One of the brilliant things about Thames Tidefest is the atmosphere that is generated around Kew Bridge and Strand On The Green during the event. It’s absolutely joyful ! Plus you don’t have to spend a penny to enjoy the event as there are loads of free attractions and stalls.
Find out for yourself some of the amazing creatures that live in the river with our fantastic river dipping sessions run by Thames 21
This is always a hugely popular activity is suitable for both adults and families with children. These will be walk up sessions from 11am till 4.00pm. No need to book and boots are supplied. Just come on down and get dipping !
What’s In The River ?
If you don’t fancy grabbing a net yourself then…..
The Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM) will be giving demonstrations of seine netting and displays of their catches from the slipway adjacent to Kew Bridge and Strand on the Green from around 11.30am onwards. A small stand with fish tanks and educational material will be in the Thames 21 marquee from 11am to 5pm Come along and find out what is living in the Thames Tideway.
RNLI stall and lifeboat
The Royal National Lifeboat Institute will be on site all day engaging with families to tell them about their work. The day will include family-oriented safety message, small quizzes surrounding water safety, education of the work of the RNLI on both The Thames and Coastal Areas, Fundraising and Retail (souvenirs).
A visit from the Chiswick Lifeboat is planned if operations allow
For those who prefer their boats with sails the Strand on the Green Sailing Club will be racing for the Thames Tideway Cup starting at 3.20pm. Spectators Welcome The club races every Sunday from March till November and is keen to attract new members
Angling Competition Weigh-in from 3.30pm
Come and see the amazing range of fish that live in the tidal Thames. 40 top anglers will be competing in this year’s Thames Tidefest Angling Championship. You can watch them weigh in their catches from 3.30pm on the foreshore at Strand on the Green
Draw: 7.30am Brentford Boating Arch, Kew Bridge, Strand on the Green, W4 3RE
Tides: High – 8.35am – 6.2m. Low – 3.49pm – 1.4m
Fishing: Five hours from 10.30am – 3.30pm (depending on tide height)
Thames Water activities stall
Run by Thames Water these will be free walk up sessions running throughout the day for both children and adults
Circus Skills Workshop
Will be running children’s sessions throughout the day at no charge
There’s nothing quite like stepping onto a beautiful boat and then heading off on a relaxing and fascinating guided cruise, especially on the River Thames. Treat yourself to a wonderful experience.
The Thames Islands Cruise – A Guided return boat trip from Kew Pier towards Hammersmith Bridge and back aboard Thames Discoverer.
Join Peter Finch – chairman of the River Thames Society and an authority on the river, aboard River Thames Boat Project’s beautiful 65ft river cruise boat, Thames Discoverer. Peter will point out and illuminate landmarks throughout the trip. The trip lasts approximately 1 hour.
Thames Discoverer will leave Kew Bridge Pier at 10:30am, 11:45pm, 1.00pm, 2:15pm
Amazing low price of just £12 per passenger ! (plus booking fee)
Helping people explore the River Thames and it’s amazing history is an integral part of the Thames Tidefest experience and this year is no different. We have some amazing guided walks and adventures for you to enjoy !
All our walks and adventures are listed on this page, so scroll right to the bottom to see the full choice.
Olivers Island Tours
A Unique opportunity to explore a secret Thames island !
Come and explore a secret island that is in full view as you walk along the towpath and yet out of sight. Oliver’s island is shrouded in mystery as well as trees and yet was a very important participant in the trading along the Thames over the past few hundred years. Come and see the view from its banks, explore its history both ancient and more recent, and hear about its environmental importance.
Your guide for the day will be local archaeologist Dr Fiona Haughey who will be leading 5 x 30 minute tours at:
Meeting Point is the ramp By Kew Rail Bridge by Strand on the Green Sailing Club (between the City Barge and Bull’s Head pubs)
No children under 16 or unaccompanied minors.
Access to the island is by boat and steep steps and the surface is very uneven so it is not suitable for those with mobility issues and sensible footwear is important.
Transport to the island provided by Strand on the Green sailing club.
Sensible, waterproof footwear is recommended.
Cost £10 plus booking fee
Twickenham Riverside Heritage Walk and Visit to the Eel Pie Island Museum
Fantastic history tour and museum visit
Meet up at the Eel Pie Island Museum which covers the early careers of Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Bowie, Genesis and many other 1960’s stars and their links to the island. Staff will be on hand to talk about the exhibits.
Then setting off on your fully illustrated walk along Twickenham’s historic Arcadian riverside. Some of your stops along the way: Church St in the heart of the riverside village, the Embankment overlooking Eel Pie Island, Twickenham’s very own Naked Ladies, the 17th century White Swan Pub (time for a pint later!), and Orleans House Gallery, home to the borough’s art collection.
Your walk will finish on the riverside opposite Ham House, next to Hammertons Ferry.
Participants are then welcome to return to the museum at any time during the day (the museum closes at 6pm).
Meet up at the award-winning Eel Pie Island Museum in central Twickenham
Meeting Point is Eel Pie Island Museum. 1-3 Richmond Road Twickenham TW1 3AB
Walks at 11.30am 1.30pm and 3.30pm
Max 18 people per walk
Cost £8 + booking fee.
Strand on The Green Foreshore Walk (Archaeology & History)
The highly popular Thames Foreshore guided walks will led by local archaeologist Dr Fiona Haughey who has worked on the Thames foreshore since 1993. Come along a witness the living history of London’s river.
