Britain’s most famous river will play host to several exciting events this month, so you can head to the Thames each weekend for some free entertainment – whether you’re a local or visiting on a London break.
The Mayor’s Thames Festival taking place on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 September is one of my favourite London festivals, and not just because it’s free – though that certainly helps! With a hugely diverse calendar of events centred on the River Thames, you can expect everything from street performances and circuses to illuminations and spectacular fireworks, to make sure things go out with a bang. Sounds like the perfect pick-me-up if you visited the Edinburgh Festival last month and you’re eager for more!
If you do head to London, you won’t be able to miss the events all along the banks and walkways of the mighty river, which winds through many of London’s most visited areas – including the stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge, which will be transformed for the festivities.
The festival isn’t the only prestigious event taking to the water this month though, as Europe’s most celebrated river race will follow hot on its heels on Saturday 25 September. The 21-mile Great River Race from London’s Docklands in the east to Richmond in the west is the water-based equivalent of the Marathon, and can be just as fun to watch – with race teams competing for charity in all manner of bizarre outfits.
That makes the Great River Race a perfect alternative if you find the Oxford and Cambridge boat race a little stuffy, and even though the rowers are in it to win it, they’re making a very valuable contribution to charity too.