Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Best viewing spots for Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant

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You probably wouldn't see another diamond jubilee again in your lifetime. The Queen ascended the throne in 1952 after the untimely demise of her father, King George VI. At 64, the heir to the throne, Prince Charles is unlikely to have a golden jubilee to his name, much less a diamond one.

The Diamond Jubilee Thames Pageant with a huge flotilla of 1000 boats and barges will go down the river led by the 18 oarsman Royal Barge this coming Sunday. The spectacle, not seen since 350 years ago, is surely something to tell your grandchildren about.

The flotilla is the biggest ever deployment on the Thames. The 11km route starts from Battersea Bridge and ends at Tower Bridge. Travelling between four to six knots, the entire procession will take around 75min to pass any one point along the route ensuring that you have more than enough viewing time.

Where are the best spots to view the procession

The best spots to view the Thames Pageant without breaking the bank would be on the bridges across Thames. Of the thirteen bridges along the route, only five are open for public access. Below are the expected timings the flotilla will reach these bridges.

Battersea Bridge 2.25pm
Chelsea Bridge 3pm
Vauxhall Bridge 3.10pm
Waterloo Bridge 3.30pm
London Bridge 3.50pm


Thames Jubilee Pageant Map from LondonTown.com

The action does not end at Tower Bridge. In act, boats with sails too tall to go under London Bridge will be stationed at the Avenue of Sail from London Bridge to beyond Tower Bridge. With the spectators from upstream congregating near the official end point, that's where the real party will be.

A point to note. The Met station has promised fair weather on the day. But given Met's track record, it's always wise to bring along a raincoat instead of a brolly. With an estimated number of spectators to cross the million mark, it's going to be a tight squeeze.

If you are in London specially for the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, check out Covering the Best of London in One Day. For a full guide on this long weekend's Diamond Jubilee celebration events in London, refer to BBC's guide. Also, check out the Thames Pageant actual day photos.

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