Meeting point: head of the new river stairs by Kew bridge upstream side (off the Kew Bridge piazza)
Timings: Ist walk 14.30-15.30 2nd walk 16.00-17.00
Each group maximum number 20 in total. No unaccompanied children. Suitable for children aged 7yrs upwards, not any younger. Not suitable for those with mobility issues – steps, uneven underfoot, muddy areas. Suitable footgear for an uneven, muddy environment ie trainers/wellies/stout shoes. Gloves will be provided
(Only those able to show a PLA permit will be allowed to take anything away from the foreshore)
Dr David Solomon will be signing copies of his new book A History of Fish and Fisheries of the River Thames at Thames Tidefest on September 12th. You can come and meet the author and not only will he personally sign your copy of the book, but David is giving a £5 discount to every purchase made at the event. So come along to Strand On The Green on September 12th to get your copy and have a chat with the author.
The book itself describes the fascinating history of fish in the Thames, and the development of fisheries to catch them both for food and sport. It is lavishly illustrated with old engravings, maps and photographs, and contains a wealth of anecdotes and stories that will delight the angler, natural historian, historian and fishery professional alike. The author is both a lifelong angler and a fishery scientist, and he draws on his long experience in these fields for the background and material for this book.
Interesting stories include:-
· the numbers and price of each species of local freshwater fish used to feed Thomas Cranmer, former Archbishop of Canterbury, in the days leading up to his execution in Oxford in 1556 (pike were the most expensive);
· the long history of attempts to re-introduce salmon to the river (it held good numbers until the early 19th century);
· a thriving fishery for roach at London Bridge in the 18th century, and the interesting methods used to catch them;
· huge catches of barbel in Victorian times, made by groundbaiting with thousands of worms;
· the decline of the fishery for eels using traps and weirs
· the man with a lifetime catch of more than 800 Thames trout over 3 lb (including several of more than 10 lb). Details of availability will be found at www.fluvialbooks.com
London’s Mudlarker and best selling author, Lara Maiklem, will be at this year’s Tidefest on September 12th leading two foreshore walks and signing copies of her new book ‘A Field Guide to Larking’. This is a brilliant opportunity to meet the author and get your hands on a rare signed edition !
The book itself is a practical, interactive and inspiring guide to ‘larking’ – meaning to get out and about, to explore the world around us and to discover the little treasures hiding in plain sight. In this beautiful field guide, Lara teaches us how to lark for ourselves. There are maps and charts, tips and lists, and colour illustrations throughout to help identify finds. From tide tables for mudlarkers to a flint guide for fieldlarkers, this book is richly informative and yet small enough to pop in a pocket. Lara Maiklem has become synonymous with “Mudlarking” along the Thames foreshore and her first book, Mudlarking, was published in 2019 and quickly became a best seller.
Lara’s two walks are already sold out but she is looking forward to meeting Thames enthusiasts at her book signing at the Strand on the Green Embankment between 12.00 and 1.30pm.
“Tidefest is my favourite river festival, a proper chance to get hands on with the Thames in a beautiful setting.”
Tidefest is now in its 8th year and celebrates the recreational opportunities available on the River Thames in London withactivities for all the family. These include boats trips, paddle boarding, kayaking, foreshore walks, island visits, London’s biggest angling competition and much more.
Local wildlife organisations, river and environmental groups and community associations have been involved in organising Tidefest since its inception in 2014. It is part of the month long Totally Thames Festival and is sponsored by Thames Water with support from the London Borough of Hounslow, Port of London Authority and the Environment Agency.
Visitors can enjoy river dipping with experts to discover what lives in the Thames or find some hidden corners with trips to the historic Oliver’s Island or the Eel Pie Island museum – celebrating the 60s music venue which saw the start of the careers of Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones.
Tidefest Chairman Martin Salter from the Angling Trust said:
“Tidefest is now a well-established annual event with a loyal band of followers who turn out every year. It is an event which aims to help reconnect Londoners with their river and we do this by getting into and onto the water through a whole range of educational and recreational activities. I’m so pleased that Lara Maiklem is joining us once again to give us the benefit of her great knowledge of the history of this wonderful river that has enhanced and sustained our capital city for generations. Please put September 12th in your diary and visit our website to find out what the River Thames has to offer.”
One of the brilliant things about Thames Tidefest is the atmosphere that is generated around Kew Bridge and Strand On The Green during the event. It’s absolutely joyful !
Thames TideFest took place for the first time in 2014 on World Rivers Day to highlight and celebrate the recreational importance of the Thames Tideway to Londoners. In the years since we have built on this success and the festival has firmly established itself as a key date in the London diary. We concentrate on free events and encouraging those who attend to use the wonderful local shops and pubs, learn more about the river, it’s wildlife and it’s history and just spend some time enjoying the the Thames !
Tidefest is a celebration of the recreational importance of London’s river and will involve a range of other activities designed to get people out and enjoying what the Thames Tideway has to offer. The groups involved in organising this year’s event include the London Wildlife Trust, Thames Angler’s Conservancy, Thames 21, The River Thames Society, ZSL and the Angling Trust. Other activities planned include foreshore walks, river dipping, seine netting, paddleboarding, sailing, kayaking and historical walks along the Thames Path. As soon as we have more details of the booking procedures for this years event, we will let you know !