Your Ultimate Yacht Day Guide For London

Your Ultimate Yacht Day Guide For London
River Thames from The Shard

River Thames from The Shard | Photo by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

London is one of the world’s most beloved capitals and, with over 20 million visitors in 2019 alone, it’s also one of the most-visited metropolises on earth. Exploring the ancient city by the River Thames is not only extraordinarily picturesque it’s a fascinating way for everyone to experience the city whether they’re locals looking for a weekend activity or visitors exploring Greater London for the first time. With bridge-spotting, pier-hopping, castle-visiting, garden and market-wandering all on the agenda, plus much more, it’s time to take London from your very own luxury private yacht charter!

Discover London via the River Thames

The lifeblood of London is the River Thames and so much of the city’s social, cultural, sporting, food and lifestyle attractions await you when you embark from its banks for a day out. Of course there are truly infinite things to do in London and this is part of why discovering the city via the Thames makes so much sense. Rather than getting stuck behind a double-decker bus or trying to figure out the Tube, you can take to the water in private luxury where you’ll stop at the charming piers of the Thames at your own pace, have a pint at one of the myriad pubs along the way, and see exactly what makes London an unmissable global destination.

How to plan an itinerary to discover London by yacht

London is the home of British pop culture, the Royal Family, and over 2000 years of history so it’s understandable that planning an itinerary can be tough. To make your time in London unforgettable ‒ be it a staycation or a whistle-stop tour ‒ and ensure you experience the true spirit of the city, make a private yacht your primary mode of transport. This makes for a magical day discovering the British capital and ensures you’re immersing yourself in the history, culture and diversity of this global melting pot while sailing the river that made the city possible.

When you set out to put together a London itinerary with the Thames as a foundation, you naturally plan to visit attractions and book activities that show you the old and new of the city. We recommend focusing on identifying your landmarks then researching the area they’re located in as there’s often a cluster of incredible things to see and do. This also helps with plotting the best times to visit different spots from early morning to late evening all while soaking up the British capital in all its glory. Here we’re helping you plan with our own London Yacht Hire preferred itinerary for taking in the Thames so you can discover London from pier to pier in chartered luxury!

Things to do when you hire a yacht for a day in London: Here’s our London Yacht Hire must-visit spots

Sail away from Westminster to Greenwich and back again with this itinerary that will take you from daybreak to late night London.

Early Morning: board your private yacht charter & promenade gorgeous gardens

Start your day bright and early with a private chauffeur pick-up from your accommodation to your chosen pier. When you board Lady Kate, you’ll be welcomed with a traditional English Breakfast tea and light pastries to tide you over until your proper breakfast. While the majority of your day will be spent between Westminster and Greenwich, once you board we sail downriver for some time spent in the famous Ranelagh Gardens and Battersea Park that are on opposing banks of the Thames. Spend some time enjoying early morning amid stunning nature and gardens (you can even pop into the Battersea Zoo if you’re with kids), visit the café in Battersea Park for breakfast, then you’ll reboard to sail upriver.

Mid-morning: sail to Westminster

Savour midmorning on the Thames and take in the sights passing you by as you sail beneath Vauxhall Bridge and Lambeth Bridge on your way towards Westminster Bridge. As you approach Big Ben, you’ll see Lambeth Palace and the Palace of Westminster (or the Houses of Parliament as they’re more commonly known!).

Palace of Westminster & ‘Big Ben’

Palace of Westminster & ‘Big Ben’ | Photo by Eva Dang on Unsplash

Late morning: visit Buckingham Palace

Once you’ve arrived at Westminster, walk up to Buckingham Palace and the home of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. Time your visit with the iconic ‘Changing The Guard’, a truly unique and utterly British spectacle, before savouring a coffee or another pot of tea at the Palace’s Garden Café. On your return journey to Lady Kate, you can visit Westminster Abbey which is now a World Heritage Site and an incomparable historical landmark.

Early afternoon: lunch buffet on the river

When you reboard, it’s time for a delicious catered buffet lunch in a million-dollar setting: the River Thames aka your own private restaurant! Spot many of the London skyline’s unmissable sights from the sun loungers at the front and rear of the yacht including the Whitehall Gardens, Waterloo Bridge, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Millennium Bridge and Southwark Bridge.

Mid-afternoon: landmark spotting & market wandering

Port at the London Bridge, be wowed by the UK’s tallest building The Shard, and then get a taste of the city’s rich market culture with a walk up to Borough Market. Pick up some artisanal treats from the market’s myriad stalls to enjoy onboard later as you sail further out past the Victorian-era Tower Bridge and the infamous Tower of London.

London Eye

London Eye | Photo by David Henderson on Unsplash

Afternoon Tea: maritime history & high sea hijinks

Sail out into the historic maritime area of Greenwich and pop into the National Maritime Museum to step back in time to British naval history. Then, head further out towards the Thames Barrier for a breathtaking taste of James Bond water sport sailing courtesy of your expert yacht captain. After this breathtaking high-speed exhilaration, you’ll have earned a cup of tea and one of your treats from the market!

Dusk: sunset sailing

We all adore watching the sunset from a stunning vantage and as you head back to Greenwich you’ll have an unparallelled late afternoon view over the river. Indulge in a package that includes bar choices and, with a glass of bubbly in hand, you’ll have a taste of the high seas as you sail by the Cutty Sark Maritime Museum.

View from Millennium Bridge with Tower Bridge and The Shard in the distance

View from Millennium Bridge with Tower Bridge and The Shard in the distance | Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash

Evening: dinner & entertainment

Now the sun has set, it’s almost dinnertime and the Victoria Embankment Gardens are the ideal spot to port for the West End. Enjoy the spirit of this bustling entertainment district, find a restaurant for dinner and make the most of last-minute tickets to a musical or theatre production. Alternatively, make your way back to Lady Kate to sail across to Waterloo for a ride on the London Eye Observation Wheel and be wowed with the spectacular aerial view of sprawling Greater London.

Late night: sail back to your pick-up pier

After your evening out, it’s time to wind down from an amazing day discovering London on the River Thames. Sail back under the stars to your pick-up pier with a pre-booked chauffeur ready to take you back to your accommodation. Your final moments on the river are sure to be ones you remember forever and with so much to take in, we’re sure it won’t be your last luxury yacht charter in London.

There’s always more to see and do in London and on the River Thames, just as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “London is the epitome of our times, and the Rome of today.”

Contact us to discuss putting together your own custom sightseeing itinerary of this global city. With a range of packages and options for special occasions or events, London Yacht Hire will make your yachting experience unique and truly memorable.