River Thames Foreshore Walk

Find out more about the history of the River Thames with one of our foreshore walks led by community archaeologist Mike Webber

River Thames Foreshore Walk

Join Thames archaeologist Mike Webber who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of London and the River Thames for a guided walk along the foreshore.

On this walk, you will learn about London’s past and how the Thames has shaped the history of this great city. Discover how the lives of Londoners and visitors have been entwined with the Thames for thousands of years.

This walk will start at the courtyard of Southwark Cathedral (located on the north side beside the River Thames) before walking over London Bridge to the City of London where the foreshore walk will begin. You will be on the foreshore for 1.5 - 2 hours before heading home.


The Cathedral and Collegiate Church of St Saviour and St Mary Overie (Southwark Cathedral) stands at the oldest crossing-point of the River Thames at what was for many centuries the only entrance to the City of London situated across the river. A verbal tradition passed on to the Elizabethan historian John Stow suggests that the first Christian establishment was a community of nuns in the 7th century, but the first written reference is the mention of a 'minster' in the Domesday Book of 1086.


Mike Webber is a community archaeologist, educator, and curator. He co-ordinated the Thames Archaeological Survey 1995-2000 and now specialises in the archaeology of the River Thames.

The focus for this work has been the artefacts, particularly pot sherds, found on the Thames beaches. Recent work with ceramic artists and makers has led Mike to explore the archaeological and historical evidence for the people who made these artefacts and the techniques that they used to make and decorate them.

Mike has also co-curated the recent exhibitions Treasures from the Thames and Larking: The Thames and Beyond at the Cathedral with Lara Maiklem.

Spaces are strictly limited so booking in advance is a must. Please meet at the Cathedral courtyard 10 minutes before the start time for registration and health and safety talk.


Important information and Health and Safety


  • Wear sensible footwear as the foreshore will be slippery so wellies or walking boots are advised. You may wish to bring gloves for handling objects on the foreshore.


  • Bring gloves with you, we do recommend disposable gloves or lightweight gardening/hardware gloves due to the nasties that still get pumped into the Thames.


  • Please dress for all weather conditions wearing clothes that you don't mind getting muddy.


  • Please note that access to the Thames foreshore will be via some steps that may be slippery and uneven. Please only book onto this walk if you are confident that you and your party can access the foreshore in this way.


  • Children must be accompanied by an adult (minimum age for children is 10 years). Maximum of 2 children per adult.


  • We love all animals at Southwark Cathedral but please do not bring your dog with you.

This foreshore walk is taking place with the kind agreement and support of the Port of London Authority. Please be aware that only those with a special permit issued by the PLA can take objects found on the foreshore.

River Thames image credit: Lara Maiklem

Mike Webber image courtesy of The Clayground Collective