Throughout September we are celebrating all things Thames. The city’s famous river is 42 miles long, and The Thames Festival Trust are bringing it to life through a series of artsy and cultural events on, in and beside it. We’ve selected a few Totally Thames highlights, and also added some of our own river-ting (we shouldn’t be allowed to make jokes) events that we think you might enjoy. (If you get hungry on the South Bank, check out our guide to the best restaurants near Tate Modern.)
1. Floating Dreams
This giant installation, aptly named Floating Dreams, can be found floating on the river near Millennium Bridge. Created by the celebrated South Korean artist, Ik-Joong Kang, this illuminated piece is an impressive 3 storeys high and is comprised of 500 small drawings. These drawings were created by the people and families who were divided and displaced during the Korean War. Kang is giving a talk about his piece on 16th September, but Floating Dreams will be on display until the end of September.
2. River Weekender
Now in its third year, the River Weekender is a wonderful festival of art and culture. Discover the incredible story of how the Thames saved us during the Great Fire of London, explore a cardboard community of house boats and barges, watch the Titanic at the outdoor cinema, or listen to a fabulous tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.
Watermans, 40 High Street, Brentford TW8 0DS.
Settle down with some bubbly in the beautiful Terrazza on the Thames! They’ve got prosecco from Bolla Wines and a variety of delicious pizzettes to get your mouth around. Pretend you’re in Italy for the evening… you’ll barely notice the difference between The Grand Canal in Venice and the Thames (actually we can’t promise that, but it doesn’t hurt to dream). Book through Fever to get a glass of prosecco and your choice of pizzette for just £9.99.
Columbia Restaurant, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London, Docklands Riverside, 265 Rotherhithe Street, SE16 5HW.
Why not discover the city from a Tall Ship sailing along the Thames? Cruise past the Old Royal Naval College and Cutty Sark, the Prime Meridian at Greenwich and the commercial heartland of Canary Wharf. There are 3 tours to choose from: the standard trip, including the boat tour and snacks; the fireworks package, which includes a firework display (funnily enough); and the VIP package, which includes a longer cruise all the way to Tower Bridge and back, a welcome drink, a dinner buffet and the firework display. Book through Fever here.
Greenwich Heritage Centre, Artillery Square, Royal Arsenal, SE18 6ST.
5. Life Afloat
They reckon that over 1,000 people live afloat the Thames. Learn about the history and evolution of the river’s residency through a series of photos and interviews.
Watermans, 40 High St, Brentford, Middlesex TW8 0DS. More info.
Comedy on the Thames? It’s aboat time! Have a laugh with an all star line-up of comedians, all while admiring the views across the river, including the miraculous London Eye. Tickets start at £12 and can be bought from our pals at Fever.
Tattershall Castle, Victoria Embankment, SW1A 2HR.
Fluxland is an interactive art piece, combining sound and vision. It has been created by French artist Cyril de Commarque, and it took an entire year to produce. The installation is a converted 25-metre freight boat, covered in a mirrored structure which will reflect the buildings and skyline as it passes on it’s journey down the river. You’ll be able to see and hear it from the river bank as it plays a soundtrack of samples from all over the globe. It will also moor regularly so you can get a closer look.
Until September 24.
8. Thames Blast
Blast down the Thames in a speedy Rocket boat trip. Reach speeds of 35mph and twist and turn through the docklands — it’s the perfect way to sightsee with an added adrenaline buzz.
Every Saturday and Sunday in September. St Katharine’s Way, London, E1W 1LA.
Also published on Medium.