A whale is making its way up the Thames in Central London

An 18ft-long northern bottle-nosed whale is attracting crowds as it makes its way up the Thames in Central London.

The whale, of a species usually found in deep water, has passed the Houses of Parliament and is moving upstream.

A boat has been sent to escort the mammal, and keep it away from the river’s banks.

Vets are on standby after it managed to crash into an empty boat while trapped in a narrow estuary between the banks and moored vessels.

The concern now is that the whale will weaken and become beached.

Experts say the northern bottle-nose usually travels in groups of three to 10, while sightings of another two whales have been reported.