Insiders regularly ask about what to do in London. During our latest visit to London, we did a Thames river trip that I would recommend to everyone. You need to allow a day, so not for a whistle stop visit, but if you have the time, and the weather is good, it is wonderful and also quirky.
This is it Thames River Boats . It is a very simple website, that doesn't say a lot, but it does give the times of sailings etc. We went from Westminster to Hampton Court. You buy tickets at the pier ticket office at Westminster, then go to the pier get the boat. It will not be a large, modern, state of the art vessel. We were on a small vessell, capable of taking 130 passengers. It was built in 1926, and was one of the small ships that sailed to Dunkirk to rescue troops stranded on the French beaches in 1940. It was a vessel of character. The reason the ship has to be small, is that the trip involves a couple of narrow locks, and going through them is a terrific experience.
Because the boat is small, the catering is limited. But there is a small bar with teas, coffee, beer, wine etc. The guy will also make you a toasted sandwich - ham, cheese or cheese and ham! There are also crisps and muffins. Enough to keep you going during the trip.
You get a brilliant commentary on the journey to Hampton Court. Many people buy one way tickets to Hampton Court, visit the palace, then get the train back to London, which is an easy trip
Because of the locks and tides, the time given for the journey can only be taken as approximate. So don't think the times are rigid - nature gets in the way.
If you do this trip - get to Westminster Pier very early. It is extremely popular!