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Thames River cruise to Kew Gardens

We have a free day before our Best of London tour. We visited Kew Gardens 34 years ago and remember a very pleasant day. I see there is a river boat that goes from Westminster to Kew. Has anyone done that? Is it worthwhile or is the tube a better choice? We'd like to spend about 4 hours at Kew Garden's and have some time to do other things in London that day. Does the boat eat up too much time?

Posted by
7175 posts

90 minutes is the scheduled journey time from Westminster Pier to Kew by riverboat.

31 minutes is the scheduled journey time from Westminster to Kew Gardens by Tube on District Line.

You may prefer the river boat on the return journey so you have the approaching London skyline. Summer departures from Kew at 16:30, 17:30, 18:30. Check the sunset hour for the time of your visit.

Posted by
16938 posts

The Thames boats are one of our favorite ways to get around greater London---the other being walking. David's suggestion of using the boat for the return is a good one--so you will see the London skyline in front of you (but of course you could always look back as youngomthenother way).

The tube is not the only other way to go. Went to Kew three times duringnour London staylast May, taking a regular train from Waterloo and a bus the short distance from there to the main gate at Kew.

Posted by
80 posts

Last summer I took the boat back to London from Hampton Court. Take the boat coming into London instead of leaving so you can see the London skyline. It took about three hours and I loved it. It was nice to just sit and relax and enjoy the scenery. So many times we just rush, rush, rush. They also sell beverages (beer and wine too) and snacks on the boat. This was one of my fondest memories of my trip.

Posted by
110 posts

We considered the boat when we went in May - at that point, the return schedule was far later than when we left Kew. So we took the tube instead and managed to make it to St Pauls in time for Sunday Evensong.

My in-laws did take the boat when they went in August and had nothing but amazing things to say about the return. Only catch: be sure to map out where the pier is. They had a hard time finding it.

Posted by
2716 posts

Thanks again RS community for great tips! We will take public transport there, the boat back.

Posted by
101 posts

My wife and I took the Thames cruise to Kew this past July and enjoyed it highly. BUT be aware that it is decidedly cooler out on the water and also that the weather can change very quickly. What started as a pleasant river cruise turned out to be quite chilly before it turned into a torrential downpour in the last half hour. We took the Tube back; indeed, the neighborhood right around the Kew station is quite quaint.