The Thames is such an iconic part of London life and what better way to celebrate it than with a month long festival? Totally Thames brings the river to life through a stimulating season of arts, cultural and river-based events throughout the 42-mile stretch of the Thames in London.
In 2015 around 2.6 million people joined in over 150 events and 2016 is set to be even better. Here’s our pick of the best events not to miss this September.
Floating Dreams is a major installation by one of South Korea’s most renowned and celebrated multimedia artists, Ik-Joong Kang. The large-scale installation is positioned in the middle of the Thames by Millennium Bridge. The three-storey-high lantern structure is made up of 500 drawings and illuminated from within. The installation as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the Korean War [1950-53], and a poignant symbol of hope for the reunification of North and South Korea. [Thurs 1 – Fri 30 September 2016, Free]
Join on of the many river walks taking place with the expert Footprints of London guides. Discover the fascinating history of the Thames from the Roman era through to the present day and its importance for London’s inhabitants, trade, transport and recreation. There are over 30 different walks covering an array of topics – book you tickets here.
For those feeling adventurous there is the Source to Sea River Relay. The journey will begin with a bottle being filled with fresh Thames water at the source of the river in Gloucestershire then it will be relayed down river by different groups travelling on Stand Up Paddle Boards. As the bottle makes its way towards London, lots of different events will take place along the way, including a mass paddle and SUP marathon, river clean ups, water conservation talks and SUP yoga sessions. For the fourth year running, Source to Sea River Relay will take place throughout September at various locations and is free to participate.
Pop along to Somerset House for a unique musical experience by composer and artist Claudia Molitor. The Singing Bridge is inspired by her fascination with the rich social history of Waterloo Bridge and its rebuilding during World War II by a predominantly female workforce. The 40 minute musical piece weaves you along Waterloo Bridge and its surrounding paths to capture time and space through dynamic sound. It features new compositions from Molitor, with contributions from folk band Stick in the Wheel, drum and synth duo AK/DK, and the poet SJ Fowler.
Fluxland is a new interactive artwork and sound piece setup in a converted 25-metre long freight boat mounted with a mirrored polyhedron sculptural form. French artist Cyril de Commarque has taken a year to pull together this pioneering project; sourcing the original vessel to converting the structure in its Dutch shipyard docking and readying Fluxland for its voyage to London. Fluxland will be both visible and audible from the banks of the Thames as it journeys down the river. The vessel will moor regularly in locations where viewers will be able to board and experience its immersive environment.
For four days only you will be able to sail in an original tall ship down the Thames. These impressive traditionally-rigged classic sailing vessels will be sailing between Woolwich Royal Arsenal, Greenwich and Tower Bridge. Enjoy the spectacular sights of the city and complete the evening with a spectacular fireworks display. [Thur 15 – Sun 18 September 2016, book tickets here]
Every Saturday evening throughout September the Brunel Museum is hosting a Midnight Apothecary in their rooftop gardens. Gather around the firepit and sip on exquisite alcoholic concoctions, including the specially crafted ‘Sweet Thames’ cocktail, all infused with herbs and flowers foraged from the garden. Take a free tour of The Grand Entrance Hall to Brunel’s Thames Tunnel, the world’s first beneath a river, and the underground chamber is half the size of Shakespeare’s Globe. [Every Saturday in September, 5.30pm-10.30pm. Book your tickets here]