Greenwich’s secret ferry

I went over to Trinity Buoy Wharf‘s open weekend the other day (thanks to Diamond Geezer for the reminder). I’d only been there once before – for a work thing on a cold day about 10 years ago – so it was good to go back and have a proper wander around in the sunshine.

If you’re not familiar with it, Trinity Buoy Wharf is directly opposite the Dome, and the location of London’s only lighthouse. Climb the narrow stairs to the top of the lighthouse, and you can peer back across the river while listening to the eerie Longplayer.

Once the place where the river’s buoys were made, Trinity Buoy Wharf is now a thriving community of artists and small businesses. It’s a little bit cut off from the surrounding area, tucked away at the end of an old street called Orchard Place. Once home to the isolated community of Bow Creek, its residents were moved out following the flood of 1928.

So there’s a ferry from North Greenwich Pier, run by an old police boat called Predator II. Its main job is as a crew shuttle for Thames Clippers, which is based at Trinity Buoy Wharf. But it’s also available if you need to visit Trinity Buoy Wharf, running between 5am and about 7.30pm, charging a £2 fare. Trips were free at the weekend, and if it’s choppy it’s not for those prone to seasickness – but it’s a quick way to get across the Thames. It’s hardly advertised, though – there’s a tiny timetable and phone number at the western end of North Greenwich Pier – and it’s probably best to give Thames Clippers a call first to check it’s running.

With work under way on the cable car Boris hasn’t got the money for (the riverside walk is set to close next week), taking the boat seems a cheaper, and more sensible way of crossing the river.


  1. That’s interesting. At one time there was a hovercraft went from the gas works jetty over to Reuters but I assumed it had all got to be official now.

  2. I wish I’d known about the hovercraft!

    The one I think is a real loss is much further down the Thames – the ferry from Belvedere to Ford at Dagenham. Walked past it once before it stopped, the pier’s still there but overshadowed by the incinerator that’s gone up down there.

  3. D – I get seasick – how quick is the trip – are we talking minutes? even I could handle that…

Comments are closed.