River Thames boat trip from Westminster to Hampton Court Palace with Tony

Portrait of Tony – oil on canvas 2010


Every few months, Tony and I get together to go to a gallery or the theatre – yesterday we took a boat ride from Westminster to Hampton Court Palace.      For years, I have been telling my visitors how fantastic this is….and so I thought it would be a good idea to actually experience it.

Weather wise a little disappointing in that we only saw blue skies for about two hours before boarding the boat….Here’s evidence of that.

From the Westminster Pier  (which is right next to Westminster Bridge and Westminster Palace – (the meeting place of the House of Commons and House of Lords) looking across at the London Eye and South Bank.


We set off for the four hour trip at precisely 12 noon…..as shown by one of London’s most famous landmarks, Big Ben.

Taken from the  boat. 


Meandering through the heart of London the boat follows the route that King Henry VIII travelled 500 years ago in the Royal Barge on his way to his favourite Palace at Hampton Court.

I was born in London nearly seventy years ago, and so have seen many changes to the city and skyline, especially during the  past twenty years.    There are far too many points of interest to show in this blog, but as an example here is the new MI5 Building at the south end of Vauxhall Bridge.


Another of London’s famous landmarks….the old Battersea Power Station, now  being converted into multi million pound flats, shopping centre and restaurants.      Apparently each chimney is being renovated/replaced at a cost of £10 million pounds!       All of this by a company out of Malaysia.


Parts of London, such as Wandsworth, where my Grandmother had a home on Wandsworth Common, are unrecognisable from the river….with again multi million pound flats flanking the shore line.

However, as we leave the hustle and bustle of inner London we begin to meander through the attractive suburbs of this huge city.    Passing through Chiswick and Putney where we saw many boathouses, scullers and rowing crews.

I am very familiar with this boathouse (Ranelagh) on the river bank at Putney because it’s where I have given many painting workshops for the Fulham/Hammersmith Arts Society – SOFAP



As we moved out through Fulham, Barnes and the Teddington and Richmond Lochs, we saw more and more wildlife.     Today, the River Thames is alive and well…with over 100 breeds of fish.   

I can remember as a child after World War 2, the River was heavily polluted and all the buildings in London were  black from the burning of coal.     When I was about ten years old in 1956 – coal was banned and the buildings were sand blasted to reveal the golden colour stone that we see today…..and thankfully the River was cleaned up.


Richmond Lock with Tony in the foreground. 


As we leave Richmond, and move past the little island of Thames Ditton we see our first glimpse of Hampton Court Palace with its famous brick chimneys, first built in 1514. 


The front of Hampton Court Palace.


Throughout the four hours,  the crew gave an informative and at times very humorous commentary.    I can’t recommend enough for visitors to London and for people who live here.

Tony and I had coffee and cake in the Hampton Court coffee shop, and then I took the bus home (only five minutes for me) and Tony the train from Hampton Court Train Station to Putney.

I can recommend now with real conviction….and would definitely do this again.    Thames River Boats runs this trip from April through October.    Timetables, prices (very affordable)  on the internet.

Enjoy the day.,

A Bientôt

19 thoughts on “River Thames boat trip from Westminster to Hampton Court Palace with Tony

  1. Bushka

    Super post Janet!!! Took me down Memory Lane…familiar places…..each of these…and more hold many pleasant memories for me….Lovely! Thanks for sharing……Yes! I remember your posting about Tony…especially the striking portrait of Tony. Hugs! ❤

  2. teagan geneviene

    Janet, I’m always so impressed with your ability to capture such beautiful portraits with watercolors. You are so very gifted. I enjoyed the entire post and the photos too. Lovely, just lovely. Have a thriving Thursday. Hugs

  3. Jet Eliot

    I so enjoyed this boat tour, Janet! It is so wonderful and enlightening to be a tourist in our own hometowns, adds a deeper level of appreciation, and oh my goodness, there is so much depth and history to London. Your photos are fantastic. Big Ben is looking marvelous, and I really liked seeing the MI5 bldg., and Hampton Court Palace. Your portrait of Tony is exquisite.

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Good morning, Jet and thank you so much for this lovely comment. Sometimes we don’t really look in our own backyard…so much to see and learn. Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Janet. 🙂

  4. Susan S.

    thank you Janet. I found that very informative since I’ve never been to London but these pics make me want to see it. I’m on Facebook and I see your work on Jille’s site. Thanks for all the beauty you share.
    Susan ……West Chester, PA

  5. snowbird

    I did love your portrait of Tony! What a beautiful looking man. This is a tour I shall certainly take now, how marvelous to see the wildlife and know there are that many species of fish in the river…..I loved the pic showing how close the river was to the pavement! Marvelous stuff!xxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      It was a lovely day….and Tony is an interesting subject to paint…and yes how wonderful to see a positive development re the wildlife. When you come to London, we could do it together…Janet. xxx

  6. Gill McGrath

    Thank you for sharing this lovely tour on river. My dad was born and brought up in Wandsworth and how the place hs changed since we were children and used to visit the family there! Love the painting of Tony….. and the photo! xxxxx

    1. janetweightreed10 Post author

      Oh my goodness how it has changed. It is a completely different world than when I knew it as a child. I was born in the South London Woman’s Hospital on Clapham Common…..when people ask me where i was born, I say ‘Clapham Common’ – which is always amusing:)xx


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