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Horrible Histories | Live Onboard! | Terrible Thames

Horrible Histories proudly presents its wicked river tour of the Terrible Thames!

After two terrific years, we’re sailing into 2023! So climb aboard and prepare to hear the horrible history of the most famous river in the world!

Tremble in terror at the Tower! Sizzle at the Savoy! Give Cleopatra the needle! Be washed away at Westminster! Lose yourself in Lambeth! Get gobsmacked by the Globe! Hold onto your head at London Bridge and escape from Execution Dock!

Take a 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 with the nasty bits left in!

tweeting by royal order

Follow us @terriblethames

Plan Your Visit


Tickets and gift vouchers for 2023 now on sale


Adult-£25.00   Senior-£20.00    Child-£15.00    Under 3’s-FREE


£60.00 (1 adult and 3 children)

£70.00 (2 adults and 2 children)



£12.50 per child and 1 teacher goes free for every 10 children



Adult £23.00

Child £13.00

Available by emailing



For Private Hires, please email

Map showing location of the terrible thames venue

Tower Bridge Quay

Previously St. Katharine's Pier - Next to Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge Quay is situated on the north bank of the Thames, on the east side of Tower Bridge, and immediately in front of the Tower Hotel. The pier is approx. 10 minutes walk from Tower Hill Underground station. Our postcode is E1W 1LD.


what3words is an easy way to find and share exact locations, every 3 metre square has their own unique 3 word identifier. curiosity.pirate.rides is the unique 3 words for our location at Tower Bridge Quay.

Nearest station Tower Hill

BUS ROUTES – 15, 100


Birmingham Stage Company and Woods Silver Fleet are dedicated to improving the accessibility for all visitors to this new experience and ask that any assisted wheelchair access that is required is booked in advance.

We are delighted to announce our first British Sign Language Tour – 26th October 14.45

For our full and detailed information document on accessibility for our tour please CLICK HERE

If your query is about a booking you have made via our website please visit our support centre



What the people say!

All comments taken from the Terrible Thames Facebook page in 2021/2022 or customer emails

  • The BEST THING we did on our recent trip to London. Can't recommend HIGHLY enough!

  • No better way to see and hear about London. EXTREMELY entertaining. Highly recommend.

  • A BRILLIANT ride along the Thames. One for the MUST DO list for London.

  • 10/10, SUPERB, ENTERTAINING, FUNNY, GRUESOME and had some of the best facts of the river entwined in the story. The parents were as enthralled as the kids.

  • Absolutely BRILLIANT! The highlight of my children's trip to London.

  • Terrible Thames has to be one of the greatest things we’ve done in #TeamHarris. What an AWESOME adventure!

  • ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. As soon as we had finished my kids wanted to do it AGAIN!

  • I can honestly say I have never been so impressed with any other family experience - it was perfect!

  • Our FAVOURITE day trip of 2021!

  • This was BRILLIANT. Ages 5 – 75 in our group and everyone LOVED it! We haven’t stopped talking about it.

What the press say!

  • ***** 'Smart, witty and enthralling, Terrible Thames is totally terrific family entertainment!'

  • **** 'It creates a joyous ride that has everybody floating with happiness!'

  • ‘A rip-roaring, riotous sightseeing tour kids and adults will never forget!’

  • ‘A fun, enjoyable, spirited alternative to more po-faced London tourism – may it sail on and on!’

  • ‘A wonderful and entertaining trip - immersive theatre at its best. It cannot fail to surprise and delight!’

  • ‘It was clear that as everyone disembarked, they were exhilarated!’

  • ‘A terribly good London adventure for families – it appeals to the kiddos on every level’

  • 'It’s fantastic - a unique take on the standard sightseeing tour and a great way for the whole family to explore London together. I’d definitely say it’s one of the best things to do in London with kids.'

  • ‘We disembarked from the boat on a real high, going over everything we’d learnt’

  • ‘My kids were thoroughly entertained and begged to go on the tour again!’

  • ‘A unique take on London to thrill both children and adults alike!’

  • 'This is nothing like your usual boat tour - a great whistlestop tour filled with unusual facts and stories you won’t get anywhere else! We loved it!'

The Team

Horrible Histories – Terrible Thames Tour is a new venture from award-winning theatre producers Birmingham Stage Company and Woods’ Silver Fleet, a family-run company of Thames Watermen since 1866.

Together they are bringing together their extensive experience of performance and river sightseeing tours to create an experience like no other.

