While London has one of the best underground rail networks in the world, in fact it was the very first of its kind on our ever-evolving planet, there’s an awful lot of commuters, locals and tourists who genuinely dislike the whole experience. Not to be sniffed at, it’s one of the safest transport networks on Earth, is kept as clean as it possibly can be, and is staffed by a team who generally have a great sense of humour and a real passion for working with London’s diverse and inquisitive public. Pillars of safety and knowledge, observing the staff on the tubes can often be a real treat…
Getting back to the point, many people find it cramped, claustrophobic and intimidatingly crowded, and we at Function Fixers wonder why we still choose this method when there’s a brilliant alternative staring us right in the face…or at least staring at the entrance to London Waterloo. If you go out of the station towards the London Eye, you’ll come across a pier for the River Bus.
What a fantastic thing. Spotlessly clean, spacious, family-friendly and with enormous windows looking out onto the city, this is fast becoming the preferred method of transport for the disgruntled, cramped Londoner.
Just £6.80 for an adult ticket will get you from Waterloo all the way to Greenwich, providing a truly wonderful 35 minute long experience. Instead of musty smells, overly-rubbed shoulders and a strict rule that you absolutely must not make eye contact with anybody ever, the River Bus gives us an opportunity to get a sense of freedom, at a great cost, and offers even better convenience. They run every 20 minutes from Waterloo to North Greenwich, stopping briefly at various piers along the way to drop off and collect passengers. There are lots of boats sailing lots of routes, and many have open air decks so you can even get some sunshine on your skin before a day stuck in the office, or watch the sunset over London on your way to a concert.
A travelcard on the River Bus is just £4.80 – and there’s no tourist attraction or landmark that can’t be accessed as easily by the river as it can by the underground network. You may have to take a light stroll from some harbours, but generally, all of them are very well-placed for city roaming, both on business and for pleasure.
There’s also the huge advantage of having a bar on board, and the produce is surprisingly good value. Sandwiches, soft drinks and bottled beers & wines can all be bought at a fair cost, and you’re guaranteed to be presented with an outgoing, helpful and jolly member of staff. Being altogether more relaxed, you’ll also be treated to (often hilarious) announcements while the city goes by – mainly for the tourists’ benefit of course, but equally enjoyable for locals alike. Our favourite was: “Keep your heads inside the boat, ladies & gentlemen, heads all inside the boat – the Tower of London has grown arms and will steal your face”. Brilliant.
It’s a fantastic way to get around London, as well as being a memorable and affordable treat.
Call Function Fixers for more information about boat trips in and around London!