Thames Walks - Art & History

 From Fog & Frost to Fire & Flood

    "There are two things scarce matched in the Universe.
    The Sun in Heaven and the Thames on Earth.”
    - Sir Walter Raleigh (1552-1618)




"Fog on the Thames" 2012 by Mary Swan

New series of guided walks along the Thames celebrating possibly the greatest wonder of London; the ‘Royal River’ in history and art.

These walks explore the history of the Thames and some of its famous bridges and other landmarks. They also focus on how the Thames inspired a number of artists over the centuries.  Listen to the story of the Great Fire of 1666 that destroyed most of the City of London. The Great Fire was depicted in a number of paintings. Find out how the Fire of the Houses of Parliament in 1834 inspired J.M.W. Turner to create some of his greatest works.

Explore the fascinating world of the old London Bridge which with its many houses was more like a street then a bridge. Images of the old London Bridge with all the details including the severed heads are some of the most fascinating views of old London.

Listen to the tales of Frost Fairs and all the exciting possibilities that frozen Thames offered. There is a number of great images with fine details depicting the frost fairs with booths, as well as puppet shows and roundabouts and even bull-and-bear baiting.

While the Thames and London look stunning in Venetian light of Canaletto’s paintings, it is rather fog and smog that have always been part of London life and inspiration for artists and photographers. Oscar Monet created some of the most stunning paintings of foggy, misty London at the beginning of 20th century. On the 11th November 2013 a very thick fog engulfing the Thames inspired a contemporary artist Mary Swan to paint breath-taking images including the one of Tower Bridge that you can see above.  Finally, listen to the stories about flooded London; from the fishes swimming in the Great Hall at Westminster and the filled moat of the Tower of London to the construction of the Thames Barrier.

1 From Tower Bridge to London Bridge.
The First walk From Fog &Frost to Fire & Flood
It starts outside Tower Hill underground station and finishes near London Bridge.