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Totally Thames: what's on this year?

Spanning the whole of September, 2016'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 (Sep 1–Sep 30 2016) 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.

We'll be updating this page with more details when they become avaliable

Totally Thames 2016 highlights

Bascule Chamber Concerts

Yes, Tower Bridge is super impressive and good looking. But have you checked out the Bascule Chamber? It's basically a hidden space that counters the weight of the bridge when it lifts. It's also one of London's most atmospheric venues. Composer Iain Chambers has created new works specifically for the Bascule Chamber as part of the Totally Thames festival. This feat of Victorian engineering is a must-see and the extraordinary acoustics are a must-hear.

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Tower Bridge , Bermondsey Saturday September 24 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

Floating Dreams by Ik-Joong Kang

This striking 3-storey-high illuminated lantern covered in hundreds of miniature drawings will appear to float in the middle of the Thames as part of the Totally Thames festival. The large installation is a memorial to the victims of the Korean War (1950-53). Each of the tiny 500 drawings were created by people displaced by the war and depict their memories of home.

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Bankside Riverwalk , South Bank Thursday September 1 2016 - Friday September 30 2016

Great Fire Anniversary Weekend at The Monument

In honour of the 350th anniversary weekend of the Great Fire of London (and as part of the Totally Thames festival) the Monument will be throwing open their doors and all 311 spiral steps for visitors for free. Climb to the top and gasp at the panoramic views. This London landmark was built 300 years ago and it's height corresponds to that pesky bakery where the fire started. And because of London's rapidly changing skyline you're guaranteed a new view with every trip.

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Monument , Bank Friday September 2 2016 - Sunday September 4 2016

The Great River Race

London's annual river marathon sees over 300 international crews compete to become the UK's Traditional Boat Champions. Participants range from serious athletes to recreational rowers in fancy dress. It's a spectator's dream watching the motley crew of boats charge down the river, there's gigs, skiffs, Chinese dragon boats, Hawaiian war canoes, Viking longboats, Irish curraghs, shallops, wherries and whalers.

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Millwall Dock , Canary Wharf Saturday September 3 2016

Midnight Apothecary

Make the most of Brunel Museum's rooftop garden with campfires, toasted marshmallows and the odd sing-a-long. As well as sipping cocktails made from foraged ingredients, guests can venture into the Brunel tunnel, a giant subterranean concert hall. This museum late event will take place every Saturday for the duration of the Totally Thames festival. Tickets include entry to the museum, optional guided tours and marshmallows. Booking recommended.

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Brunel Museum , Rotherhithe Saturday September 3 2016 - Saturday September 24 2016

Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival

Dozens of tall-masted sailing ships will grace the east end of the Thames with their presence for this five-day festival. It’s a chance to taste just how busy and vital the Thames used to be as the quickest trade route out and into the city, and how stunning it would have been to stand bankside and witness huge vessels swim past. Visitors can even climb on board, as well as enjoying gigs, parades, firework displays and other entertainments.

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Royal Borough of Greenwich , Greenwich Wednesday September 14 2016 - Sunday September 18 2016

Thames River Relay

This popular month-long relay returns for it's fourth year as aquatic Londoners on Stand Up Paddle Boards pass the baton - a bottle filled with fresh Thames water at source - from Kemble, Gloucestershire to Southend. As the different groups travel the length of the Thames there will be various events, clean ups and taster sessions along the route.

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Various Venues , London Thursday September 1 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

Treasures of the Thames Late

A late night opening exploring the wonders of the River Thames. Archaeologists will shed light on past lives lived along the foreshore, volunteers from the RNLI will be explaining more about the life-saving work they do on the water and curator of Cartography, Megan Barford will be discussing how mapmakers chart London's lifeblood. Tickets include a beer from Meantime Brewery.

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National Maritime Museum , Greenwich Thursday September 1 2016

The Singing Bridge

What links the reconstruction of Waterloo Bridge and electronic music? Admittedly not that much. Until now! Sound artist Claudia Molitor has teamed up with a poet, folk band and drum and synth duo to create a 40-minute musical experience people can enjoy while crossing the bridge all as part of Totally Thames Festival. It's going to reflect the social history of the bridge and the mostly female workforce that reconstructed it during WWII. Book your timeslot online, pick up a headset from Somerset House and go explore the bridge and surrounding area with all your senses.

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Somerset House , Temple Friday September 9 2016 - Sunday September 25 2016

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