London is probably the best city in the world in terms of activities for families and children including lots of free activities and events. We list here lots of initiatives that we believe London Mums and their children from babies to teenagers would enjoy especially at the most entertaining places such as the Science Museum, The V&A, Kew Gardens, Kensington Palace, Hyde Park, Richmond Park, Greenwich, West End shows, the London Eye, the London Aquarium, Kingston upon Thames, Chelsea, SouthBank and so much more.

Family fun in London: Horrible Histories – Terrible Thames boat trip review

London Mums Magazine’s reporters (young  and less young) were invited to Horrible Histories – Live Onboard – Terrible Thames.

Terrible Thames london mums magazine collage

The Terrible Thames boat trip presented by Horrible Histories is a family-friendly attraction that provides a unique way to experience London’s history. It takes visitors on a wicked river tour of the Thames, where they can hear about the horrible history of the most famous river in the world. The tour covers several famous landmarks and events, including the Tower, the Savoy, Westminster, London Bridge, and Execution Dock, among others.

The boat trip is an excellent way for families to spend an afternoon exploring London’s history while having fun. The tour is presented in a humorous and engaging way that captures the attention of both children and adults. The actors dressed up as pirates are entertaining, and their quick wits add to the overall experience. They provide visitors with a lot of information, and while it can be challenging to keep up with all the details, it’s worth the effort.

Passengers dive with Horrible Histories into the stories of King Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Julius Caesar, Queen Boudicca, Jack the Ripper and Captain Kidd, in this history of the Thames. 

These stories are presented in a way that is appropriate for all ages, and the nasty bits are left in, making the experience even more memorable and hilarious, at times. You cannot beat the smiles on children’s faces when the word ‘poop’ drops.

Here’s what a SW London mother and her 10 year old daughter thought of it:

“My 10-year old daughter and I really enjoyed our trip on the Thames on the Horrible Histories boat tour. This is a 45-minute round trip from Tower Bridge Pier down to Westminster and back. It is a live tour with 2 tour guides in teacher and student roles, providing historical but funny information/anecdotes along the way.  We were very luck to have as one of our guides Neal Foster, who has written and directed all the recent Horrible History shows. My daughter loved the fact that the trip was interactive, and that the tour guides were joking with guests along the way. I didn’t expect to learn so many interesting facts about historical London, but it turns out there was a lot I didn’t know. The tour seemed to pass really quickly, and I would definitely recommend it. The only point I would note is that Tower Bridge Pier is not very well signposted (it used to be called St Katherine’s Pier). All in all it was a really good thing to do during the school holidays and good value for money.  We’re looking forward to the Horrible Histories Terrible Tudors show on stage in the Summer. We gave it a big 9/10.”

However, we have some criticism of the tour. One of the main issues is that there are too many facts presented in a short amount of time. While this may be suitable for older children and adults, it can be overwhelming for young children. Additionally, the actors speak very fast, making it difficult to keep up with all the information presented.

Another issue with the tour is that it is quite short. The boat trip does not even get to Greenwich, where visitors could learn about the Cutty Sark, another famous landmark. This is a missed opportunity to add more history to the tour and make it even more engaging for visitors.

Lastly, the weather can be a significant factor when it comes to enjoying the tour. If visitors are not lucky enough to go on a sunny day, the tour can be quite challenging under the rain or wind. Inside the deck, it’s not as fun as the view may be obstructed.

In conclusion, the Terrible Thames boat trip presented by Horrible Histories is an enjoyable and educational experience for families looking to explore London’s history. While there are some criticisms, such as too many facts presented too quickly and a short tour duration, the overall experience is still worthwhile. Visitors will learn about famous landmarks and historical figures in a humorous and engaging way that captures the attention of both children and adults. While the weather can be a factor, a sunny day on the Thames is an experience not to be missed.

Tickets from here.

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