Best Places To Watch The Thames Jubilee Pageant

The Thames Jubilee Pageant will see 1,000 boats, carrying 20,000 people, process down the Thames in celebration of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The monarch will be on the Royal Barge – named the Spirit of Chartwell – and the pageant will be full of sights as well as sounds, thanks to a floating belfry and 10 musical barges.

Don’t miss the opportunity to view this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle, use our guide to find the best places to stand.

Bridges:

If you’re prepared to get there well before the pageant’s 2.25pm start, some of the bridges will offer unbeatable views. Some of them are closed off for private events, but the ends of Lambeth, Westminster and Blackfriars will be open. These areas are expected to be very crowded and spectators will be subject to bag searches. The Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant website recommends viewing the pageant from the river bank.

River Bank:

More London: south side of the river by Tower Bridge. This large open area will afford good views of the pageant and the Avenue of Sail.

Embankment: north side of the river by Temple tube station. The Queen’s barge will stop by HMS President at 4.15pm to watch the rest of the pageant go by – stand on the wide pavement here to get a good view. There are also three large TV screens in this area.

Victoria Tower Gardens: north side of the river by the Houses of Parliament. This leafy area has a great view of the river, contains a viewing screen and provides ample space for a picnic.

Chelsea Embankment: nearest tube Sloane Square. The area next to the Royal Hospital should afford a great view and will feature viewing screens across its length. If that gets too busy, however, we reckon that the area on the south side of the river between Battersea and Albert bridges might be quieter as it’s harder to access. 

Things to note:

  • Battersea Park’s Jubilee Festival is now sold out
  • Most of the riverside dining venues, like the OXO Tower restaurant, are either sold out or serving set menus.
  • The pageant disperses at Greenwich – if you can’t find space elsewhere then head east of Tower Bridge to watch the ships dock along the river.
  • The Avenue of Sail – a display of more than 60 boats too large to join the pageant – will be open for viewing from 30 May.

The Thames Jubilee Pageant takes place on 3 June from 2.25pm. Visit our event page for a map of the route. Check the official Thames Jubilee Pageant website and Twitter feed for more information.

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  1. s carpenter says:

    NB – trouble is, the bridges are closed for viewers.

    Different bridges are subject to different arrangements:
    There are only three bridges (Lambeth, Westminster and Blackfriars) where members of the public will be able to stop and watch the flotilla. It is only at the extreme ends of these three bridges that congregation is possible. These will be extremely crowded, and members of the public will be subject to bag searches.

    Organisers have made the central areas of bridges available to the riparian London Boroughs for allocation to local residents and also to a number of charities who are or part of every bridge as The Queen and the Royal Squadron passes underneath. The precise bridge arrangements are:

    Battersea and Chelsea bridges will be open for pedestrians from 0700hrs until early evening. Both bridges will be closed to traffic and are expected to be very crowded. These are for pedestrian traffic only, and not for viewing.
    Albert Bridge will be closed to all traffic and pedestrians starting from 0700hrs until early evening and is designated for invited guests from charities and the riparian boroughs.
    Tower Bridge will be closed to all traffic and pedestrians from 0700hrs until early evening and will host guests from charities and the riparian boroughs as well as private events hosted by the City of London.
    Millennium Bridge and the Jubilee footbridges will be closed and will host guests from the charities and riparian boroughs as well as members of the media.
    Vauxhall, Waterloo and London bridges will be open to traffic and pedestrians, apart from central section bridge closures as the flotilla passes underneath them at points between 1500 and 1730. They are all expected to be very crowded and the public sections are only open for the purpose of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, not for viewing.
    Southwark Bridge will be closed to pedestrians, but not to traffic.
    Lambeth, Westminster and Blackfriars bridges will be closed to traffic and pedestrians, but each will have north and south facing viewing screens, with both ends of both bridges open to the public. However, members of the public will need to be counted on to the bridge to comply with capacity and subject to bag searches to maintain security.
    Why will bridges be closed?
    Bridge closures will be in place to protect the safety of the viewing public and the flotilla participants. Bridges which are open to vehicular and pedestrian access will be closed for a period of time while the royal section passes beneath, on the directions of the police.

    • Caroline Roddis says:

      Thanks for the update! I’ve updated our post to reflect your comment. Hope you enjoy the pageant!

  2. Rob Peters says:

    Thanks for bridge update, very helpful . Will the Queen continue on to Tower Bridge after stopping at HMS President? Thanks.

    • Caroline Roddis says:

      The latest information we have indicates yes, but we’ll let you know if we hear anything to the contrary!

  3. Edwina Townsend says:

    Thanks for the info but am confused about the 3 bridges that are open north and sound ends. Will it be possible to see the pageant from both the south and north ends?

  4. JJ says:

    Hi, great post. What do you think of the area around Millbank and Millbank Tower for viewing?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

  5. liza says:

    Hi, thanks for your helpful info – someone told me that the areas around More London and the City Hall are tickets only – is this true?

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