Thames Barrier Annual Closure

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The Thames Barrier is an iconic example of British design and engineering that protects 1.25 million people and a huge amount of important London infrastructure. It is built across a 520 metre stretch of river and its annual test closure offers visitors the chance to see how it works and meet the teams who operate it and protect London from flooding.

Andy Batchelor, Thames Barrier Operations Manager, said:

“The Barrier is quite a spectacle and the annual test closure makes an interesting and unique visit for all the family. The Thames Barrier View Café and Information Centre will be open all day. Guides will be giving regular talks and providing a running commentary. There will be interviews with staff who work at the Thames Barrier on the riverfront via our PA system. You’ll also be able to take in the spectacular views of the Barrier in action.”

During the test closure, the Thames Barrier gates rotate 90 degrees into the fully closed defence position, stopping the tide from going into London. As the tide continues to rise, a higher level of water will build up downstream of the Barrier creating different water levels on either side of the gates.

Approximate times when to see the Thames Barrier in operation:

8am to 10am Come and see the gates moving and the Thames Barrier closing
8am Café and Information Centre open
11:30pm to 3:30pm Potential for further gate moves (tide dependent)
4pm to 6pm Come and see the gates moving and the Thames Barrier re opening (tide dependent)
5:30pm Information Centre closes (last entrance at 5pm)

The above times are approximate and subject to change due to the tides.

This year in the morning, ‘Regatta London’ is taking advantage of the planned closure, to host a brand new and totally unique paddle sports event. For more information, go to:

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