We’re set for a scorcher of a summer, so let’s take advantage of our riverside location and enjoy these five fabulous aquatic pursuits, says Cortlyn Stovall
1 Boat Trip to Thames Barrier
Interested in a little relaxed sightseeing? Thames River Services offers a Royal River Thames cruise from St Katherine’s Dock to Greenwich via the Thames Barrier. If you have the time to stop at the barrier, there is an exhibition with a 10 minute video and a working scale model, riverside walkways, children’s play area and Thames Barrier Cafe. Tickets for the boat cruise start around £4 and entrance to the barrier is £3.75.
See thamesriverservices.co.uk and visitlondon.com
2 River Rat Race
Get ready to get wet and wild at London’s first ever aquatic obstacle course, taking place on Saturday 16 August. Rat Race Adventure Sports and Shelter, the charity that helps people struggling with homelessness across the country, are co-hosting the 10km water course, where participants will run, jump, swim, kayak and climb their way around The Docklands in East London. Entry to the event starts from £48, with a minimum of £10 from each participant going to Shelter.
3 Buy a houseboat
Looking to make your summer splash more permanent? Be the captain of luxury living as lavish houseboats are taking residence in docks along the Thames, such as St Katherine’s Docks, Surrey Quays and Millwall Docks. Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward recently sold a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom houseboat with a spacious reception and large decking area on South Dock Marina, SE16, for £300,000. So for immaculate views and prime sunbathing, get on board. See kfh.co.uk
4 Swim at Charlton Lido
The newly refurbished Charlton Lido and Lifestyle Club is set to be a fitness hotspot this summer. A 50-metre heated pool is the perfect setting for competitively swimming laps, exercising or just taking a relaxing dip with family. After you work up an appetite, the cafeteria and sun terraces along the pool offer stunning views of the park. But make sure to bring the sunscreen so you can catch a bit of sunshine while you lounge. Swimming is £6 for adults and £4 for kids.
Hornfair Park, Shooters Hill Road SE18 4LX; 020 8856 7389; better.org.uk/leisure/charlton-lido
5 RIB Voyages
For those who like their boat trips with a side of adrenaline, RIB Voyages offers multiple high-speed tours down the River Thames. Routes take you round-trip from Embankment Pier to either Canary Wharf or all the way to the Thames Flood Barrier, depending on how long you’re up for the supersonic challenge. If you don’t feel the need for speed, maybe stick to renting a pedalo on Greenwich Park Boating Lake. Tickets start at £36 for the RIB experience.