Thames Tidefest: free kayak & stand up paddleboarding

by Ian Tokelove
Active 360 TideFest Thames


TideFest  is a new River Thames event taking place on World Rivers Day  – Sunday 28th September 2014 – to highlight and celebrate the recreational importance of the Thames Tideway to Londoners.

TideFest is taking place as part of the month long Totally Thames festival and is supported by the Thames Tunnel Now Coalition and the Thames Tideway Tunnel.  Along with paddle boarding and kayaking there are lots of other free activities taking place.

Celebrate the Thames by taking to the water on a stand up paddleboard or kayak, try your hand at fishing, check out the sailing races, enjoy a heritage walk along the River Wandle or or go river dipping in the Thames, or even visit a secret island nature reserve called Isleworth Ait.

TideFest activities at Strand on the Green, Chiswick, London

Stand Up Paddleboarding

Stand up paddling specialists Active 360 are offering six free paddleboard taster sessions from 1.30pm to 3.30pm followed by some races for those brave enough to try!

Venue:  Brentford Boating Arch, Kew Bridge,

Organiser: Paul Hyman from Active 360

Contact:  Tel: 0203 3935360 or 07807 767999

Timings: Six Taster sessions – 1.30pm to 3.30pm then Races at 4.00pm and 4.30pm

Cost: Free Event but advance booking advised


One hour Dinghy Race for the new ‘TideFest Challenge Sailing Award’ around two or three marker buoys between Kew Road Bridge and Kew Rail Bridge. The start and finish point is a line across the river near the Bell and Crown pub, Strand on the Green.

Venue: Strand on the Green Sailing Club

Organiser: Tim Young, Vice Commodore of Strand on the Green Sailing Club – 07514 296924.

Spectators Welcome

Timings: 4.25pm – 5.30pm


Free kayaking taster sessions with qualified coaches on the Thames at Kew Bridge

Venue: Brentford Boating Arch, Kew Bridge (North Bank)

Organisers: Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and Edge Progressive Paddling.

Contact: Peter Hughes,    Tel: 07900 895 237

Timings: Taster Sessions with coaches – Starting every half hour from 10 am to 4 pm. finishing 5-30 pm.

Cost: Free of Charge, register on arrival at venue.

Minimum age: 11 years old.

Angling competition

Venue: Strand on the Green, Chiswick

Organiser: Angling Trust

Booking: or Tel Ron’s Tackle – 020 8876 4897

Timings: 8am to 1pm – Draw at 7am

Cost: Tickets £5 in advance proceeds to the charity, Get Hooked on Fishing

Foreshore activities and river dipping

Come and find out about what lives in London’s river with the experts from the conservation charity Thames 21 and the Environment Agency. Great fun for all ages. No need to book, just turn up on the day with your wellies.

Activities will include river dipping, live fish tank, treasure hunt and foreshore bingo.

Venue:  Foreshore immediately downstream of Kew Bridge access from the Slipway.

Organiser: Thames 21

Contact: Chris Coode, Tel 07813 799 757

Timings: 9.30am – 1pm

Free event

RSPB – Giving nature a home with bird spotter quiz and wildlife display

See how many species you can observe with RSPB’s bird-spotter sheets and check the “What’s in the Thames” wildlife display. Also hear how you can help RSPB in giving nature a home.

Venue: Marquee at Strand on the Green

Organiser: Thames 21 and RSPB

Contact: ,

Timings: 10am – 5pm

Free event

TideFest activities on the River Wandle

Young piscators event

Aged 12-18 and fancy learning how to fish?! The Wandle Piscators will be showing you how on 28th September. The event will be held at Ravensbury Park, on the Wandle (between Morden Rd and London Rd, Merton, CR4 4DL). More information at

Timings: 10am – 4pm

Venue: Ravensbury Park, Morden. (TBC)

Contact: William Tall (Piscators) 07710322800

Or John O’Brien (Piscators) 0208 878 9289

Free Event

Wandle heritage walk:

Join us for a guided walk and discover 2,000 years of the rich and varied history of the Lower Wandle at Wandsworth. The Building Exploratory is leading a search for the lost treasures of the River Wandle as part of its Living Wandle ‘Industrial Heritage Recording’ project. Walkers and project volunteers are all invited. To find out more please visit:

To book your place on the walk, please email us at:

Timings: Meet 2pm at Wandsworth Town Station

Contact: Dr Nicole Crockett – 07500 073 049

Free Event

TideFest activities at Isleworth Ait

London Wildlife Trust is offering a very rare chance to access the Isleworth Ait nature reserve, an island on the Thames, on the afternoon of September 28th as part of TideFest. Numbers are limited due to the need to protect wildlife and habitats on the island.

Access is by boat so regrettably there is no disabled access. No children under five or unaccompanied children under 16. Wellingtons or walking boots should be worn. In the event of high winds or adverse river conditions the event will be cancelled and booking payments refunded.

Places to be booked in advance and limited to three groups of eight people. Each tour will take approximately one hour. Ticket price includes ferry crossing and guided tour.

Timings: 2.00pm, 2.20pm and 2.40pm, Cost: £4.00 per person


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