Tall Ships Firework Festival: The River Thames

Something I adore about this adopted city of mine, is the sheer randomness of quirky events that take place. This time we spotted an advert for the London Tall Ships Firework display on the river, without even properly looking into it, we booked ourselves a couple of places.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

After a cheeky burger near the O2 arena, we got our swashbuckling into gear and wandered to find the North Greenwich pier.

Setting sail at 8.30pm, we excitedly queued with a surprising amount of people  just as the sky was deepening into a periwinkle twilight and admired the chilled out demeanour of the dock team (used to herding crowds of late running commuters)

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

The Tall Ships are a motley cavalcade of seafaring vessels with imperious names like Thalassa, the Earl of Pembroke, J. R. Tolkien and the Wylde Swan, which sweep into London offering bespoke cruises to real life pirates wannabe pirates businesses and private individuals.

One a year during the Tall Ship festival (always in June I think), they gather in the Thames river curves to linger, take people on cruises and generally add a bit of historic glamour to the busy lanes of London’s pulsing arteries.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

It was a little disappointing to realise that we weren’t actually on a Tall Ship, rather a tourist catamaran that followed the ship (singular) around from North Greenwich past the City to Greenwich proper for a fireworks display.

We skimmed past the Thames Barriers (the last time we’d been this far out was on the Thames Rib Experience)… 

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

…to discover one of the Tall Ships serenely sailing through the river hubbub.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

Taking a page from Blackbeards Pirate Guidebook (you’ll find it in the library under arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr #sorrynotsorry) we turned tail and followed back around the bend to wait patiently for the fireworks to begin.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

It was rather beautiful…

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

…and a nice date night thing to do… 

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

…but perhaps a touch short and sweet.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

And there was only one Tall Ship + the Cutty Sark in the foreground.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

It was still a pretty cool experience, bar those shortcomings.

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

Making a beeline back to the North Greenwich dock, we filled out lungs with the dewy fresh air and imbibed a sip or two of grog from the onboard bar. 

Things to do in London Tallships Fireworks Adventures of a London Kiwi

Have you ever heard of this festival?