The Best Of London From Embankment Pier

We write regularly about attractions and events within walking distance of the hotel, or a short tube or bus ride away – but those aren’t the only forms of transport in our neighbourhood. With the Thames so nearby it’d be a crime not to get out on the river, and Embankment Pier, under 10 minutes’ walk away, offers a range of circular sightseeing cruises and point-to-point riverbuses. So whether you’re looking to relax and see London from a different angle, and want a different way of reaching Greenwich or the O2, it’s a brilliant option. Here’s a look at some of the attractions and area you can reach on the water:

Greenwich Pier

Time from Embankment: 40 minutes

Line: RB1

Historic Greenwich is home to the Royal Observatory, the National Maritime Museum and the Cutty Sark. With lively pubs, a colourful market and regular events in its parks and museum grounds, it’s a popular part of town with strong maritime links – so arriving by boat is perfect…

Tower Pier

Time from Embankment: 20 minutes

Line: RB1

No prizes for guessing what the main attractions are here: Tower Pier is alongside the Tower of London, with Tower Bridge in the background. On the other side of Tower Bridge is St Katherine’s Dock, and just over the bridge are the redeveloped warehouses of Shad Thames, packed with bars and restaurants and home to the Design Museum.

Bankside Pier

Time from Embankment: 10 minutes

Line: RB1, RB2

Bankside is the stop for the eastern end of the South Bank cultural complex – think Shakespeare’s Globe and Tate Modern, which looms over you as you disembark. There are places to eat and drink up and down the riverside, and a stroll across the iconic Millennium Bridge outside the Tate will bring you to St Paul’s Cathedral.

London Bridge Pier

Time from Embankment: 15 minutes

Line: RB1

A little way east of the bridge itself, London Bridge Pier is a stone’s throw from HMS Belfast, the London Dungeon and the shops of Hays Galleria. It’s also close to the riches of Borough Market, where you can pick up anything from fresh fruit and veg to obscure spices to charcuterie. If exploring gives you a thirst, stop in at the Market Porter for real ales, or the Rake Bar for craft beer.

London Eye Pier

Time from Embankment: 5 minutes

Line: RB1

Again, no prizes for guessing what you’ll see when you step off the boat. Right next to London’s famous big wheel, this is the pier for the western end of the South Bank – the Royal Festival Hall, National Theatre and British Film Institute.

Millbank Pier

Time from Embankment: 5 minutes

Line: RB2

Millbank Pier isn’t quite in the thick of things, but it’s the stop for Tate Britain; and nearby Pimlico, an underexplored area south of Victoria station, is full of elegant town houses, hidden mews and quiet pubs. It’s worth a leisurely wander.

Putney Pier

Time from Embankment: 40 minutes

Line: RB6

This popular riverside suburb of west London has Bishop’s Park, a pleasant garden by the water, and a good mix of modern bars and traditional pubs. Barnes Common and the London Wetlands Centre are a little further west on the south bank of the river.

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