The most fascinating tour of London: Take in sights such as Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge from the Thames…

on a ‘BUS’

  • The MBNA Thames Clipper operates Monday to Friday along the Thames
  • It passes many key tourist sights as it sails from Putney to central London
  • For as little as 7.20, you can get front-seat views of Houses of Parliament




Today the nation s eyes will be on Putney for the start of the annual Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. But you don t need to be an elite rower to experience the joys of this stretch of the Thames because visitors to the capital can catch a river bus from Putney to the centre of London and beyond. Last week I was delighted to experience the pleasures of river bus travel by taking the RB6 downriver from Putney.

MBNA Thames Clippers runs a service every 20 minutes between key London piers

The service operates from Monday to Friday and is designed to serve commuters. The vessel departing at 8.30am was a large sightseeing craft with lots of seats and outside space for superb views as we travelled up past Chelsea and Wandsworth sights along the way included Battersea Power Station, which is currently being redeveloped, and the Peace Pagoda in Battersea Park. In less than 30 minutes we were passing the MI6 building at Vauxhall Cross, Tate Britain, and the Houses of Parliament.

Then the sights came thick and fast: the London Eye, the National Theatre and Festival Hall, the Savoy. Round trip: A river bus passes the Eye as it travels up the Thames river from Putney to the centre of London

This particular service ended at Blackfriars, where we waited ten minutes for the next downriver service. This next stretch is the star section of the Thames: from St Paul s to the Tower of London, with great views of city sights such as Tower Bridge.

Beyond this, towards Canary Wharf, there are enough relics of wharves and docks to recall when London was the crossroads of world trade.


MBNA Thames Clippers (thamesclippers.com1) is the leading river bus service on the Thames, running a service every 20 minutes between key London piers including North Greenwich for the O2, Greenwich, Canary Wharf, Tower, London Bridge, Embankment and London Eye for Waterloo, as well as several residential piers. In April 2013, the company won the contract to run a river bus service from Putney to Blackfriars, which allows the boats to make additional stops at Putney, Wandsworth Riverside, Chelsea Harbour and Cadogan Pier. An adult all-zones single fare costs from 7.20.


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