The team

Producers – Birmingham Stage Company and Woods Silver Fleet

Writers – Terry Deary and Neal Foster

Director – Neal Foster

Design – Jackie Trousdale

Music – Matthew Scott

Sound – Nick Sagar

Choreography – Kenn Oldfield

Boat design, management and crewing – Woods’ Silver Fleet

Production Manager – Adrian Littlejohns

Marketing, Advertising and Social Media  – Natalie Yalden and Rona Kelly for Tandem Marketing Worldwide

Press Relations – Chuff Media

Sales and Ticketing Director – Tommy Luck Consulting

Concept Design – Feast Creative

Horrible Histories books are published by Scholastic Ltd. Horrible Histories is a trademark of Scholastic Inc. and is used under authorisation. All rights reserved. Illustration © Martin Brown.



I have a question and need to speak to customer service

In the first instance please visit our support centre where we have answered some of the most popular questions – 

If that doesn’t answer your query please contact your ticketing provider.

What measures are in place for COVID 19 protection?

We have enhanced cleaning measures in place particularly where high touch point areas are concerned.

We have hand sanitiser available on both decks aboard the vessel.

Should you have symptoms of Covid-19 as per government guidance, please do not travel.

Rest assured, we will be closely following current government guidance at all times.

Will I be dropped off where I boarded?

The tour is a round-trip and you will disembark at Tower Bridge Quay where you joined the trip.

How long is the boat trip?

The boat trip will last 45 minutes.

Are the boats heated/air conditioned?

Our boat has heating within the interior lower deck. It does not have air conditioning as the vessel is not a new build but we have plenty of windows for fresh air.

What if it is raining on the day of our trip?

Our top deck will always be open to customers to enjoy the amazing sights of London. However in the event of rain the performers will carry out the performance on the lower interior deck, which is fully enclosed with windows so you can also enjoy the sights of London on the Terrible Thames Tour.

Are your services wheelchair accessible?

As the Terrible Thames boat is not a new build we cannot offer step free access at present. A wheelchair lift and accessible bathroom facilities are in discussion to be installed. Please view our detailed accessibility information document HERE

Does the boat have an open deck area?

Our boat has two decks. The upper deck is fully open-air with wonderful views. The lower interior deck is fully enclosed with windows to enjoy the sights on the Terrible Thames Tour.

What if I miss my tour due to transport issues?

Travelling in London can often be impacted by engineering works, strikes and other incidents on public transport that are out of our control.

Please allow as much time as possible to get to your booked tour time so you are not disappointed.


Are there toilets on board?

Gender neutral toilet facilities are available on the lower deck of the vessel.

Is there a cloakroom on board?

We do not have cloakroom facilities for the Terrible Thames cruise.
There is an allocated space to store items such as prams/pushchairs and scooters on the lower deck only. These items are not permitted on the upper deck.

Which pier does the Terrible Thames Tour sail from?

Our scheduled Terrible Thames cruise operates from Tower Bridge Quay (formerly St Katharine Pier) on the north bank of the Thames, east of Tower Bridge (in front of the Tower Hotel. Postcode – E1W 1LD. The pier is approximately 10 minutes walk from Tower Hill Underground Station.

Is there shelter on the pier?

There is no covered shelter on Tower Bridge Quay so please ensure you have appropriate attire to deal with the sometimes unpredictable English weather!

Will I get to see Horrible Histories characters onboard?

The tour is conducted by two actors, but unlike the Horrible Histories stage shows, they do not change into historical characters when telling the stories.

Will the characters be in costume?

You will be meeting two characters on board the boat but unlike the Horrible Histories stage shows, the fast speed of the journey through constantly changing historical periods means the characters do not change into historical costumes

How long in advance should I arrive at the pier?

We have a limited embark and disembark period for each Terrible Thames cruise. You should arrive in good time in order to board the vessel promptly at the time on your ticket. If you are buying tickets on the day, please allow some extra time to purchase.

Is food and drink available to purchase?

We are working on exciting plans to introduce food and drink, so watch this space, but until then you are able to bring your own snacks and drinks onboard.

Where can I park nearby?

The closest car parks near Tower Bridge Quay are City Quay Car Park, E1W 1AE or London Thomas More Square, E1W 1YU. Online booking in advance is recommended. Just Park also has available spaces online in the immediate area of the pier which can be pre-booked online for your desired date.

Is there an age restriction?

All ages are welcome, but children under the age of 15 must be accompanied by an adult on board. Children aged 0-3 go free, if seated on the lap of a parent or guardian. However, please note the tour is best suited for children aged 5 and above.

