The Harpy Houseboat, River Thames

Southwark, London

The Harpy Houseboat - formerly ‘HMS Harpy’ - a beautiful ship-shape restoration of an iconic 'waterhouse' on the Thames


8 beds


4 bedrooms


Sleeps 8


Superb Tower Bridge views from the oldest, most beautifully restored houseboat on the Thames. Built in 1904 as a Customs & Excise floating office, The Harpy was used as a VIP landing stage and George V made an official visit in 1920. Her transformation into a classy home is a triumph. Good-looking outside, in red and royal blue with 34 windows and hardwood decks for gazing out over the Thames. Inside there’s a colonial feel with oak floors, wooden Venetian blinds, matchboarded walls, kilims and Congolese tribal fabrics. And a feast of art, memorabilia and good design in fittings and furniture – lots of 1920s Heal’s oak pieces – including a dining table designed for Churchill in the middle of the open plan upper deck; a neat, well-equipped kitchen to one side; designer sofas, chairs and high-tech kit to the other. Cabins are all above deck and look out over the river. No 1 has a four-poster, a huge window – with electric curtains so no need to get up to be amazed by the view – a private deck and swish bathroom (the others share a bathroom and loo). Heaps of fun to be in; the best of the city at your feet.


  • Swimming pool
  • Hot tub
  • Garden
  • Open fire / woodburner
  • Breakfast included
  • Breakfast available
  • Meals available
  • Oven
  • Parking on premises
  • Free parking nearby
  • WiFi
  • Television
  • Central heating
  • Limited mobility
  • Wheelchair access
  • Mobile reception
  • Hob
  • Barbecue
  • Vegetarian meals
  • Paid parking nearby
  • Accessible by public transport
  • Air conditioning
  • Relaxation areas
  • Washing machine
  • Tennis court
  • Microwave oven
  • No smoking
  • Credit cards
  • Working farm
  • Owner has pets
  • Electricity included
  • Dishwasher
  • Pets welcome

Family friendly

  • Baby monitor
  • Books and toys
  • Children welcome
  • Babies welcome
  • Stair gates
  • High chair
  • Cot available


  • Pub/bar within 3 miles
  • Restaurant within 3 miles
  • Shop within 3 miles


  • Bikes available
  • Food courses
  • Kayaking
  • Other courses
  • Sailing
  • Surfing
  • Wild swimming

& pricing

Special offer: NEXT AVAILABLE: 2 nights: Wed Feb 27th to Fri Mar 1st & Mon Mar 11th - Sat Mar 16th. Sleeps up to 12 in 4 double cabins (one can be a twin), with 3 on sofa beds & a cot. Mon & Fri check-in's preferred

Booking information

Check in
4pm, please get in touch for early check in
Check out
Booking restrictions
Minimum stay: 3 nights. 6 nights in high season. Short breaks available.
No smoking
Smoking not permitted anywhere in the property.
Restaurants 2-minute walk.


Nightly price
from £550
Weekly price
from £3950
Extra sofabeds, 1 child bed and 1 cot available.
1 Boat for 8
From £5508 beds4 bedrooms


My family (all 8 of us) stayed on The Harpy for a week. Everyone voted this as our best vacation ever! Such a perfect spot for families, location was so convenient to everything we wanted to see and do. The houseboat was large enough for all of us to relax and enjoy London. Waking up to the view of the beautiful tower bridge made me smile every morning. Andrew was a wonderful host and all of his recommendations were fantastic!

Erin, Pleasanton

Read more reviews Down arrow


The neighbourhood

Local points of interest from Andrew

  • With 1,850 sq. ft. (172 sq. m.) of internal space and 2,500 sq. ft. (232 q. m.) of external decks on an 80ft (24.3m) x 30ft (9.2m) pontoon, The Harpy is one of the largest houseboats on The Thames. It is also the oldest houseboat in London; built in 1904.
  • The Harpy is a unique historic vessel; her status as a London icon recognised in Legoland's model of London! - see the pic in Photos.
  • HMS Harpy was used as a VIP and royal landing stage from 1904 to 1981. See photo of HM King George V on board in 1920. When Princess Margaret married Lord Snowden they left for their honeymoon on HMS Britannia from HMS Harpy.
  • In recent years guests have included HRH The Prince of Wales, Lord Heseltine, Sir John Major, Paul Eddington (Yes, Prime Minister), Jane Seymour (whose OBE party was held on board), Lord (Julian) Fellowes, David Emmanuel. Gerard Butler & Woody Harrelson.
  • The Harpy has featured in a number of films, TV shows and videos; most notably in James Bond; The World Is Not Enough (in the opening boat chase sequence;, A Fish Called Wanda and Spielberg's Young Sherlock Holmes.
  • The Harpy has two secure underground parking spaces in Scotts Sufferance Wharf, Mill Street; just ask if you would like to use one - no extra charge. Bermondsey Station (Jubilee Line) on Jamaica Road is 10 minutes walk.