Tag Archives: River Thames

PaddleSports at Tidefest 2022 – Book Here

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 take place on September the 4th and are below, so scroll to the bottom to see all of your choices !

Kayak & Open Canoe Taster Sessions – September 4th

Run by the fantastic team at Edge Paddling, at Kew Bridge

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 ! All sessions led by Edge Kayak

Sessions will begin every 30 mins and go on throughout the day from 11.00am till 3.00pm

There are four solo kayaks available for each session and two family canoes per session. (A family canoe can hold a maximum of two adults and two small children or one larger teenager and MUST contain at least one adult)

Kayaks – 1 person per kayak, all participants must be 16years +

If you fancy a go just book tickets below and be sure to 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.

Family Canoe costs £10 per session (plus booking fee)

Individual Kayak costs £5 per session (plus booking fee)

Sea Kayaking Taster Sessions

Chelsea Kayak Club are Offering 1hour 30min sessions as part of Thames Tidefest on September 4th 2022. Cost per person £10 per session Plus booking fee. Based at Kew Bridge.

Each session includes some tuition followed by a paddle in a single sea kayaks. You won’t get to paddle in the open ocean, but the beautiful river Thames is the next best thing, so book your tickets NOW !


We suggest wearing sports clothing and shoes that can get wet. 8 places available per session. Session timings:

*. 10.15 – 12noon

· 12noon – 1.30pm

· 1.45-3.15pm

· 3.30-5pm

Participants should be over 18 years of age, be able to swim 50 metres and come changed ready to paddle.


Active 360 will be running their amazing Paddleboarding experiences once again !

Paddle board experts Active 360 be offering four taster sessions from the Kew Bridge Boating Arch, a downstream two hour natural history trip and a 90 minute paddle and litter pick.

Costs and Timings:

  • 45mins Taster Sessions – £10 pp at 11am, 12 noon, 1pm, 2pm
  • 90 min Paddle and Pick – £10

 – Natural History Tour – £30 from 2 – 4pm

–  Indoor paddlesport gym sessions.

Booking is via the Active 360 website at

Booking is via the Active 360 website HERE : https://cutt.ly/5ZlAn6j

Thames Fishing History Book signing

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 Mudlarker Lara Maiklem to hold book signing at this year’s Tidefest

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.

Lara says:

“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.

Full details including ticket bookings can be found at www.thamestidefest.net and on our Facebook page.

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.”

                                                         Come and Enjoy the River!

Free Events & Fun For ALL The Family

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 !

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