Tidefest is a growing annual festival of the River Thames which takes place all along the river bank at Strand on the Green, with additional events at Chiswick Pier, One Over the Ait pub by Kew Bridge and Watermans arts centre in Brentford. There have been people living along the River Thames at Strand on the Green since prehistoric times. Tidefest, which first started in 2014, aims to highlight the recreational importance of the Thames to Londoners and to encourage people to ‘enjoy the river’. 2018 Tidefest is on Sunday 2 September.
Activities for all the family include guided walks along the foreshore with experts in the archaeology and history of the area, an angling competition, boat trips, stand up paddle boarding, river dipping, kayaking, water games, stalls and displays, talks and film showings, live fish tanks, local artists, food and live music.
In past years the programme has included a rare opportunity to visit the nature reserves on Oliver’s Island opposite Strand-on-the-Green and Lot’s Ait and a boat trip aboard the historic Thames launch the Windrush.
Totally Thames Festival
The river festival is part of a wider movement to celebrate the river, the month long Totally Thames Festival which organizes river related events throughout London all through the month of September.
Keeping the river clean
Thames Water and Tideway, the company building London’s ‘super sewer’, are sponsors of Tidefest and it is also supported by a whole range of wildlife organisations and environmental groups. Part of enjoying the river is having clean water and water birds and mammals that aren’t killed off by the rubbish we casually leave lying around the foreshore, so there’s also an element of education about the environment included in the programme of events.
Paddle boarding with Active 360. Paddle boarding is one of the activities you can try at Tidefest. Paul Hyman runs Active 360, the paddle boarding place at Kew Bridge. He showed The Chiswick Calendar’s reporter Sadiya Chowdhury how easy it is.