Skip to main content
Open Search Modal


Get on board with river-based fun at the Foreshore Festival

Hundreds of paddleboarders will take part in an epic race through the centre of London this month as part of an event to showcase the range of activities available on the River Thames.

The Foreshore Festival, held at two locations along the River Thames on 23 September, has been organised by Tideway – the company building London’s new 'super sewer', which will help clean up the River Thames.

From 10am, in Putney Embankment and Shadwell Basin, visitors will have the opportunity to try out kayaking, rowing and paddleboarding, while a Beach Combing session will explore the hundreds of years of Thames history, as well as uncovering the ecology of the river and its threats from plastic pollution.

The Crowning event of the Foreshore Festival will see hundreds of paddleboarders taking part in the Big Ben Challenge - the biggest race of its kind on the River Thames - from Putney Embankment to Big Ben and back. Earlier in the day, 20 Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) racers will compete in the 15.5km London Crossing, and 40 rowers will compete in the 16km Tunnel Cup, the first SUP and rowing race right through central London, from Putney to Shadwell.

There will also be an opportunity to find out more about the giant tunnelling machines that will start digging the super sewer later in the year, and to learn how Tideway is helping to tackle sewage pollution in the River Thames - making it a much nicer place for the animals that live there, and the people who use the river. Other activities in partnership with organisations including the RNLI, London Youth Rowing and Museum of London Archaeology will also be on offer.

Andrew Triggs-Hodge, triple Olympic gold-medallist rower who now works at Tideway as a project manager, says“After the success of the first foreshore festival in Putney last year, we’re delighted to be extending the event to Shadwell Basin to allow more people across the city to get involved. The festival is about getting people connected with the River Thames, to find out about the range of awesome activities it has to offer and to highlight the benefits a cleaner River Thames will bring once construction of the super sewer is complete.”

For more information, visit 

Notes to Editors:

The Foreshore Festival is part of Totally Thames 2018 that runs from 1-30 September