Totally Thames Festival – One of the oldest river races in the world

Totally Thames Festival

September sees the start of the Totally Thames Festival.  It has much to offer visitors, from underground concerts to archaeological river tours, free exhibitions, talks, art installations and boat races. This is the Thames in its full glory.

Boat racing has always played a part in life on the river Thames.  One of the oldest river races in the world is being held during the Festival.  It tests the skills of young people seeking to join the ranks of London’s select watermen.  This is the Doggett’s Coat & Badge race.  It has been held every year since 1715, and participants have to row under eleven bridges in London following a traditional route. Book a stay at any of the serviced apartments in Mayfair to have an easy access to the route that starts at London Bridge and ends at Cadogan Pier in Chelsea.  Most participants take around 25 minutes to complete the course. Over in Guildhall Yard in the City of London, you can find out more about the history of the race by taking a look at the special outdoor exhibition.

The Great River Race is much bigger and is effectively the river equivalent of the London Marathon.  Crews are attracted from all over the world and have to row 21.6 miles from London Docklands to Ham in Surrey.  Around 300 crews are taking part this year. These include many top athletes intent on being among the first to finish, while yet others are doing it for charity and are likely to include colorful stunts and fancy dress.  It will definitely be entertaining! With such a long river bank involved, there are lots of places you can watch the race including the Embankment, the bridges, and the South Bank. Or take a day trip out to Ham to watch the end of the race from the water meadows adjacent to the Thames Path before visiting the historic Ham House believed to be the most complete example anywhere in Europe of seventeenth-century fashion and power.

Totally Thames Festival, London

If you are really serious about visiting London this September, don't miss to check out brilliant London Garden Pubs that you need to visit.

Other activities during the Totally Thames Festival includes classical music, vocal and spoken word events held within the unusual subterranean spaces within Tower Bridge and river inspired artwork created by young people from around the world.  Listen to storytelling inspired by the myths of the River Danube, or join a guided tour of the foreshore immediately below the Tower of London.  There are special archaeological walks being held all along the river highlighting the history of the waterfront from Roman to Victorian times. So make sure to book any of the affordable aparthotels in London in order to enjoy this festival to its fullest.