From Hampton Court to Greenwich, the Tate Modern to the Tower of London, some of the finest highlights of the capital can be found on the banks of the mighty Thames. For generations, the river has provided a source of inspiration for artists and anyone with a spirit of adventure and romance.
Londoners have long been attracted to life by the river. Following the Second World War, there was a push to develop the areas up and down the Thames for city dwellers seeking solace from the everyday grind. There were no widespread package holidays until the 70s, so following the war, many plots on the edge of the Thames were carved up into sometimes narrow, but quite long plots. Typically, dwellings were constructed from wood, often bungalows because of the height restrictions in place. Some didn’t even have running water.
Over the years these humble wooden holiday homes have been extended or replaced by far more modern houses. There are fewer of these concentrations of wooden constructions, with a number of them now replaced by expensive high-tech homes. Many people have bought a plot on the river with a historical home, a year later you’ll see the rustic hut is now a glamorous house built on stilts, with many councils requiring new homes to be built up off the ground. Some of these neighbourhoods are tucked away in small pockets, so you often find a lovely community spirit.
‘The River Thames offers a diversity of homes and locations to choose from, including luxury penthouses to houseboats and riverside mansions. What’s clear is that wherever you choose to live along the river, you’re likely to come across others with an appreciation for the particular romance and charm of life on the banks of the Thames,’ says Soren Ravaux of Dexters Chelsea Harbour.