Snapshot Saturday: a view of densely-packed London from the River Thames

London, WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

‘Redoubt’ tugs cargo-laden barges down the Thames. The river is as much a busy highway as it ever was.

I had to be in London, because it’s not every day my son gets a chance to sing in the Royal Festival Hall. Admittedly, he was only one of some 400 singers from Lewisham Choral Society and the Hackney Singers, who’d combined to perform Bach’s B minor Mass.  What a privilege to hear so many voices give such a finely tuned and moving performance.

The other treat was that I was seated between my daughter-in-law, and a new friend made entirely thanks to blogging.  She’d discovered my blog after following up a comment I had made on the wonderful ‘Spitalfields Life’.  She commented – often – on mine, and eventually we met. I do like this blogging malarkey.

Views from the deck.

Anyway, I got to the Festival Hall from Greenwich by way of a commuter trip along the Thames.  And on this journey I got a sense of densely packed communities, sometimes in tower blocks; and of the densely packed offices of Canary Wharf and the City.

Something old, something new ….

I saw too the Docklands area, where once tobacco, ivory, spices, coffee, tea, cocoa, wine and wool were unloaded from densely packed ships along the quayside to be processed in wharfside buildings – once busy, crowded industrial sites, and now transformed into desirable apartments and businesses.

Once a busy hive of industry, these wharfside buildings are now dwellings for people who would never have chosen to work there.

I saw the Tower of London, with the city behind showing itself developed in a manner unimaginable to the many unhappy souls who entered, never to return to life as they had known it …. or to life at all.

The Tower of London, with the now almost equally famous Gherkin behind.

This journey is a treat which some lucky Londoners can enjoy every day as part of their regular commute.

My response to this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge: ‘Dense’

31 thoughts on “Snapshot Saturday: a view of densely-packed London from the River Thames

  1. Great post and great photos. What a treat to listen to such music in such an iconic setting, knowing that your son was singing. And I totally agree about the blogging community. (Although I think I’m just nosey really and like hearing about other people’s lives ;-))

    Despite living close to London all my life, it was only in my forties that I came to appreciate it properly. I love the views from the river; the parks; the combinations of old and new; the skyline – and those little squares tucked out of the way that are filled with quiet and seem like they haven’t changed for centuries.

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    1. Yes indeed. At school in London, I had a teacher who gave holiday challenges – voluntary – which had many of us scavenging round all sorts of churches, monuments and back streets well off the tourist track. It gave me a real head start in getting to know London.

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  2. How great, to be able to hear your son sing! And I love your views of London from the Thames. I think I’ve read about a million mysteries set in London so the place names are familiar. I need to make more of an effort to visit.

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    1. Oh, please do! So much to see and do, and much of it free. Accommodation though. That ain’t cheap. Unless you have a relative-in-residence 😉


    1. I understand that. But it deserves a bit of your time, and isn’t always heaving with tourists. I’m lucky enough to visit little and often, to see my grandson, and always do one – just one – bit of exploring while I’m there.

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  3. I love boat trips on the Thames but haven’t done one for years! How wonderful to be able to listen to your son’s choir in the Royal Festival Hall. A former music teacher of mine was fortunate enough to have an appointment to meet and talk with John Lill at the Royal Festival Hall and was to meet him at the top of the stairs in the foyer. Unfortunately, just as she entered the foyer, both the heels on her shoes broke and she had to go up those stairs pretending all was well – which was very difficult.

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    1. Both events – the boat ride and the concert were real highlights. Comfortable well appointed boats too. I’d prefer it to a tube ride every time: though of course it costs a bit more.

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  4. I agree. Last time we went to London for leisure with Jonathan and family we parked at Greenwich and did the rest of the journey by boat. It was a much more relaxing way to travel and the children loved it, and so did the grown ups.

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  5. How exciting. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been to London, but I do remember how densely populated it seemed compared to where I then called home, Houston, Texas. Nice post. I enjoy a visit to the city, but I prefer the less densely populated areas of the suburbs and countryside. Our vacation was densely populated with folks seeking warmer weather, even if for a brief time. It’s back to school tomorrow, I can’t wait – feeling rested and relaxed. Have a wonderful week.

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  6. Sounds and looks like you had a special time – loved your photos. I spent my childhood in North London – moving out to the suburbs when I was 12. I was lucky enough to take part in a Christmas School Music Festival aged 10 and played violin at the Royal Festival Hall. I wasn’t that good and didn’t continue with the violin but remember the event fondly. Have never been on a boat on the Thames – it’s on our must do list!

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