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FAMILY-FRIENDLY EVENTS AT THIS YEAR’S TOTALLY THAMES FESTIVAL

The River Thames is a prominent landmark throughout much of London and this month, a festival is underway to celebrate the places and cultures that line its banks. Totally Thames runs until 30 September and there is a packed schedule of events, including many activities that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

THAMES ROCKETS

If your children love adrenaline-fueled fun, then treat them to the Totally Thames Blast aboard a 630-horsepower Rocket boat. Departing from St Katharine’s Pier, you will speed past Tower Bridge and reach speeds of 30 knots. Over 15 minutes you will get a whistle-stop tour of the river’s history, all accompanied by high-powered music.

See the iconic sleek facade of The Shard, the tallest building in the UK, stretching up into the sky as you zoom past and wave at the people on the river bank. It is a family adventure that you won’t forget in a hurry.

RIVERS OF THE WORLD EXHIBITION

Visit the Rivers of the World exhibition at Oxo Tower Wharf to see artwork created by young people from locations as diverse as Barking and Dagenham, Malawi, Nepal and Palestine. Each piece has been inspired by a river and the contributors worked together with professional artists to explore the importance of local waterways to communities across the globe.

Featuring pieces from contributors in more than 30 countries, the exhibition is open until 9 September. It will be accompanied by performances from poets who have lived on boats and been inspired by such residences in their work.

MUDLARK WALKS: FLOTSAM TALISMANS

Create a charm or talisman from the flotsam and jetsam washed up on the foreshore of the Thames at low tide. This immersive workshop will be accompanied by live artist and amateur mudlark Sebastian, who will perform a tale of the history of the River Thames. Meet at the Mudlark pub and be sure to wear sensible footwear.

Mudlarking is an important part of London’s history, as it refers to anyone who scavenges in the mud by the river to find things of value. While many of those who did so in the 18th and 19th centuries were looking for items to sell, the tradition can turn up other areas of interest in the modern age.

Whether you are interested in the history of London, how pollution and climate change are affecting the Thames or the changes the river has gone through, the answers can be found here. Visiting with an expert is paramount to ensure your safety.

BENGAL’S DURGA

To celebrate 70 years of the British Council in India, a collaborative event with several organisations is bringing an outdoor photography exhibition to London. It is showcasing all the colour, culture and creativity associated with the Durga Puja in West Bengal.

This annual celebration centres on the River Hooghly and combines religious rituals with other festivities. Ten million people travel to the Indian state for ten days in the autumn with thousands of idols, to create art installations and lead processions to the river.

All of this has been brought to life in the photographs on show, which can be viewed until 30 September. Make your way to the Riverside Walkway on the South Bank of the Thames and be transported to Bengal.

THE CLASSIC BOAT FESTIVAL

St Katharine Dock will come alive with activity between 7 September and 9 September, as the tenth annual Classic Boat Festival takes over the area. More than 40 vintage sailing and motor boats are brought together to offer you a glimpse of these stunning vessels and even the chance to talk to the owners and explore on board.

Among the highlights will be a number of Dunkirk Little Ships, which were instrumental in the evacuation of 331,000 troops from the French beach, as German soldiers advanced in 1940. Some 700 of these small boats were used to help turn a military disaster into triumph.

There will be the opportunity to try stand-up paddle boarding, canoe taster sessions and trips on the 1923 wooden sailing vessel the Lady Daphne. This historic ship will glide under Tower Bridge as it lifts its bascules to let her pass. Younger members of the family, meanwhile, may wish to take part in a treasure hunt hosted by vintage cartoon heroes Sharky and George.

Photo credit: Daniel Lange via iStock

 Share your stay with us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram with our hashtag #RGHFriends.
We would also love to see your family adventures in London with our hashtag #RGHFamilies.

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