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Totally Thames: what's on this year?

Spanning the whole of September, 2015's Totally Thames festival is set to be bigger and better

© Jason deCaires Taylor

Returning for another year, the Totally Thames festival graces the banks of the River Thames this September. Bigger than previous years, the celebration will take place across the whole of the month (Tue Sep 1–Wed Sep 30 2015) and is one of the many London events in September worth making a splash about. Forget about the usual boat trips in London, start looking up the best riverside pubs and bars, and dive into this month-long party along the River Thames full of arts festivals, community events, regattas, river races, foreshore archaeology and environmental activities.

Totally Thames 2015 highlights

A Mile in My Shoes

The Empathy Museum presents an audio portrait of Wandsworth in the form of an interactive shoe shop. Visitors are invited to put on another person's shoes and walk a mile along the riverside as they listen to the stranger's life story.

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Riverside Gardens, Vauxhall Until Sunday September 27 2015

Bascule Chambers by Iain Chambers

Bascule chambers are the huge underground holes beneath a bridge into which the counterweights of its road section sink when the bridge is raised. This event is the first to take place in Tower Bridge's chamber, and will feature the premiere of (appropriately named) composer Iain Chambers' work for brass and electronics, 'Bascule Chambers', that is based on a recording of the bridge being lifted.

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Tower Bridge, Bermondsey Saturday September 26 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Kids' Choir and Sing for Water

More than 400 primary school children have been practicing all year for this performance, which takes place as part of Totally Thames. Their set list includes a South African freedom song, Irish folk music, traditional Swedish melodies and plenty more, and they'll be led by choral conductor Dominic Peckham. The children's performance is followed by Sing for Water, an adult mass choir which is raising money for Water Aid.

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The Scoop, London Bridge Sunday September 13 2015

Rain Interactive by Luzinterruptus

Celebrate the value of water as one of life's key elements in this interactive installation which will see visitors of all ages assisting Spanish artist Luzinterruptus in creating a canopy of 5,000 giant rain drops, each of which is made from a condom containing water and light.

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Watermans , Brentford Friday September 18 2015 - Sunday September 20 2015

The River & The Garden

Explore London's oldest botanic garden as dusk falls at this special Totally Thames event. Visitors will be treated to informative tours and activities, and a gin bar will be serving all evening.

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Chelsea Physic Garden, Chelsea Thursday September 17 2015

St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival

Enjoy the cheerful collection of classic boats which call St Katharine Docks their home at this two-day festival, which takes place as part of Totally Thames. Visitors will be able to explore the boats on guided tours and there's be food stalls and live music from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra, the Sea Shanty Singers and many more.

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St Katharine Docks, Tower Hill Saturday September 12 2015 - Sunday September 13 2015

Thames Boat Trip: Brunel's London

Join curator of the Brunel Museum Robert Hulse on a river cruise from Embankment to the Brunel Museum, passing under three Brunel bridges along the way. Hulse will provide anecdotes and history to go with the famous sights you'll see from the Thames, and the tour will finish with a trip down into Brunel's impressive tunnel.

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Various, London Saturday September 5 2015 - Tuesday September 29 2015

The Rising Tide by Jason deCaires Taylor

Four majestic working horses and their riders will inhabit the Thames foreshore at Nine Elms for the duration of Totally Thames. The works are a commission by underwater eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor and will only be visible at the river's lowest point, highlighting the importance of the river to our city. They'll be visible from the riverside walkway for up to two hours either side of low tide, but timings vary daily so check the Totally Thames website before you visit.

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Thames Foreshore at Vauxhall, Vauxhall Until Wednesday September 30 2015

The Kingston Riverside Bash

Young Londoners can get to know Kingston's chunk of the river a whole lot better on these days devoted to creative workshops and family-friendly activities. Help to create a River of Dreams sculpture under Kingston Bridge, enjoy live music at Riverside Edge and imagine some marvellous Creatures of the Thames.

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Riverside Walk, Kingston Upon Thames Saturday September 12 2015 - Saturday September 19 2015

The Riverside Festival

Enjoy a weekend of family fun with a rather spectacular view of Tower Bridge as your backdrop at this two-day festival, which is part of Totally Thames. Live folk music, Soapbox Science, a recycling bicycle, Vauxhall City Farm's animals, theatrical performances, flower headresses and plenty more are on the bill, and Sunday's activities will be themed to celebrate Colombia Day.

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Potters Fields Park, London Bridge Saturday September 5 2015 - Sunday September 6 2015


Make the Thames Tideway your watery playground on this day of taster sessions, walks, activities and entertainment. Try out stand up paddleboarding, enjoy a kayaking taster session, learn about local wildlife on a guided walk or take a boat trip from Kew Pier. Educational children's activities will be on offer and refreshments will be available. 

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chiswick, London Sunday September 20 2015

Looking for more fun in September?

London events in September

Say goodbye to summer in style – get out and get stuck into the last of the capital's festivals, pop-ups and outdoor shindigs this month.

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By: Phoebe Trimingham