Landmarks of The Thames For That True London Feeling

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London might not be the only part of the country through which the River Thames flows, but it’s certainly one of the most prominent. As a Roman settlement, Londinium was founded on the banks of this beautiful river because of its convenience for shipping and travel from the North Sea to the city’s east. Since then, the River Thames has acted as the backbone for the evolving city. Guests of the Montcalm Royal London House needn’t travel far to catch a glimpse of the busy river.

So if you’re only staying at the luxury hotels in London for a limited time but want to spend as much of it by the riverside, what are the landmarks and activities along the Thames that you shouldn’t miss?

West 

West London’s Thameside attractions are a touch more rustic than the rest of the city, on account of its more suburban and upmarket locales. Below are some of the landmarks and attractions you’ll find in areas such as Kew, Richmond and Fulham. 

Richmond Park 

The largest of the Royal Parks at 2500 acres, Richmond Park was originally a private deer hunting park for Charles I. there was once a palace here, but nowadays, the beautiful Thameside nature reserve houses only the ancestors of those original grey deer introduced here hundreds of years ago. For a great view over the Thames, head up to King Henry’s Mound. 

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew 

Housing one of the largest collections of plant specimens in the world, Kew Gardens, as it is colloquially known, is a beautiful botanic garden that is home to dozens of characterful conservatories and glass houses. Home to 27,000 species of plant and 8.3 million species, this Thames side oasis of tranquillity is one for the green fingered. 

London Wetlands Centre 

The London Wetlands Centre is situated in the Putney Bridge area of West London, and acts as an avian reserve for migrating species. The protected wetlands are frequented by birds and bird watchers alike, whilst the onsite enclosures boast a colourful array of exotic birds. 

Central 

As you’d expect, many of the most prominent riverside attractions are concentrated around the city’s boroughs of Westminster and the City of London. These ones are especially easy to reach from the Montcalm restaurants and hotels. 

London Eye 

Guests of the Montcalm Hotel Chiswell Street wishing to get their bearings in the city should look no further than the London Eye observation wheel. At just half an hour long, the 135 metre high wheel provides unspoilt views that can reach up to 25 miles in every direction on a clear day. As a celebration of London at the dawning of the new Millennium, the London Eye – or the Millennium Wheel as it used to be known – has 32 25-person capacity pods, one for every borough in the capital. 

South Bank 

The South Bank is probably one of London’s most prominent riverside attractions, consisting of a large promenade lined with arts venues and exhibition spaces. The Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre and British Film Institute create a holy trinity of music, theatre and cinemas, whilst its surrounding assortment of art galleries, skate parks, street markets and busking spots make it a highly popular strand of the Thames, right in the heart of the city. 

Borough Market 

About a 20 minute walk from the South Bank, Borough Market is foodie heaven and easy to reach from London Bridge Station. Borough Market is an historic riverside commerce district that has had a market on its site for more than a thousand years. Today it hosts a variety of foodstuff shops, street food delicacies and bougie restaurants. 

Tower of London 

The Tower of London was built in the late 11th century as a symbol of Norman rule over England. It’s understandable then, that as a symbol of oppression, William the Conqueror wanted it to stand out in what was back then the heart of the city. The Tower of London still functions to this day and visitors can enjoy tours of the Crown Jewels and former prisons, armouries and living spaces that have been in use for almost a thousand years. 

Tower Bridge

Not to be confused with London Bridge, Tower Bridge was developed to provide more road routes over the Thames into what was becoming an increasingly busy East End in the Victorian era. Completed in 1886, the suspension bridge has become an icon of the River Thames and even has its own exhibition on the top floors. Make sure not to miss the glass walkway, 42 metres above the Thames. 

East 

Historically, this part of London was reserved for dock workers, but over the years since London’s maritime trade dwindled, it has developed a unique character in and of itself. 

London Museum of the Docklands 

Developed by the Museum of London, the Docklands Museum explores the history of London’s maritime trade, most notably its links to the 18th century Atlantic slave trade. Built in a repurposed Georgian warehouse in West India Docks, these 12 galleries and a lecture theatre provide captivating exhibitions focused on London’s business relationship with waterways. 

National Maritime Museum 

More broadly exploring English seafaring, the National Maritime Museum is located in the Old Royal Naval College on Greenwich’s riverfront and is free to visit. This popular Greenwich gem explores everything from the district as a landing place for the Romans, its docklands trade and Greenwich’s role as a point of navigation and point zero for mapmaking through the Greenwich Meridian. 

The O2 Arena 

The O2 Arena was opened at the beginning of the 21st century, but after several disappointing exhibitions, was bought by O2 as a live performance venue. The striking white dome and yellow rivets now house a shopping centre as well as a 20,000 capacity venue, which has played host to some of the biggest musicians and singers of the last 20 years.