St. Katharine Docks, Central London’s only marina, will welcome back the Classic Boat Festival on the 4-5 September, inviting visitors admire historic vessels at the iconic waterside location.
This year’s festival will run from 11am – 6pm on Saturday 4 September, and 11am – 5pm on Sunday 5 September. Festivalgoers will be able to check out 40 vintage boats on display for the annual celebration of extraordinary boats.
This year’s Classic Boat Festival will include a number of the surviving Dunkirk Little Ships, which rescued 336,000 trapped Allied soldiers on the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940. You’ll also get to see Havengore, a former hydrographic survey launch, originally launched in 1956 and famous for carrying the body of Sir Winston Churchill at his state funeral. Plus you’ll also get to marvel at the Royal Rowbarge Gloriana, named by Her Majesty The Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee.
The free to attend Classic Boat Festival is one of the highlights of Totally Thames 2021, a month-long celebration of London’s iconic waterway and its rich history through a range of river-based events. As well as admiring the iconic vessels and chatting with their passionate owners at the festival, visitors can take part in a variety of activities at St. Katharine Docks, a waterside haven located right by the City of London.
With a packed programme of activities on offer, festivalgoers can try their hand at free paddleboarding taster sessions across the weekend, join the International Boatbuilding Training College for a demonstration of the incredible skills needed to build and maintain boats, and even take part in a treasure quest that is perfect for little visitors to the Docks.
For those looking to expand their boating knowledge, look no further than the programme of talks confirmed for the Festival. Attendees will be able to hear from Ted Sandling, a London-based Mudlark, about the historic practice of scavenging on the riverbed and Raybel Charters. Then there’s a community group committed to restoring a 1920’s Sailing Barge Raybel, who will discuss why restoring historic sailing barges could help secure a better future for our planet. On Sunday, visitors will be treated to musical delights from the Thames Youth Jazz Orchestra.
St. Katharine Docks provides the perfect setting for a journey through time admiring the festival’s historic boats. With the marina awash with activities throughout the weekend, festivalgoers are welcome to grab a bite to eat and relax with a drink in hand at St. Katharine Docks many bars, cafes and restaurants. Townhouse 360, the high-class hospitality group, which has newly opened at the Docks, will be the Classic Boat Festival’s official pontoon bar.
Located on St. Katharine Docks’ floating event pontoon in the Centre Basin, Townhouse 360 will serve up an eclectic mix of drinks, offering guests the chance to enjoy a drink on the water, surrounded by all the classic boats. Boat enthusiasts assemble! The two-day Classic Boat Festival is made for you.