Sunday 2 August 2015

Task 29: Travel down the Thames on a Thames Clipper to Greenwich

My friend Carol celebrated reaching 60 by kayaking down a section of the Thames. She said it was an amazing experience and it got me thinking about Thames related-tasks for my Sixty at 60 list, imitation being the highest form of flattery of course.  It occurred to me that despite having lived near London for the whole of my life, I've never actually travelled along the Thames.  Whilst I wasn’t entirely convinced by kayaking as a means of introducing me to Thames travel (potentially cold.....wet......very hard work.......?), the idea of zipping up and down the river in a Thames Clipper commuter-style really appealed to me. And who better to accompany me on this particular task than Carol, who had the brainwave of incorporating it into her 60th birthday present to me (tickets to the stunning Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A).

And so it was that last Wednesday Carol and I found ourselves heading down to Embankment Pier on the Thames to take on Task 29. The sun came out, we boarded the Thames Clipper courtesy of Roamer tickets, found ourselves seats at the bow and off we headed to Greenwich. Here's the evidence (great pic by Carol, Tower Bridge looks fab in the background, can't say the same for that windswept person in the foreground). 

It was such a brilliant journey!  We saw the Houses of Parliament, London Eye, Shard, Gherkin, Tate and many other iconic landmarks. We stopped off at various piers along the way and then after leaving Canary Wharf, the throttle was pulled out and we headed down the Thames at top speed. We arrived at Greenwich just 30 mins after leaving Embankment, big smiles on our faces all the way - what a contrast with travelling on the tube or bus......

After lunching in Greenwich (as one does), admiring the Cutty Sark and gazing at the beautiful Old Royal Naval College buildings, we headed back on the Clipper to London Bridge City where we met Lucy for a celebratory glass of prosecco (any excuse) before heading home to the wilds of Sussex. 

So that's one very pleasurable travel task now completed and I can definitely recommend the Thames Clipper as an alternative mode of transport for getting across London - it's certainly the most fun.

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