Showing posts with label Thames River. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thames River. Show all posts

Monday, 4 August 2014

Making the Most of the River Thames in London

For a long time Londoners almost did as much as they could to ignore the Thames.  It was associated with pollution, mud, and gritty port areas.  They would cross the river over the many bridges, hardly looking upstream or downstream.

Over the past couple of decades the Thames has become much more popular, and is now very much valued, particularly by visitors to London.  It still looks very dirty: the continual rising and falling of the river levels due to the tides mean the bottom of the river is continually being stirred up.  However the water now has little pollution and a wide variety of fish and other water life occupy the river.

The Thames is being increasingly used for transport.  There have always been rather tatty cruise boats to take tourists for outings on the river.  However over the past decade or so there has also been a fast growing river transport business for professional people travelling to and fro work.  This business is likely to continue to grow over the coming years.

Also large numbers of people are now wanting to live in accommodation, mainly upmarket apartments, which have direct views of the river.  Major developments are coming about from around the Brentford area, over the river from Kew Gardens, as far to the east as Woolwich.  The latest major, and very expensive residential development is around the Battersea Power Station: it is very easy to pay one or two million pounds to a luxury apartment there.

But the river is being made much more accessible to everyday Londoners and visitors as well.  These days you can walk virtually beside the river from its origin west of Oxford all the way to Woolwich and beyond.  There are many attractive sights along the way including beautiful countryside, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court.

I would encourage anyone to see and enjoy as much of the Thames as you can, although I have to admit that I don't walk alongside it often enough myself.  This video will give you some idea of what the Thames has to offer you in London.

Friday, 4 July 2014

Building a Garden Bridge over the Thames

There are exciting plans to build a new bridge over the Thames.

This will have several distinctive aspects.  For a start, it will not be possible to cross the bridge by car or bus.  The bridge is primarily intended for use by pedestrians, although possibly cyclists will be able to use it as well.  And, distinctly, most of the bridge surface area will be taken up by plants.

This bridge, expected to cost around £150 million to build, is the brainchild of Joanna Lumley, the comedian.  The design is by Thomas Heatherwick.

Stretching around 1,200 feet, the bridge will connect Temple with the South Bank, situated between Waterloo Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.  Construction is due to begin in 2015, with completion in 2017.

People will have the opportunity to wander around the bridge as they cross from one side to the other, stopping now and again to admire the plants and maybe talk with other people who are enjoying the unique river crossing.