River Thames is not just a river, but also one of London’s most priced attractions. Rarely will tourists travel across nations continents apart, to watch a river, when they predictably have many rivers in the neighbourhood. Yet they do, not to watch longest river in the United Kingdom, River Severn, but to watch the Kingdom’s second longest river. Why you ask. Well, the reasons are innumerable and being a part of London’s cultural heritage is one of them.
Thames flows through the very heart of London coming from southern England through Oxford where it is known as River Isis. From oxford, the river flows to Reading, then Henley-on-Thames and then Windsor. Thereafter, the river reaches Gloucestershire at Thames Head before ultimately reaching Thames Estuary and draining into the North Sea. Unique to River Thames however, is being the sole drainage for the entirety of Greater London. That is not all. This is only river in Europe and in the world, whose entire length has been classified as a national trail.
By consensus, River Thames won the 2010 International Riverprize for being a trendsetter in environmental conservation. Here is a river that pocketed over $350,000, and won the highest environmental award and honor in the world for being just that, a river. It is possible to guess that most of the judges who awarded that prize have visited the river when in London. Indeed, the dignity and wonder, the atmospheric presence, and the compelling appeal of river have made it earn and retain its rank as one of London’s tourist destinations. Frequent tours, activities along the river, and the accompanying accommodations, have only increased its attractiveness as a tourism destination in Europe.