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
Thames Tidefest Offers you the chance to enjoy A River Thames Cruise aboard the wonderful Thames Launch ‘Discoverer’ with fun and informative commentary from Peter Finch, chairman of the River Thames Society.
Stand out on the open bow and stern decks as the trip will head downriver from Kew Pier past the historic village of Strand-on-the-Green – once home to Dylan Thomas and Nancy Mitford, past Oliver’s Island – apparently named after Oliver Cromwell at the time of the battle of Turnham Green. Further down, take in the old brewery Maltings buildings and the picturesque riverside villages of Mortlake and Chiswick Mall.
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 !
There are a whole host of stalls set up with free events and things of interest including The Zooligical Society of London, The Environment Agency and The RNLI . Plus there are free events to get involved with too, including Circus Skills workshops, River Dipping and much, much more. We will keep updating this page as we get more attractions confirmed.
So Get the date in your diary now and make sure you are down at Strand On The Green on September 12th or you will miss out on all the fun !
Going on a relaxing cruise of the Thames in a beautiful and historic boat is one of the very best ways of getting to know the river better and as part of Thames Tidefest 2021 we have two fantastic cruises to choose from so scroll right down the page to see the choice on offer. Book now or miss out as our ticket prices are so good the tickets are always snapped up quickly !
River Thames Islands Cruise on the historic Windrush
Take a boat trip along the Thames aboard this historic Thames Launch. As part of Tidefest 21, The River Thames Society is organising four trips – each an hour long – around the Thames Tideway islands, leaving from Kew Pier . Guided commentary is included. (Advance booking is essential as these trips sell out quickly)
The Windrush will leave Kew Pier at 11am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm
A River Thames Cruise aboard the wonderful Thames Launch ‘Discoverer’ with fun and informative commentary from Peter Finch, chairman of the River Thames Society. The trip is from Kew Pier towards Hammersmith Bridge.
Trips will leave Kew Pier at 10.30am, 11.45am, 1.00pm and 2.15pm
Paddlesports have always been an integral part of the Thames Tidefest experience. With our partners we offer a fantastic opportunity for people to try out canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding for themselves at a subsidised price. All our paddlesports events are below, so scroll to the bottom to see all of your choices !
If you’ve never been in a canoe or Kayak before this is your chance ! If you’ve had a go before and long to try it again, then this is for you too !
Sessions will begin every 30 mins and go on throughout the day.
There are four solo kayaks available for each session and two family canoes per session. ( family canoes can take 2 x adults and 2 x minors and MUST contain at least one adult)
Kayaks – 1 person per kayak, all participants must be 16years +
Please wear clothes that you don’t mind getting a bit wet and sensible shoes. All equipment, including buoyancy aids will be supplied.
Qualified coaches will lead the groups and coaches reserve the right to assess the suitability of groups on the day.
Active 360 are offering three different ways to get out on the Thames on a Paddleboard.
Tidefest special Natural History tour
Join us as for a Thames Natural History Tour, as we explore the wonderful wildlife of the River Thames. The river was once biologically dead, all life extinguished by industrial pollution, but since the 1970s wildlife has been returning, and thriving. And we’re on a mission to find it.
The Thames is now home to more than 125 species of fish, which in turn support two species of seal, deep-diving cormorants, stealthy grey herons and more. Stand up paddleboarding allows us to enjoy a unique perspective of the river’s wildlife, immersing ourselves in nature.
As we paddle, you will also learn about the natural history and ecology of the Thames, and the issues that still threaten this iconic waterway.
This 2h session is suitable for those who have never paddled before. The session will include a lesson. Upon taking part in this session you will be able to sign up for the three-hour guided tour to Richmond.
Join us for a Paddleboarding session at the Tidefest foreshore festival. Tidefest is an annual celebration of the River Thames and all it has to offer so there will be lots of other activities and entertainment for you to enjoy before and after your session.
The session will start with some land-based training at Kew Bridge, before heading out on the river and being gently taken by the tide. We will pass some of West London’s most iconic sites and when the tide turns we will be taken back to Kew Bridge with the tide.
*How far we get depends on the conditions on the day.
This stand up paddleboard session is suitable for beginners and adults of all abilities and ages. You will need to be able to swim and be confident in the water. Certain level of flexibility and ability to get up to standing from kneeling is required for learning to paddleboard.
