50th Thames Historic Barge Race

50th Thames Historic Barge Race

Race Date: Saturday 22nd June 2024

Race Route: Greenwich Reach to Westminster Bridge

The 50th Annual Historic Barge Race will take place on Saturday 22nd June 2024.

The race will consist of about 12 teams of between four & six crewmembers. Each crew will drive (steer & row) 30 ton Thames barges over a seven mile course for approximately 90 minutes between Greenwich & Westminster Bridge.

Considerable skill is required to pilot unpowered barges ‘rowed under oars’ or sweeps & ride tidal river currents alone. In a wider context the race encourages ongoing interest in moving cargo via water as a way to recruit younger people back into traditional river trades.

Where to Watch the Race

The apprentice race covers 7 miles of river from Greenwich Reach to Westminster Bridge. The barges row under ten of London’s Bridges & eight of these are accessible to pedestrians making them excellent vantage points to see the race.

M.V Mercia passing the City of Westminster
The saloon onboard M.V Mercia

Boarding: 11:00

Departure: To Be Confirmed

Return: To Be Confirmed

Vessel Name: M.V Mercia

Embark / Disembark Location:
Greenwich Pier, Cutty Sark Gardens, King William Walk, Greenwich, SE10 9HT

The best views of the race are from the Thames Barge Driving Trusts official following boat. This year the following boat will be M.V Mercia, a large passenger vessel with a spacious saloon & open deck, toilet facilities & a fully licensed bar. Mercia’s upper deck is the perfect vantage point to see the race & London’s landmarks. Mercia will embark passengers at Greenwich Pier, depart & cruise for four hours following the race from Greenwich upriver past Canary Wharf, through the City of London & into the City of Westminster. The well-stocked bar will be open for the duration of the cruise serving a range of beers, ciders, wines, spirits & soft drinks at pub prices. After the race Mercia will return to Greenwich to disembark passengers.

Tickets for the Mercia are £40.00 per adult & include a meal. The proceeds from ticket sales help to support the Thames Barge Driving Trust. The following boat can be very popular, we recommend booking your ticket online to avoid disappointment.

Ticket Prices

Adult (16+): £40.00

Child (5-15 Years): £20.00

How to Take Part

The race is open to all apprentices, if you are interested in rowing the race please contact John Potter on the number below.