Top of main content

Days out that’ll go down in history

Dip into the past at one of these sites and you’ll learn about the heritage and history that makes us who we are today. We own these fascinating sites and partner with other organisations to make them a truly memorable day out.

Live wild with Thames written on the left in white on a blue background with white footprints and an image of a brass circular plaque on the right with writing on.

Crossness Engines Trust

Our decommissioned Crossness Pumping Station is home to some of the most mind-blowing Victorian cast ironwork in the world.

Marvel at the multi-coloured metals and sheer grandness of a bygone era as you wander through revolutionary designs. Young minds can fire up their imaginations in the Engine House on a free, hands-on activity.

Book a visit

An ornate red, gold and black archway with a green floral central panel and black railings along the top.

A large mechanism of green pipes at floor level with three further levels of large wheels and pistons with some people standing on each level.

Kempton Steam Museum

All aboard! The Sir William Prescott is the world’s largest fully operational triple expansion steam engine. Back in the day, it ran 24/7 but it’s now taking a well-earned rest in the Kempton Steam Museum at our decommissioned Kempton Pumping station. You can explore this awe-inspiring engine and more or jump aboard for a ride on one of our Steaming Weekends. We also have events with classic cars, model boats, steam rollers and arts and crafts.

Plan your visit

Hampton to Kempton Water Works Railway

It’s just a hop next door from the Kempton Steam Museum – so you can continue your day with a ride on our narrow-gauge railway around the Hanworth loop. This track played an important role by supplying clean drinking water to London in the early 1900s and it’s a fascinating and fun ride for train lovers of all ages.

Jump aboard

A small red train engine with green and cream coloured carriages behind and the station platform with a man in the drivers cab.

A black and white photo of a large brick tower with old cars parked on the road in front and a chimney in the distance.

London Museum of Water and Steam

Immerse yourself in the story of London’s water supply, at Kew, on a fascinating journey through tunnels and walk-through sewers! Learn about why we need to pump water – and have a go yourself. There are some exciting new interactive exhibits, artefacts from the capital’s watery past and splashy fun in our Waterwheel Courtyard. Turning on the tap will never be the same again!

Plan a visit

New River Path

It’s not new, and it’s not a river! The New River is an aqueduct opened in 1613 to bring drinking water from Hertfordshire to London.

These days, you can take a walk along the 28-mile footpath that runs by it – stroll along short sections or stride out and complete the stretch. It winds past historical sights and rural villages into city skylines.

A channel of water into the distance surrounded by green trees with a footpath along the left side and a green metal fence in front.

More ways to uncover our heritage

Thames Water Archive

How about getting access to some hidden gems? The Thames Water Archive houses a rare collection of photographs and documents charting the history of London’s water and sewerage legacy over the past 150 years.

Open House London

We've partnered with Open City’s Open House Festival, held in September, for many years to give people a rare glimpse behind closed doors.

Learn about the heritage of other sites

safe spaces
Together we can end domestic abuse