Around 40 preserved vintage boats are mooring up at central London's only marina for a free festival.
The Classic Boat Festival returns to St Katharine Docks — next to Tower Bridge — on 9-10 September 2023. It's the 14th time the event has been held, and is part of this year's Totally Thames Festival.
Among the vessels on display are several of the surviving Dunkirk Little Ships, which sailed across the Channel to rescue trapped Allied soldiers in 1940. There's also the chance to see Alec Rose's round-the-world yacht Lively Lady; the 20-metre Navy P2000 ship HMS Dasher; Arthur Ransome's favourite yacht, Nancy Blackett; a Marine Police Unit Targa motorboat; and 200-year-old Thames sailing barge, Gladys.
Some of the work boats, and sailing and motor yachts, will be available for the public to climb onboard and have a closer look, while chatting with the owners. Bit wobbly on your sea legs? Stay firmly on dry land for live entertainment at an outdoor seating area, food and drink stalls, kids' activities, boat building workshops, and other nautical-themed happenings across the three days.
The Classic Boat Festival also has a programme of free talks, and an insight into the history of St Katharine Docks. See the full Classic Boat Festival schedule for details.
The Classic Boat Festival at St Katharine Docks takes place 9-10 September 2023. The festival starts and ends with an opening and closing salute of horns.