St Katharine Docks Classic Boat Festival 2019

The 11th annual celebration of historic and traditional boats at St Katharine Docks London

This September marks the return of the Classic Boat Festival at St Katharine Docks, its eleventh and most impressive outing yet since its inception in 1998. This year’s festival, which will run from the 6-8th September from 11am – 6pm, will offer an impressive display of around 40 beautiful classic boats and a wide array of unique waterside attractions in Central London’s only marina. It will be one of the highlights of Totally Thames 2019, a month-long celebration of the London’s iconic waterway and its rich history through a range of river-based events.

An oasis in the heart of London, St Katharine Docks provides the perfect setting for a journey through time admiring the festival’s historic vessels, chatting with their passionate owners and even climbing aboard. This year’s boats will include a significant proportion of the surviving ‘little ships’ which rescued 336,000 trapped Allied soldiers on the beaches at Dunkirk in 1940, as well as the Lady Daphne – one of the last wooden barges in Britain with a passenger license.

 The Lady Daphne will offer festival-goers a unique chance to tour the river Thames and relive the days when such vessels dominated London’s trade, with the tour including a special raising of Tower Bridge as part of the journey.

The marina will also be awash with activities, including stand-up paddleboarding, SKD talks on the powerful stories of the classic boats and the colourful history of the docks, and MYO crafting workshops for adults. Children will have their own tent featuring treasure hunts, crafts and face-painting, and food will be supplied by KERB, one of most London’s most celebrated street-food brands.

Throughout the weekend there will be live music from the Sea Shanty Singers on the Saturday and the Thames Youth Jazz Orchestra on the Sunday.

Classic Boats Festival Programme

Over the course of the weekend:

  • Classic Boats: Climb on-board and explore around 40 vintage work boats and sailing and motor yachts including Dunkirk Little Ships and many others. 11am – 6pm daily, 6th-8th September in the Central Basin
  • Lady Daphne Tours on the Thames: a tour of the Thames unlike any other, going under Tower Bridge. Twice on the 6th and 3 times on the 7th and 8thSeptember, book here