tuned in last June to watch Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee celebration with myriads of boats parading down the Thames for hours! Even though it was pouring rain, it did not dampen the spirits of over a million people lining the shores - or the billions watching from home! (photo courtesy Google)
Having visited England a few times, I have had the pleasure of being on the Thames when I travelled to Hampton Court Palace (by coach) and returned to the city by boat. As soon as you're outside the boundaries of the city of London, the sights are wonderful. Lush green lawns slope down to the shores as you pass the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew and historical Richmond. The river winds and twists its way into the bustle of crowded London.
train out to Essex, north-east of London. I got off at Billercay and Chris, a blogging buddy, met me there. We drove to her home nearby where I met the husband Mike and the darling dog Nell. It was so nice to be out of the hustle and bustle of London and in a beautiful suburb only 20 minutes away. After coffee and getting to know each other a bit, we all left for a divine drive out to Southend-by-Sea where the Thames River flows into the North Sea. What a different view of the river! Here it widens out so much that it's hard to see the other side. It was a very windy day but we managed a lovely stroll along the waterfront where I managed to get some photos of the palm trees swaying in the wind, sea birds, and whitecaps on the water. Across the street, I got some shots of the gorgeous gardens and some of the hotels and buildings that loomed over the cliff above.
Apparently, this little area is famous for its summer atmosphere and the longest pier in the world! It is also the home of the original Rossi Ice Cream on the Western Esplanade. This year is its 80th anniversary of making premium artisan ice-cream with fresh milk, butter, and double cream. Since the day was a bit cool, we chose to sit outside on the patio with coffee but I absolutely must return on a hot summer's day to taste the ice-cream! (photo courtesy Google)
As you can see, the Thames River has lots to offer along its 364 kilometres. From the regions of Oxford, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, through Windsor, Richmond, London and all the way to the tidal section on the North Sea, you'll encounter rolling hills, palaces and castles, a thriving capital city, and even sandy beaches! I hope you enjoy the short slideshow of some of my photos of the river in both London and at Southend-by-Sea. Only #1 and #16 are courtesy of Google...the rest are my shots!
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