One of the best ways to explore the River Thames is this year’s Totally Thames Festival. As one of the main tourist attractions of London, the Totally Thames Festival takes place along the 68-km river and spans a whole range of activities, art forms and events, all geared towards guests learning about the history of the river and what it means to the British people. Whether you’re staying in a youth hostel or a Luxury Hotel in London, this festival will no doubt have something for you to enjoy. From canoeing to poetry, find out about just what you can expect from this year’s Totally Thames Festival.



As with every year of the Totally Thames festival, there are several themes which are explored and promoted throughout the festivals wide variety of aquatic based programming. This year guests can find the themes starting with the 300th anniversary of Handel’s Water Music. This piece of music was written for King George I in 1717 and was performed on the River Thames. This iconic performance will of course resonate this year and will no doubt be very memorable indeed. On top of this the festival will explore even more of the River’s history, the city of London having existed around the river since the Roman era. Plenty of material then, and talking of material, the third theme will be that of the growing issue of plastic pollution in rivers and oceans across the globe. With these three widely different themes, guests can expect a hotpot of cultural intrigue and entertainment.


There are three main sections of the art side of the festival. These include the astounding Future Dust from Maria Arceo. This huge art installation is made from plastic collected from the River itself. You’ll be able to find it at different locations as the festival continues, resembling how waste can travel further than you might think. Another exhibit will be exploring London’s history through photography and film called Working River: London’s boatyard exhibitions. City Hall will also showcase international artists work in an exhibition named Rivers of the World.



Located in the subterranean halls underneath Tower Bridge, guests can find Iain Chambers’ Bascule Chamber Concerts. Not only will this be an incredibly atmospheric experience, you’ll also get to see the powerful counterweights which are lifted with draw bridge. On top of this, a school children’s choir of 400 pupils will be performing responses top Handel’s Water Music on the 17th September at a venue named The Scoop. If that’s not enough, Boat Poets will be creating spoken word poetry responses as part of their Thames residency at the National Poetry Library among other venues.

Stay active

With the amount of jogging, canoeing and river side fitness activities on the river, you can find a wide range of activities including the Great River Race running all the way from Millwall to Ham. On top of this you can find out about London’s long history of Engineering as you travel on a boat along the Thames whilst the Tidal River Swim is a great way to see the beautiful sights of Chiswick from within the river itself.