You’ll be sharing your instructor/s, but you’ll be sure to meet some interesting people to add to the experience. The session will start with a safety briefing and some land-based training before heading out on the water for a guided tour. You’ll be able to ask for technique advice and tips along the way. Don’t be shy!
Join us for a Paddleboarding taster session at the Tidefest foreshore festival. Tidefest is an annual celebration of the River Thames and all it has to offer so there will be lots of other activities and entertainment for you to enjoy before and after your taster session.
This stand up paddleboard session is suitable for beginners and adults of all abilities and ages. These sessions are also open to Children aged 11+.
Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
You will need to be able to swim and be confident in the water. Certain level of flexibility and ability to get up to standing from kneeling is required for learning to paddleboard.
You’ll be sharing your instructor/s, but you’ll be sure to meet some interesting people to add to the experience. The session will start with a safety briefing and some land-based training before heading out on the water for a short guided tour. You’ll be able to ask for technique advice and tips along the way. Don’t be shy!
We are delighted to announce that following the continued easing of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions Thames Tidefest 2021 will definitely being going ahead as planned on Sunday September 12th at Strand on the Green, Chiswick and other venues along the Thames Tideway. However, as last year, most of the events in our reduced programme will have to be pre- booked.
Tidefest is now in its 8th year and celebrates the recreational opportunities available on the River Thames in London with activities for all the family. These include 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 with main sponsor Thames Water and 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. The Thames holds over 120 different species of fish and is home to a tremendous array of birds yet surprisingly few people are aware of what a great resource we have here in the heart of London. Please put September 12th in your diary and visit our website to find out what the River Thames has to offer.”
Twickenham Riverside Heritage Walk & Visit to the Eel Pie Island Museum
Meet up at the award-winning Eel Pie Island Museum in central Twickenham before setting off on your fully illustrated walk along Twickenham’s historic Arcadian riverside. Some of your stops along the way: the newly pedestrianised Church St, the Embankment overlooking Eel Pie Island, Twickenham’s very own Naked Ladies, the White Swan Pub (time for a pint later!), and the Orleans House Gallery. 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), and find out more about the role this tiny island played in the Sixties’ British Beat Explosion, hosting soon-to-be international stars such as The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton and the Who in its dilapidated ballroom music venue.
Even before it paid host to Rock and Roll legends like Mick Jagger the hotel on Eel Pie Island was a retreat known for its music and food. In the summer of 1838 it received a visit from Charles Dickens, he came by paddle steamer to visit the island and inside the hotel he would write much of Little Dorrit. He liked the island so much that he actually referenced it in his book Nicholas Nickleby where he described it as a place to “dance in the open air to the music of a locomotive band”.
In the 1600’s the sovereign of the UK was entitled to the first eel pie meal each year. The story goes that King Henry the eighth himself would be rowed up the Thames on his royal barge to claim his meal every year. This legend is simply a fraction of the fascinating history of Eel Pie Island, and of Twickenham. If you’d like to take a walk in the footsteps of Kings and Rock Gods and learn more about the island’s heritage, why not join us on the Twickenham Riverside Heritage Walk this summer.
Meet at the Eel Pie Island Museum, 1-3, Richmond Rd, Twickenham TW1 3AB
Come and explore the rich history of the Thames foreshore with leading London Mudlarker Lara Maiklem.
Lara has become synonymous with “Mudlarking” in London and her book published in 2019 became a best selling sensation ! Read a Review Here
This walk is a special opportunity to join Lara on a trip through history as she explains Londons past through the objects that can be found on the banks of London’s river Thames.
Max. 20 people per walk at a cost of £4 per person
Walks at 14.00 – 15.00
15.30 – 16.30
Meeting Point is new river stairs leading down from the Piazza right by Kew Bridge.
Walks are suitable for 7year olds and upwards however there are steps and it can be muddy and uneven underfoot so suitable footwear -wellies, trainers or flat shoes are best and it’s not really suitable for anyone with a mobility issue.
Unique opportunity to explore a secret Thames island
Olivers Island is normally off limits to the public,
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.
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. Masks are required on the boat but not on the island.
River Thames Islands Cruise on the historic Windrush
Take a boat trip along the Thames. The River Thames Society is organising four trips – each an hour long – around the Thames Tideway islands, leaving from Kew Pier on the historic Thames launch the “Windrush”. Guided commentary is included. (Advance booking is essential as these trips sell out quickly)
The Windrush will leave Kew Pier at 11am, 12.15pm, 1.30pm, 2.45pm