"Old Father Thames" is the longest and best known river in England and has inspired many writers and artists. In this walk, we move against the flow from Tower Bridge to the Houses of Parliament as we explore how the river and the city have shaped each other. Most of the walk will follow the recently regenerated and pedestrianized South Bank, where we will pass the rebuilt Shakespearean Globe Theatre, ruins of a medieval palace and the former Bank side Power Station, which has been transformed into London's most recent art museum, the Tate Modern. Royal palaces and modern government buildings will illuminate the river's role as a power base; old warehouses and wharfs will illustrate the working river and the bridges will tell the story of the development of areas previously divided by the river.
In addition, we will chart how London has cleaned up its act – and its river – since the ‘Big Stink' of 1858, allowing the Thames to once again become a diverse wildlife habitat with over 120 species of fish and an ever-growing population of Chinese mitten crabs. We will finish our walk at one of the latest riverside attractions, the London Eye, where you may want to retrace your steps as you enjoy a bird's-eye view of the river from one of the world's tallest ferris wheels.
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