let’s head out:

Westminster Station | Westminster is like the black hole of London. Not because it’s easy to get lost in, but because so much has been squeezed into such a small space. Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and the Statue of Boudica can all be seen on the rivers banks. And Westminster Abbey, the Cenotaph, Downing Street and Buckingham Palace are all within a few hundred metres of Westminster Station.
Nearby food & drink: The Cinnamon Club, Roux at Parliament Square, Brasserie One, Emmeline’s Lounge @ Conrad Hotel

Number of steps to next location: 500

County Hall & the London Eye | Walking east along the river will give you the perfect view of County Hall (now the home of the London Sea Life Aquarium) and the London Eye. However, the London Eye gets more visitors per year than the Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza, so maybe avoid the hordes of tourists and look from afar. Unless you absolutely love a Ferris wheel, then go ahead.

Number of steps to next location: 800

Cleopatra’s Needle and Somerset House | Past Embankment Station you will find Cleopatra’s Needle guarded by two Egyptian sphinxes. Built in Egypt around 1460 BC, technically it’s London’s oldest landmark. Somerset House is the former palace of the Duke of Somerset and is now home to the Royal Academy, and the city’s most popular winter ice rink.
Nearby food & drink: Located not far away from Covent Garden you’re spoilt for choice for places to eat and drink in this part of town. Some of our favourites include: Rules and Flat Iron for food, Dub Jam and BYOC for drinks.

Number of steps to next location: 1000

Temple Gardens | According to Shakespeare in his work Henry VI Part 1, this is the location where the War of the Roses began. True or not, these small gardens surrounded by Georgian and Tudor buildings are a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Nearby food & drink: Copa de Cava, City of London Distillery and 5CC City of London.

Number of steps to next location: 1200

OXO Tower | It’s worth taking the slightly longer walk across Blackfriars Bridge to the OXO Tower for its eighth-floor public viewing gallery and restaurant, bar and brasserie. Once upon a time storing more gravy than a northerner preparing for the apocalypse, this building is now filled with design studios, shops, cafes, exhibitions and apartments.
Nearby food & drink: Other than the towers restaurant, bar and brasserie, award-winning cocktail bar Dandelyan and rooftop bar Rumpus Room are close by.

Number of steps to next location: 1000 (along the Thames Path)

Tate Modern & Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre | Formally the Bankside Power Station, the Tate Modern is now home to a huge collection of international modern and contemporary art, as well as more reasons to take a picture than a pug wearing a Christmas jumper.
Although the original Globe Theatre was destroyed by a fire in 1613, this modern reconstruction is worth an educational visit, or simply to say you’ve been there. If you have more time there is no better place to enjoy the great bards work.
Nearby food & drink: Swan Restaurant and Bar on the theatre’s site offers afternoon tea, dinner and drinks – as well as pre- and post-theatre dining – set on two floors with views of the river and St Paul’s. However, we would urge you to wait to eat until the next stop.

Number of steps to next location: 600

Clink Prison Museum & Borough Market | Dating back to 1144, Clink Prison is literally the reason we use the phrase “the clink”. The museum is a “hands-on, educational experience” with torture devices aplenty.
Borough Market has never had a recorded official opening. So, get down there with some red ribbon and a giant pair of scissors and cause a scene. Claiming to have been running since 1014, Borough Market is the place for fresh produce, independent retailers and artisanal food.
Nearby food & drink: The market stools – or Padella, Elliot’s Café or Hawksmoor (opening early 2017).

Number of steps to next location: 400

The Shard | You could stand nearly anywhere along the river and get a view of the Shard, but it’s worth a visit to London’s highest viewing platform for a view of the rest of the city.
Nearby food & drink: Very nearby food and drink comes from the six restaurants located within The Shard. NOTE: Bookings for the viewing platform can be made HERE.

Number of steps to next location: 1200

Tower Bridge | Over 50 designs were originally submitted for the bridge, but it wasn’t until Sir Horace Jones – who just happened to be on the judging panel – submitted his design that a decision was made. One guess which design was chosen…
From Tower Bridge you can see City Hall, HMS Belfast and the Tower of London.
Nearby food & drink: Restaurant Story – it has all you need.

Number of steps to next location: 600

Tower of London | “If the ravens leave the Tower, the Kingdom will fall.” How very Game of Thrones. Most of us simply try our best not to spill the salt, but whatever waves your flag. Still, this is a pretty fascinating building, and to say that there’s some history here is underselling it just a tad.
Nearby food & drink: St Katherine Docks are home to Tom’s Kitchen, Amaru and Bravas Tapas. Sky Lounge at Double Tree by Hilton Hotel London is an apt way to end the day with 360-degree views of the river and the city.

Approximate Total Number of Steps: 7300

That’s deserves a sit down. And whilst you’re at it, you might as well eat and have a few beverages too.

For the Power Walkers
Further West: Kew Gardens, Battersea Park and Tate Britain are further to the west of London than where our tour started, and there are many restaurants in the surrounding Kensington, Chelsea and Knightsbridge to help break up the longer walk – including The River Café, Chicama and Medlar.
Further East: If skyscrapers are your thing then a few miles east of where our walking tour ended is Canary Wharf (just 5 stops on the DLR from Tower Gateway), with eating and drinking opportunities aplenty, including The Narrow by Gordon Ramsey and The Breakfast Club.

Disclaimer: Number of steps are approximate and have been estimated using an average person’s stride length of approximately 2.1 to 2.5 feet. Plus, we do bars and restaurants (and walking tours) – not maths.


Walk the Thames


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