Tag Archives: River Thames

Thames Tidefest 2021 is go !

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.

Although most of the events have to be pre-booked, there will be free activities available on the day. There is always a fantastic festival atmoshphere at Strand On The Green where Tidefest is based so make sure you visit on Septemer 12th

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.

Tidefest gives the opportunity for young and old alike to learn more about the amazing wildlife of the tidal Thames.

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.”

Paddlesports have become a key part of Thames Tidefest in the past eight years and there are lots of opportunities to come along and have a go in one of our taster sessions.

                                                          Come and Enjoy the River!

Follow in the footsteps of Clapton & Jagger, Dickens & Henry VIII

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

Tours at 10am, 1pm, 4pm

Limit 15 Places per tour

Cost: £6 + Booking Fee,

Museum website – www.eelpiemuseum.co.uk

Explore the Thames Foreshore with Lara “Mudlarking” Maiklem !

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.

Gloves will be provided .

Explore a Secret Island

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.

Tickets Go On sale for Windrush Cruises !

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

Tickets – £12

12 places per trip

Cruise time 1 hour

Amazing Tidefest – It’s London’s Family River Festival !

“Wow what an amazing day by the river…I absolutely LOVE Tidefest”*

Now in it’s 5th year, Thames Tidefest 2019 is set to be the bigger and better than ever before. Dubbed “London’s Family River Festival”, Tidefest offers an eclectic mix of free and low cost events centred around the River Thames in London.

Thames Tidefest offers fun and enjoyment for everyone and most of it is absolutely free !

Live music, paddlesports, river cruises, riverside pubs, secret island adventures, historical walks, guided photography sessions, Rock ‘n Roll history, stalls, fishing, river dipping and much, much more and all with an environmental feel, Tidefest is an event for the whole family and one that won’t put a dent in your pocket.

Various paddlesports have always been a huge part of Tidefest and it’s a brilliant opportunity for absolute novices to try their hand.

Much of the Festival is absolutely free, just come along to Strand On The Green  in Chiswick on September 8th and join in the fun, or why not buy tickets for one of our amazing low cost special events ? River Cruises for a fiver, Historic tours for £3.00, Bird-watching walks for £2.00 and that’s just the start, all our events are either free or offer amazing value. So what are you waiting for ? Take a look at the ticketed events HERE or find out more about what’s absolutely free HERE.

We’d love to meet you at Thames Tidefest, so please come along and let’s all enjoy the river together !



*first time visitor feedback from last years event.

Visitor discounts for museum and wildlife attractions at TideFest

Visitors to this year’s TideFest on 20th September will be able to benefit from discounted or free access to three great West London attractions by simply turning up with a TideFest programme or mentioning TideFest when booking. The discounts are available at the popular London Wetland Centre in Barnes and the award winning London Museum of Water and Steam in Brentford whilst Thames Water have agreed to open the doors to their internationally important wetland nature reserve at Kempton.

TideFest is a new River Thames event which took place for the first time last year on World Rivers Day to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners. TideFest 2015 takes place on September 20th at Chiswick, Kew, Brentford, Barnes, Isleworth and at other locations along the Thames Tideway. TideFest is organized by river and wildlife organisations and is part of the Totally Thames Festival and is sponsored by Thames Tideway Tunnel and Thames Water.

Discounts at the London Wetland Centre

London Wetland Centre nature reserve is a haven for birds, butterflies, bats, amphibians and water voles, with six hides, kids’ adventure zones and cafés.

Nestled in a loop of the Thames, London Wetland Centre is an urban oasis for wildlife and people; a rural idyll in the heart of the capital.  It is perfect for a relaxing stroll along the paths that meander among the lakes, meadows and gardens.

A 20% discount will be offered on the standard admission fee of £12.75, and all other tickets, for Sept 20th when mentioning TideFest or presenting a programme.

London Wetland Centre nature reserve is a haven for birds, butterflies, bats, amphibians and water voles
London Wetland Centre nature reserve is a haven for birds, butterflies, bats, amphibians and water voles

Discounts at the London Museum of Water & Steam

London Museum of Water & Steam is home to magnificent collection of steam pumping engines and tells the history of London’s water supply. This great little museum by Kew Bridge is offering a special Sept 20th package where all kids go free and adults can have a special £8.00 rate, instead of £11.50, if quoting Tidefest or presenting a Tidefest programme.

London Museum of Water & Steam is home to magnificent collection of steam pumping engines.
London Museum of Water & Steam is home to magnificent collection of steam pumping engines.

Kempton Nature Reserve Community Day

Kempton Nature Reserve will be opening its doors free of charge to the community to come and explore this internationally important 20-hectare wetland nature reserve in West London.

  • The site has deep-water areas with reed fringes, extensive areas of gravel and mud attractive to wading birds, a network of channels and islands for safe nesting refuges.
  • On offer during the open day will be a range of interactive activities to explore the biodiversity of the wetlands and the need to conserve it.
  • There will also be a mini bio-blitz with species surveys focused on aquatic habitats and guided birdwatching walks, suitable for adults as well as children.

Compton Nature Reserve is haven for wildlife such as this beautiful Sedge Warbler.
Kempton Nature Reserve is haven for wildlife such as this beautiful Sedge Warbler.

TideFest Organiser, Martin Salter of the Angling Trust said: “Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors and partners we are able to offer a great range of activities either free of charge or at substantially discounted rates at this year’s TideFest. We want to encourage people to appreciate the wildlife, history and recreational potential of the Thames Tideway and the surrounding area and create a genuine celebration of all that the river has to offer.”


1.Venue Details

London Wetland Centre, Queen Elizabeth Walk, Barnes, SW13 9WT. Opens: 9.30am – 6pm

London Museum of Water & Steam, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford, TW8 OEN. Opens: 11am – 4pm

Kempton Nature Reserve, Snakey Lane, Feltham, London, TW13 6XH. Opens: 10am – 5pm