This Free East London Ferry Is Now Running Every 15 Minutes

Last Updated 07 May 2024

This Free East London Ferry Is Now Running Every 15 Minutes
the Woolwich ferries on the Thames
Two ferries now operate throughout the week. Image: TfL

The Woolwich Ferry is operating at full strength again, with two boats operating every day of the week.

The free-to-use service — which traverses the Thames between Woolwich and North Woolwich, and can be used by motorists and pedestrians — has had a limited service since the start of 2022, attributed to "both mechanical failures and significant resource shortages". Now TfL, which runs the ferries, has announced that two ferries are running seven days a week — with services departing either side of the water every 15 minutes between 5am and 9pm.

The press release, which reads "TfL extends Woolwich Ferry operating hours and introduces a two vessel service every day of the week" should actually read: "TfL RESTORES Woolwich Ferry operating hours and REINTRODUCES a two vessel service every day of the week". But of course, we'd never be so pedantic as to point that out.

A nifty alternative to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel (see video above for when we found out which was fastest), the Woolwich Ferry should be on every Londoner's bucket list. Woolwich itself is getting trendier by the hour, these days home to the likes of a SALT taproom, and the HQ of immersive theatre company Punchdrunk. It is also, of course, on the Elizabeth line.

The old ferries — John, James and Ernest — were replaced in 2018 by two new vessels, called Ben Woollacott (named for a former deckhand who died working on the ferry) and Dame Vera Lynn, the East Ender known for singing wartime classics such as We'll Meet Again.

For departure times, visit the Woolwich Ferry website