How long are the queues to board on the day?

We cannot predict passenger numbers for each cruise and length of queues will vary according to how busy each cruise is. However, boarding is swift and our host will be on site to assist whilst you are waiting to board the boat.

Do you check bags?

For security purposes we may from time to time undertake random bag searches or checks. This is done for the security of our passengers, crew and performers.

Are bikes allowed on-board?

We don’t allow bikes on board, although kids’ scooters are permitted and can be stored on the lower deck.

How long is the cruise?

45 enthralling minutes!

I want to bring my dog on board with me - is this possible?

Assistance Dogs are allowed on all Terrible Thames cruises at the Captain’s discretion. We ask you to contact the reservations team to book your ticket in advance. Please see our accessibility statement for more information and inform

I lost something on board? Who shall I contact?

If you think you have lost an item of property aboard the vessel, you should notify us via our social media channels. Please provide full descriptive details of your item, details of when and where it was lost, and full contact information so that we can get back in touch. Terrible Thames cannot accept responsibility for any items that may have been lost on board.

Terms and Conditions

Terms and conditions are subject to the provider you have booked your ticket with. If your ticket was purchased via our official website, terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of your ticket PDF or full terms can be found on the See Tickets website at

Postergramme Giveaway – T&Cs

Terrible Thames – Postergramme Giveaway

The ‘Promoter’ is: Birmingham Stage Company (London) Ltd (company no. 7889272) whose place of business and Registered Office is 228 The Linen Hall, 162-168 Regent Street, London W1B 5TB.

To enter, entrants must post a photo of Terrible Thames – tagging @TerribleThames on Instagram or Twitter.

The Promoter reserves the right to share photos submitted. Please do not enter if you do not wish the Promotor to share your photo.

One winner will be chosen at random by the Promoter each calendar month from April – October 2023.

Prize is for 4 tickets to see any Horrible Histories show by Birmingham Stage Company in the United Kingdom until end of 2024.

The prize is as stated, and no cash or other alternatives will be offered. Travel and accommodation are not included.

The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and the Promoter reserves the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.The decision of the Promoter in respect of all matters to do with the giveaway will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.


Can I buy my tickets online?

Yes, you can purchase all our ticket types on the Terrible Thames Website

Do you accept all methods of payment?

You can pay online using VISA or MASTERCARD.

Unfortunately, we don’t accept AMERICAN EXPRESS.

What is your refund and exchange policy?

Unfortunately we cannot offer refunds or exchanges, if you’d like to cover yourself for any eventualities you can purchase ticket insurance from SEE Tickets.


Can I buy tickets on the day? Do I need to book tickets in advance?

We recommend tickets are bought in advance as ticket availability on the day is not guaranteed. However, it is not compulsory to book Terrible Thames Tour in advance. These can be purchased at our dedicated pier Tower Bridge Quay (Next to Tower Bridge) on the day of travel. We request all groups 10+ are booked in advance with the reservations department prior to travel.

Are there any fees on top of the ticket prices?

We do not charge booking fees but there is a £1.50 transaction fee that SEE Tickets apply per booking

Do you have a discount for NHS staff?


We are delighted to offer NHS staff 10% discount on tickets for all tour excluding 23rd July – 1st September 2022.

Please use promocode NHS10 when booking.

Can I pay cash on the day?

We are currently not accepting cash bookings on the day, but you can purchase tickets at Tower Bridge Quay on the day using a debit/credit card.

Are you able to accommodate large groups?

We are able to accommodate public groups up to 120 on our boat. We ask that you book groups over 10+ directly with the customers services team at

Can I change the date and time of my booking?

Please ensure that all information is correct at the point of purchase as tickets may not always be able to be changed. For assistance, please email

Do I have to print out my ticket?

Passengers have to bring their printed ticket to board the cruise or show their ticket on a mobile device.

How do I get the tickets I booked online?

You will receive a confirmation email with a printable e-ticket attached as a PDF. Additionally, please write down your booking reference number. If you don’t receive the email or have a query about your booking, please contact your point of purchase.

Is it possible to claim a refund?

Tickets are non-refundable after purchase. If you have an extreme circumstance beyond your control, please email our customer service team at
Please check your refund policy of the company you purchased from.

Thank you to everyone who sailed with us in 2023! We had a terribly fantastic time!
Terrible Thames Will Return In 2024 So Please Follow Our Socials To Stay Up To Date For More Info!