Sail the Thames and London on a Racing Yacht
In all the hustle and bustle of a modern city it is easy to forget that so many of our ancestors would not have experienced it from the same perspective. Take London for example, where the river Thames may seem busy to us with all the tourist boats whizzing up and down and all the iconic ships moored along its length. But if you were to travel back in time even 50 years you’d have seen a very different sight.
So it’s very easy to forget that the way many people would have experienced London for the first time is on a ship, sailing up the Thames to one of the many docks that still line its banks. What better way to reconnect with a city that you may work in every day, than to re-approach it from the water. When you do you will see another side to this city and may even fall in love with it all over again.
On our Sail London experience we offer people the chance to sail to or from London from our base in Portsmouth Harbour. Sailing to London you’ll head out of Portsmouth harbour on our Class 40 racing yacht Fortissimo and then turn left out of the Solent along the South Coast. With a stiff coastal breeze you’ll experience the performance of a racing yacht as the towns begin to whizz past. The route will take you past the Seven Sisters and the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, navigating round the Garden of England and on into the Thames Estuary.
Sailing up the estuary you’ll contend with all manner of commercial ships as the river begins to narrow and London draws closer. Passing under the impressive sight of the QE2 bridge and seeing the Thames gateway welcoming you into the city. Then through the Thames barrier as the landmarks come thick and fast, the Royal Naval College at Greenwich, the O2 arena and the dizzying heights of the Docklands.
As your destination approaches you’ll find yourself thinking back to a time when the river was teeming with life, where every mooring was taken and where ships from all over the globe unloaded their magical cargoes. The wharves are quiet now but the memories of past times linger on and almost seem to re-awaken as a sailing boat goes past. As you guide Fortissimo through the bends in the river you’ll know well from the title sequence of EastEnders the spectre of Tower Bridge will loom large.
Almost as you feel like you can reach out and touch the bridge you’ll then turn right and enter into St Katherine’s Dock. This oasis of calm and tranquillity is one of London’s best kept secrets. A quiet and sheltered marina surrounded by bars and restaurants but only 5 minutes from the Tower of London and 10 minutes from the hipster bars and restaurants of Aldgate, Spitalfields and the rest of the East End. It’s an experience you won’t forget and one that we know will make you see the city through new eyes.
Alternatively, you could choose to wave a goodbye to London by water and sail away down the Thames and out to sea. This way you’ll experience all of the same sights but you’ll sail away from all of the hustle and bustle and round to the Solent and into the historic Harbour at Portsmouth.
This is always a popular experience and therefore we expect demand for places to be high. So to avoid disappointment we’d recommend booking early. If you’d like to know more about this special experience and what to expect then please check out our web page here. If you are interested in joining us you’ll also be able to book your place direct on the website or drop us an email for more details.
The dates for this experience are as follows:
Gosport -> London – 11th to 13th September 2017
London -> Gosport – 15th – 17th September 2017