23 Feb 2017 — Thames River Sightseeing
After your Thames river cruise and you return to Westminster Pier, why not take in a few of the sights nearby?
Just across the road from Westminster tube station is the seat of the British government at the Palace of Westminster which is the home of the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The first thing you’ll see is the Elizabeth Tower which is more commonly referred to as Big Ben. Big Ben is currently undergoing refurbishment, so will be closed to visitors until 2020.
Did you know… Big Ben is the name of the bell, not the tower! It is over 2 metres tall and weighs 13.7 tonnes.
If you want to take photos, you’ll get the best views of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben tower from halfway across Westminster Bridge. (With any luck, you’ll be able to get a double-decker bus in picture too!) The current bridge, which was opened in 1862, is the oldest road bridge which crosses the Thames in central London, although there has been a bridge on this site since 1750. It has seven spans – the most of any of the bridges on the Thames.
Did you know… Because of its location next to the Palace of Westminster, the bridge is now painted green in order to match the colour of the seats in the House of Commons. Find out more about the secrets of Westminster Bridge.
As you make your way back over the bridge towards Westminster Pier, you’ll see a bronze sculpture celebrating England’s first, and most famous woman warrior. Erected in 1850, the statue shows the Iceni Queen Boudica (also known as Boadicea) and her daughters on her chariot as they prepared to go into their final battle with the Romans in the year 61. The Iceni lost the battle and the war, and although Boudica survived the fight, she poisoned herself to avoid being forced into slavery.
Did you know… Urban myth has it that Boudica is buried beneath either platform 9 or 10 of King’s Cross Station (platform 9¾ perhaps?!)
Our ticket office is located at Westminster Pier on Victoria Embankment next to where you board our sightseeing boat. You can buy Thames cruise tickets in advance or on the day. Our hop-on/ hop off Thames river cruise boat service runs daily and it’s really popular with locals and tourists who use it to travel to the Tower of London. We look forward to seeing you there!
View our Tower of London offer.