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Reporter's wake-up call is high-octane Thames speedboat ride
Coffee just isn’t enough to wake me up at the crack of dawn – a high speed white-knuckle boat ride down the Thames though, that’ll do the trick.
It was 7.30am when I arrived at Festival Pier on South Bank to experience what’s being called the best thrill ride in London.
But before we set off whizzing past all the historic riverside landmarks in Greenwich's direction, we watched 1,000 yellow and blue prize balloons get released into the air and swept up and away, Chelsea-bound – what a beautiful sight.
RIB Tours London had attached a voucher to each balloon offering a free ride on its boat to celebrate the launch of the newest, fastest tour of the river.
And finally it was our turn to hop aboard and brace ourselves for the most exhilarating wake-up call of our lives.
But this isn’t just a mad two-minute dash.
Guests on the tour are also treated to some fascinating facts about London Bridge, Greenwich (where the world of navigation began) and the capital’s oldest police station.
Unlike any history lesson I remember from school however, these hilarious nuggets of information told with great humour by our knowledgeable guide, had us all wanting to know more.
We learnt all about how London Bridge was one of the most expensive and sought after places to live despite the heads of traitors being displayed on spikes around it to send a message.
We also learnt the time zone GMT got its name after Greenwich beat Paris to become the centre of the world.
Our guide said this had been for the best, because we'd be living in a very dangerous time if Paris had won the vote.
If only my history teacher had taught us with the same passion and sense of fun – I might actually still remember what the Tudors got up to.
As well as Cleopatra’s Needle, Tate Modern and HMS Belfast, the tour takes its guests speeding up to Canary Wharf.
You can even feel like James Bond for the day when the theme tune gets blasted out whilst going past the MI6 building.
Soon it was time to hold on tight, hope for the best, and fly down the river.
Reaching up to 30 knots – which feels incredibly fast – this really is an experience not to be missed.
Giddy as schoolchildren, we whooped, laughed and screamed with a mixture of pure bliss and blind panic as the boat tilted from side to side, creating giant waves along the way.
Thankful for my fur-lined hood, I couldn’t stop smiling throughout the speedy ride – imagine the thrill of a rollercoaster extended for a much longer time mixed with the funniest history class ever and you’re pretty much there.
I’d recommend this trip to anyone, whether it’s a family day out, hen party or a date.
And RIB Tours London has a package perfect for everyone.
The 50-minute thrill ride costs £29 for adults, £19.50 for children or £80 per family.
For more information visit ribtourslondon.com.
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