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Totally Thames 2020

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Timeless Thames Foreshore Workshop, part of Totally Thames 2020. Image courtesy of Thames Festival Trust.
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Celebrate the river Thames and its culture with a programme of river-inspired art, tours and virtual activities.


See London’s river Thames brought to life in a month-long season of digital and socially distanced events along the river’s 42-mile (68km) stretch during the annual Totally Thames festival.

Since launching in 2014, the celebration has successfully created many unique opportunities to learn about London’s famous river. 

What are the highlights of Totally Thames 2020?

You can usually walk along the Thames to see large-scale art installations, free exhibitions and live performances. But this year, the festival takes a more online-friendly form in light of coronavirus with plenty of activities to enjoy from home and some contact-free events throughout London. 

Events and activities to enjoy from home

Live-streamed shows and performances

  • Enjoy the A River Runs Through It virtual programme on Zoom. Full of podcasts, online exhibitions and films about London's secret spots, it looks into culture and its response to the lockdown. 2-6 Sep
  • Are you a nocturnal creature? Build up your energy for late-night online walk A Charm of Watery Foxes from Woolwich Old Docks to Canary Wharfside – where watery foxes mingle. 11-12 Sep
  • Tune into talks, see an online photo exhibition and join a tour of the River Lea as part of the Lighting up the Lea virtual activities. 18-20 Sep
  • Who was Dick Whittington? And how have his deeds affected London? Find out in free family-friendly online show, Whittington. 19 Sep
  • Get ready for an evening of spoken word poetry, sea shanties and folklore to capture your heart during the live streamed Timeless Thames Music Night. 26 Sep
  • Switch on your digital devices for a live choir performance for charity from the Kids' Choir, which usually takes place at The Scoop in London as the finale of the festival. 27 Sep
  • End the festival on a high note at the Live from Under the Thames concert streamed from the Brunel Museum, featuring Modulus Quartet. 27 Sep

Virtual river-themed activities

  • Embark on a magical animated journey from the Thames all the way to the Niger river delta in west Africa, with The Masque of Blackness by Epoh Beech. 1-30 Sep
  • Hear some Hidden Stories from the London Docks as Raj Fernandes, a dockworker, takes you back to the 19th century in a podcast. 1-30 Sep
  • Discover river-themed objects with the Museum of Richmond’s free audio tour Mammoths, Mansions and Medals. Listen from home, or if you’re in the area tune in while wandering the riverbanks. 1-30 Sep
  • Explore themes of success, failure, belonging and alienation in River, an online exhibition by Agne Rita Kucinskaite that blends landscape and documentary photography. 1-30 Sep
  • Or dive into the distant past of the Thames through experiential photography exhibition Tamesa by Rosalind Fowler. 1-30 Sep
  • Tune into maritime melodies exploring the history of the Thames with a virtual performance of Rolling Down the River by The London Sea Shanty Collective. 1-30 Sep
  • Take a virtual wander from Tower Bridge to London Bridge with the London Bridge Experience game, stumbling upon outdoor exhibitions, stunning views and even some sociable "locals"! 1-30 Sep

Contact-free events in your area

Central London

  • Ever wondered what it's like to be on a working shipyard? Then take a tour of The Golden Hinde Shipyard at London Bridge to learn about and marvel at its structure. The tour is also available online. 26-27 Sep
  • Peek at river-inspired artwork made by children from around the world while in lockdown, at Rivers of the World, an outdoor exhibition in Bankside. 1-30 Sep
  • Get to know the flora and fauna of the river Thames by completing challenges with Fantastical Fleet's self-guided tour of the river Fleet underground tributary. 1-30 Sep

North London

  • Did you know there are underground rivers buried under London's streets? Set off from Hampstead Heath on self-guided or group treasure hunt with the Fleet Footing interactive experience to find out more. 5-27 Sep

West London

  • Catch views from a kayak at a fun session from the Chelsea Kayak Club during the Sea Kayaking Taster Weekend. 5-6 Sep
  • Have a go at water sports and angling at the all-day Thames Tidefest, which celebrates water sports on Strand on the Green, Chiswick and Barnes foreshores. 6 Sep
  • If you live near Kingston, don't miss Words on the Wind, an outdoor, interactive installation mixing poetry and sound. 26 Sep

East London

  • Walk around Rotherhithe, which has a rich history, from the East India Company, Dickens and Gulliver to the Mayflower, during the Mayflower and the Ships of Rotherhithe tour from The Brunel Museum. Various dates
  • How has river Thames and Docklands transformed over time? Find out during the Timeless Thames Foreshore Workshop, where you can create art inspired by objects from the riverbanks. 5-6 Sep
  • Expand your knowledge of plastic pollution in rivers at an artsy workshop, a clean-up or an exhibition focused on conservation and sustainability. 11-13 Sep

South London

  • Spot artworks by icons including Antony Gormley, Gary Hume and Laura Ford as you follow The Line, an ever-evolving route between The O2 and Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park that’s filled with art installations. 1-30 Sep
  • Fulfil your curiosity from home or make your way to Fulham Palace for an all-day Foreshore Festival. See river-related objects and learn the roles of watermen and the bishops in building of the Fulham Railway Bridge. 6 Sep

Visit the Totally Thames website for the full programme and ticket information.

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