The Thames Barrier is a movable flood barrier in the River Thames east of Central London.Put The Thames Barrier on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our London trip itinerary app.
It has been operational since 1984 and prevents the floodplain of all but the easternmost boroughs of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea. When needed, it is closed (raised) during high tide; at low tide it can be opened to restore the river's flow towards the sea. Built approximately 3km due east of the Isle of Dogs, its northern bank is in Silvertown in the London Borough of Newham and its southern bank is in the New Charlton area of the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The report of Sir Hermann Bondi on the North Sea flood of 1953 affecting parts of the Thames Estuary and parts of London was instrumental in the building of the barrier.
Tours To The Thames Barrier
Thames Barrier Speedboat to/from Embankment Pier - 75 minutes BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $70
Duration: 1 hour 15 minutes
Thames High-Speed Zone RIB Cruise in London BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $60
Duration: 40 minutes
Westminster to Greenwich via the Thames Barrier Sightseeing Cruise BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $18
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
The Thames Barrier Reviews
We were starting the Thames Path from this point and had hoped to get background information on the barrier (and a coffee) before starting the walk. Unfortunately quite limited opening hours so if... more »
Great spot for lunch in the Cafe and you can watch the barriers move, we choose the right day when they were closing all the gates and we went to the information centre too, we really enjoyed our... more »
I visited here by bus to check it out with view to bring nursery aged children. It will be great. Get off the bus and meander through some landscaped gardens. Then up some steps and wow! There it is! We can marvel and take photos and see the O2 and Shard on the London skyline. We can do a little walk through the tunnel under the barrier. There is a lovely grassed area with lots of picnic benches, a climbing frame and slide where we can have a snack. The all important toilets are behind the cafe and along a walkway and down some steps. They were clean. I would not take the children into the visitor centre as it would not be appropriate for them. The bus trip, seeing the Thames Barrier up close, the amazing views and a mini picnic in the play area will be just right! And all free!!
We took a gentle walk from the O2 along the Thames Path to the Thames Barrier. There is a small information centre situated below the cafe and it is well worth a visit. Excellent videos show why the barrier is required, how it was built and how it is maintained and operated. There is an excellent working model and informative panels as well. We spent the best part of an hour here early on a Saturday afternoon but were the only people there all that time! It is an excellent little exhibition and given the importance of the barrier to London, it really deserves to get far more visitors. Apart from the exhibition, it is good to see the barrier up close. The Thames Path actually goes through a tunnel through the barrier infrastructure. It all helps in getting an appreciation of this superb piece of British engineering.
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