From the heart of London, you follow the Royal Barge Route of King Henry VIII and other British monarchs, passing the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, and historical Richmond, and through the locks as the river winds and twists to the Royal Palace of Hampton Court, which has stood on the banks of the river for more than 500 years. So much of London’s history can be seen along the route.
- Lambeth Palace. The London residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, since the 13th century.
- The Tate Gallery. The famous art gallery established by Sir William Tate the sugar millionaire in 1897 on the former site of Millbank prison
- The Royal Hospital Chelsea. Founded by King Charles II in 1682 as a retreat for veterans and designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Current home to the Chelsea pensioners.
- Chelsea Old Church. On the site of the original chapel where Henry VIII secretly married Jane Seymour
- St Mary's of Battersea. The church has strong connections with art and literature through the artist and poet William Blake who was married here, and the artist J. M. W. Turner, who painted the river from the vestry window. Benedict Arnold and his family are buried in the crypt, and the church has links with the explorer Robert Falcon Scott.
- Putney. Since 1829 the starting line for the Boat Race, the annual rowing race between the Oxford University and the Cambridge University Boat Clubs.
- Mortlake, and Chiswick Bridge The finishing line for the Boat Race.
- Strand on the Green. Oliver's Ait where it is rumoured Oliver Cromwell planned his battle strategies and held military councils at the Bull's Head pub during the English Civil War
- The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, A Unesco World Heritage Site, boasting over 300 acres, and more than 100,000 species and varieties of plants, Royal buildings and statues
- Kew Village, An eighteenth century English village complete with a village green, where cricket is still played to this day.
Between Kew and Hampton Court Palace, as the river increasingly winds and twists, through the locks at Richmond and Teddington herons may be seen fishing among the willows of the picturesque natural surroundings.
- Syon House. Gifted to the Earl of Northumberland in the 17th century by James I it remained a home of the Percy family ever since. In the 18th century, Hugh Percy, 1st Duke of Northumberland, commissioned the greatest designers of the day, architect and interior designer Robert Adam and landscape designer Lancelot "Capability" Brown to redesign the house and estate. Work began on the interior reconstruction project in 1762.
- The London Apprentice. A famous inn where Henry VIII did some of his courting. Dating back to Tudor times, It is said to have been patronised by such eminent personalities as Henry VIII, Charles I, Charles II with Nell Gwynne, Lady Jane Grey and Oliver Cromwell, all of whom had close links with nearby Syon House. The Inn was also a popular haunt of highwaymen from Hounslow Heath, most notably the infamous Dick Turpin.
- Richmond Park, originally enclosed by Charles I for hunting. Now open to the public and notably famous for the herds of deer that roam wild here, and Richmond Hill, Surmounted by the impressive 'Star and Garter'.
- Ham House and Marble Hill House, residence of several royal mistresses in the 18th and 19th centuries.
- Eel Pie Island, site of the now legendary Eel Pie Island Hotel which hosted artists such as , The Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Long John Baldry's Hoochie Coochie Men with Rod Stewart, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, and The Yardbirds. Later it became home to the UK’s largest hippie commune.
- Teddington Lock. The junction of the tidal and non-tidal Thames
- Kingston. Where medieval Kings were crowned
- Hampton Court Palace. The last stop on the tour, was built in 1515 by Cardinal Wolsey and presented to King Henry VIII in 1529. The Tudor palace houses a large collection of original arms, armour, tapestries and fine paintings. It is famous for its gardens, maze and the Great Vine, planted in 1769.
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