The Thames Barrier- A fascinating modern attraction

The Thames Barrier is one such modern attraction, and is especially interesting as it is a piece of architecture that will protect the city of London from flooding. The construction of this barrier was completed in 1982. It took eight years to build and cost over a 1000 million GBP. It is known to be the largest flood barrier, which is movable, in the world. It is 520 metres wide and is located on the River Thames at Woolwich.

The need for such a barrier arose from the results of the 1953 floods. In 1953 due to heavy rainfall more than 160,000 acres of farmland got flooded and 300 people drowned. This prompted the authorities to take action to solve any further threats from flood water.

This particular design as a barrier was selected out of 41 proposals, as this unique design provided answers to all the problems: it had minimal interference with the natural river flow, headroom for ships were not restricted, and most importantly it is artistically very pleasing.

It comprises four gates; each as tall as a five storey structure and 61 metres wide. Each has its own ‘hydraulic power packs’, which are electrically powered and provides individual operation to each of the gates. When the gates are fully open they set against the river bed providing an unobstructed river. The gates can also be raised above the waters when they require maintenance work.

This piece of great engineering and architecture has come in handy over 60 times since its construction, when they had been raised to prevent the city from flooding. If you are visiting the location take either the river or the road. River boat from Greenwich or Westminster is ideal for a closer view. But if you are interested in a more in-depth experience try going by road to visit the visitor centre.

London also features various other attractions. As for lodging options, there is a range available: from a luxury hotel, London B&B, to budget hotel, you can take your pick. A London boutique hotel with luxury amenities is ideal for a romantic getaway. If you are looking for a great location and luxury accommodation options you may want to try The Halkin London.