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Totally Thames Festival

Join us in Victoria Embankment Gardens from 1st – 30th September as part of the Totally Thames Festival, celebrating the River Thames with arts events, active adventures, environmental initiatives, heritage and education programmes.

Visit our historical exhibition located within Victoria Embankment Gardens to embark on a journey through the Thames stopping at the Northside of the river and the home we call The Northbank.

Don’t worry if you can’t visit in person, click through our galleries below to view the images and have a read of the information we were able to collect.

The River Thames is the most important of the United Kingdom’s four ‘Royal Rivers’. For over 1000 years, monarchs and royalty have made their homes along the Thames and in London.

Since Tudor times, the Thames has provided a celebratory route for royal events and processions, including arrivals, departures, receptions, coronations, weddings and Christenings.

The reign of Queen Elizabeth II has been notable for river events. The earliest was the Royal River Pageant, held on 22 July 1953, six weeks after the Coronation organized by the Lord Mayor, and overseen by the Port of London Authority, it featured around 150 vessels and floats.

The Queen’s Silver Jubilee was celebrated by a River Progress and Pageant, held on the 9th June 1977, over 140 vessels took part with the Queen

The Queen’s Golden Jubilee, in 2002, was also marked by a tribute event, timed to coincide with the regular  Thames Festival.



Victoria Embankment Gardens was created in 1870. Previously to where the park is now, more than 100 years ago sat a river. The York Water Gate, near the bandstand, is a reminder of where the water levels would have risen to. The gate is also the only piece that remains of the Duke of Buckingham’s mansion that met the waterfront.

The north bank of the Thames was the first known London settlement, established by the Ancient Britons, it later became the Port of London.

The Thames Embankment was the brainchild of Sir Joseph Bazalgette, the great Victorian engineer who had also devised London’s network of sewers in the aftermath of 1858’s Great Stink. The idea of Thames Embankment, which consists of Victoria and Chelsea Embankments, was to reclaim marshy land from the Thames in central London.

Savoy Pier/Woods Quay
In late 2019, The Savoy Pier located a short walk from The Savoy Hotel, and designed by Beckett Rankine in 1998 was decommissioned and removed from the North bank. The pier was the first Central London base of the Woods River Cruises LTD. The pier was replaced in July 2020 by Woods Quay with a 140m mooring pontoon.


Thanks to Woods Silver Fleet.

1 September - 30 September


1 September
30 September


The Northbank BID


Victoria Embankment Gardens
Villiers St,
London, WC2N 6NS
+ Google Map

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