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.
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
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)
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)
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 !
OVER 18’s ONLY
We suggest wearing sports clothing and shoes that can get wet. 8 places available per session. Session timings:
*. 10.15 – 12noon
· 12noon – 1.30pm
Participants should be over 18 years of age, be able to swim 50 metres and come changed ready to paddle.
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
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.