A decade since it launched, this September marks the return of the Classic Boats Festival at St Katharine Docks, which is set to welcome around 40 colourful boats from around the world. For its 10th annual celebration the festival will see an impressive display of vintage sailing and motor boats at central London’s only marina, complete with an assortment of waterside activities and attractions to ensure a fun day out for all.
Taking place 7-9 September, the Classic Boat Festival is a major highlight of the month-long Totally Thames 2018, which hosts a series of river-related events taking place along the 42-mile London stretch of the Thames.
Visitors to the marina will have the chance to travel through time whilst admiring the beautiful historic vessels, with the opportunity to talk to the boat owners and climb on-board. A group of the most highly anticipated boats this year include fifteen of Dunkirk’s Little Ships, the heroic vessels from the 1940 Dunkirk evacuations as part of Operation Dynamo; the oldest working tug MT Kent; the Thames Sailing Barge Lady Daphne; and St Portwey.
Festival-goers will have the unique chance to tour the Thames on Lady Daphne, a historic wooden sailing vessel from 1923, where passengers can experience two lifts under the Tower Bridge. The marina will be awash with activities throughout the festival with free taster sessions of and kayaking with Moo Canoes, free adult craft classes including weaving, lino cutting and printing, SKD talks about the visiting ships and the 190th anniversary of the Docks, and childrens’ story time as well as a historic Treasure Hunt hosted by Sharky & George. Following The Whale Company’s successful River Thames paddle board challenge, they will be also be back at the Docks hosting a bottle board workshop for all ages, to promote the important mission of keeping the Thames free from plastic.
Throughout the weekend there will be live music from the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and the Sea Shanty Singers choir, bringing old sailor favourites to the marina.