Thames Barrier, London
The Thames Barrier is one of the largest movable flood barriers in the world. There is a café and information centre on the south side of the river with a small exhibition about the past, present and future of the Barrier. It explains the flood risk to London and the history and environment of the River Thames.
The Barrier is tested every month in addition to the annual test at a high spring tide. Check their website for scheduled closures.
The MV Royal Iris is moored next to the visitor centre and is one of the ferries used on the River Mersey in the 1960s and immortalised in the Gerry and the Pacemakers song 'Ferry Cross the Mersey'. Many Liverpool bands played live gigs on the ferry including The Beatles. It is now in a distressed state...but great for photos!
Address: Unity Way SE18 5NJ
Open: Thursday – Sunday weekly. See their website for opening times at different times of the year and during events or bank holidays. Tel 0208 305 4188 (Monday to Friday) or 0208 854 8028 at weekends.
Entry cost: A public Riverside walkway provides ample free views of the barrier. The prices for a self-led visit to the information centre are: Adult £4.15, Senior (over 60) £3.65, Child (under 16) £2.65. Family ticket (up to 2 adults and 3 children) £11.00. Disability discount offered on above prices. Group packages are also available
Useful info: The View Café offers refreshments, snacks and light lunches with an outside balcony, picnic benches and play area. There is parking on site for cars and coaches, parking fee applies.