Thursday, January 22, 2009

The River Ride

It was the X-mas holidays recently.

Therefore as usual, Mr S and I were desperate to create 'entertainment' for the kids. The thing about London is, there are plenty of tourist attractions but they are mostly pretty pricey.

The museums of course, are free...but we've been to almost all of those...
And the kids, being kids, got to run around in those museums looking at paintings and statues and bones and mummies...but let's face it, that's not much of an entertainment to them..

And for us parents, running around after the kids in these places - where they're certainly not supposed to
run or scream or play hide and seek behind the exhibits - is definitely not what we would call a jolly time either.

And so we had to look into other things to do...

That's our boat coming! Note that you can see through the middle of the boat.

View inside the boat.

Going on a cruise on the river Thames have always been one of those things that I had wanted to do with Mr S.
I've always imagined though, when we actually did it, it would be a hot summer's day and it would be just us...cruising together, the wind and sun in our faces...looking at all those historical sites and buildings around us from the perspective of the river...

But fate determined that on the day we went a sailing along the Thames, it would be just a boat, instead of a cruise, we were with the children - not just us having a romantic time together, and the weather was f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g. cold.

View behind us from the QE2 pier - The O2

But surprisingly, I had a really, really good time.
(As usual..I think I am quite easy to please lah!)

It was a surprise, really... We actually took the boat from the O2 pier which is the nearest pier to us (the pier is called the QE2). I thought I would be cold and uncomfortable (water sickness and what not) and I just thought it would be slow and boring and probably another session of running after the kids (this time to make sure that they don't fall over the boat)...but let me tell you, it was none of those things!

View of the David Beckham Academy next to the O2

First of all, it was because we didn't go on the actual 'tourist cruise' thingy. This one was basically a commuter. Thus, it was cheaper, which is always a plus point of course, and because of the fact that some people actually use this thing to go to work, it was quite fast!

The kids went in free and the adults only had to pay 5 pounds each and we didn't even need to queue up beforehand in order to buy the tickets - they have a conductor on board and we just pay when we're seated! Hassle free!

Just passed underneath the Tower Bridge

It was absolutely warm in the boat too and thus absolutely relaxing. And the kids were quiet -
somehow they weren't running around as much - maybe they were a little amazed (just like their mum) by the fact that we were on a boat on the river Thames. Towards the end of our ride though, Little H did ask me if he could 'run about'...

Well, at least he asked for permission and of course, the answer to his question was NO.

We went pass Canary Wharf, and saw Mr S's old office building there...and then we went under the Tower Bridge, The London Bridge and the Millennium Bridge and passed the Big Ben, The Parliament Building at Westminster and The London Eye etc. of course Mr S took out the camera and we were snapping away....

I tell you, I would have thought that going on that red double decker tourist bus would be enough for tourists in London but I think now I've changed my mind.

Big Ben and the Parliament Building in the background.

I definitely recommend going on a boat (especially a commuter boat) on the river Thames if anyone of my readers come over to London. I think you'll enjoy viewing the normal sights
with a twist - from the water.

For more info on the river commuters: Thames Clippers


Asmida said...

One brilliant idea! Nanti hubby datang, I nak paksa dia bawak me n my daughter naik commuter boat ni la.

D said...

Orait!!! Details and details pliz keep yeah... *Mental note: next trip to London - lunch at Halwafy's and boat ride along Thames with Halwafy's pointers! serious eh!

MA & Brood said...

When I was there, I think my Big Bus ticket include the cruise down the Thames. But I missed the stop, and terus turun di Tower of London - which turned to be a better option to me. Tak puas after 2 hours plus di sana.

Maybe next time I am there, nak juga take the cruise. Insya Allah.

*sambil dongak ke atas tunggu duit jatuh dari langit*

rd said...

That's a great discovery!!

Syoknya!! kalau masa sejuk pun best.. dah panas nanti lagi best la kan..

Vicky said...

That's a great tip - I will have to add that one to my site.

Personally I fancy going on London Ducktours but sadly these are not free.

Another free way to see London is to take the regular number 15 bus from Tower Hill. The bus will take you all the way from The Tower of London through the City, past St Pauls, past Trafalgar Square and on to Regent St (where Hamleys Toy Shop is) and Oxford St. It’s a double decker and so make sure to get a seat upstairs :)

Along said...

Bsetnya sejuk2...sini Mesia panas!! Dah le tengah preggers, lagi la...urghh..sweating like a pig is putting it lightly.

Mrs. Honeybee aka Umm Ali said...


Your two boys are such cuties!

If I get another chance to visit London I'd definitely get on the commuter boat down the Thames. I didn't know it was that easy and it isn't as costly as i'd originally thought! Last time we were in the city my hubby and I had to carry our 5 month-old baby boy in a sling for hours as we tour the city. You can imagine the back ache I suffered after that!

Cruising on a boat seems like a relaxing way to enjoy London with children. Will put that down on my must-do list.

Thanks for the info!

D.N.A.S said...

Yup. We took that catamaran when we were there last summer. It's a lot cheaper than those tour buses.

Arena said...


The last time I was there, I naik the tourist cruise tu with the tourist guide. Lenguh leher pandang kiri kanan ikut the touris guide punya penerangan. On your left is bla..bla... while on your right is bla..bla.. shift your view back to your left. Sejukk brrrrr..went there in autumn, but sat at the open air the whole time.. sanggup tu..hehehe.