Image: Thames Barrier London
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I love anything to do with spies and mystery. By the age of 13 I’d read every crime thriller in my local library and had scared myself half to death doing so. I love reading murder mysteries and watching trashy (and not so trashy) crime thrillers on television and on film. As long as it’s fictional, stories about crime and spies are right up my street.
Naturally I’d LOVE to be a spy. Unfortunately reading so many scary stories from such a young age has made me scared of my own shadow so, alas, I knew it was never worth going for a job as a spy. Anyway it’s probably far more exciting in my mind than in reality.
As a spy fan friends of mine were always shocked that I’d never seen an episode of Spooks. Last year I eventually got round to watching the first episode and within a scarily short space of time I’d devoured eight series. Spooks fans may remember an episode that took place at the Thames Barrier London (season 5 episode 10…) and since then I’ve wanted to visit.
The Thames Barrier keeps London safe, protecting places like Parliament and Canary Wharf from flooding caused by tidal surges. Since it opened in 1982 the Thames Barrier has been raised 139 times and in January 2014 the Thames Barrier was raised on 13 consecutive tides.
The Thames Barrier isn’t your typical tourist attraction and that’s partly due to it’s location. In order to protect what is deemed the most important parts of London you have to travel further out of London to see it in Woolwich. Thames Barrier’s nearest station is Charlton, so jump on the Southeastern mainline from London Bridge and then follow the signs. The Thames Barrier is a 15 minute walk from Charlton Station.
There’s the Thames Barrier Information Centre but we didn’t go inside. Tickets cost under a fiver but we decided to bypass this and hop on a bus to Greenwich market and the Cutty Sark instead…