Thames Barrier |

Thames Barrier

Thames Barrier

The Thames Barrier was built to protect London against flooding, the Thames Barrier is considered to be the second largest movable flood barrier in the world.

The Barrier spans 520 metres across the River Thames and has ten steel gates. These rotating gates are hollow and fill with water when they are submerged. They empty as they emerge from the river. For maintenance and test purposes, the Thames Barrier is operated once every month. The times and dates can be obtained through the Environment Agency.

Why go to the Thames Barrier:

Enjoy this impressive feat of modern engineering, described by many as the eighth wonder of the world. The Thames Barrier can be viewed from both sides of the river, as well as by boat tours that frequently stop here.

The Visitor Centre gives you a detailed view of it's construction and purpose, through photographs and video. The centre also has a reasonably priced Cafeteria, as well as picnic and children play areas.  There are some tours of the Barrier but you are advised to contact the visitor centre in advance to find out about these. 

Did you know?

The site of the Thames Barrier at Woolwich was chosen because of the relatively straightness of it's banks, and the underlying chalk. This was considered strong enough to support the Barrier.

Opening Times:

The Barrier can be viewed from the river at any time.

The Visitors Centre Openings:

10.30am - 4.30pm (April - December)

11.00am - 3.30pm (January - March)

*It is closed for a short period over Christmas and the New Year.

How to get there:


Docklands Light Railway (DLR) - Get off at North Greenwich Station.


Get off at Charlton Station.


Routes 161, 177, 180 and 472 pass close by.


There are a number of riverboats operating to and from Greenwich and Westminster Piers.


1 Unity Way,


London, SE18 5NJ.


020 8 305 4188

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