The River Thames is the longest river in England, stretching 215 miles through London from Gloucestershire and into the Thames Estuary from where it flows into the North Sea.
The river has a rise and fall of as much as 23 feet, like the drainage basin for the whole of London. The river is also the source of around 50 tributaries, and its flow includes more than 80 islands.
When they arrived in the country in 43 AD, the Romans first made use of the River Thames. The Thames became a prime strategic location for the empire with the creation of fortifications along the banks of the river, and the Roman Empire ruled the Thames and what was then known as Londinium until its collapse in the 5th century.
Because of its abundant minerals and easy transport via the river, the Thames has become a hub for the trade of pottery since the Middle Ages. The Saxons and the Vikings clashed over the use of the river throughout the 9th century. It was intended to be used by the Saxons for fishing and milling, while the Vikings saw the river as a route for the import and export of goods.
The River Thames offers a wide range of riverside attractions if you are planning on staying in the center of the city. For example, in the guise of the National Theatre and the British Film Institute, the South Bank provides stunning views of the river while also providing ample theatre and film attractions.
Further down the river, overlooking the Thames, you will find Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, while extending towards Tower Bridge is the Borough Market’s ancient foodie paradise. The London Bridge region promises even more historic riverside intrigue, both of which are replicas of Elizabethan era architectural icons, the Golden Hinde and Globe Theatre.