In the Footsteps of Mudlarks

Guided Foreshore Walks

We are pleased to announce the return of our Footsteps of Mudlarks walks from Saturday, August 15th. The events are available to book now by clicking on the pictures below (tickets limited to 10 per event, to allow for social distancing). Please read the information, at the bottom of this page, regarding how these events have been restructured in response to Covid-19.

Very Happy Mudlarking from the Thames Explorer team!

Guided foreshore exploration for families and adults

Foreshore exploration is guided by an experienced archaeologist who will help you find and identify artefacts located on the surface of the foreshore. This is a chance to find evidence of thousands of years of history. Who knows what will be found – old smoking pipes, drain pipes, pottery, bones…

Find out more

To find out more, click on the images below and “click to register” in the details section. Please read the information carefully as the tide times vary and we use several locations. You can also find general details below the booking dates.


All money generated from these events is put towards our school education programmes.

Cost £25 per ticket (for adults and children aged 5+) for 2 hours

To pay for tickets you do not need a Paypal account, just click on the Paypal logo under “Purchase Tickets” and you have the option to pay with a debit or credit card.

Booking dates are below or please email or call 020 8742 0057

Credit note holders

We are very appreciative of people who opted for a credit note for walks cancelled in March. To rebook your tickets, do not go through the booking system on this page, instead to book an event please email, including a copy of your Credit Note email and let us know the date, location and number of tickets you would like to book. You will not be charged extra for the price increase.

Artefact Policy

In order to preserve the historic nature of the foreshore, and in line with the Port of London Authority’s rules, Thames Explorer requests you take only memories and photographs away and not artefacts. Please bring your camera or smartphone to take photographs with. Thames Explorer Trust does not recommend accessing the foreshore without an experienced guide. Access to the foreshore requires a permit from the Port of London Authority (PLA) – Thames Explorer holds a permit. Any form of digging or scraping is forbidden, there are however, a great many surface artefacts to discover.

Event updates

Occasionally our events have to be cancelled – problems with the foreshore, weather etc. If we know an event is going to be cancelled we will email you at your booking email address as soon as possible, however if our staff think it is unsafe to continue at the time of the event – you will be issued a full refund. Please respect their experience.

Booking Information

Booking is essential and limited to 30 people. Children must be accompanied by an adult (minimum age for children is 5 years), maximum of 2 children per adult. We require 15 participants for the event to go ahead. In the event of the session being cancelled due to insufficient numbers, we will notify you 10 days beforehand and issue you with a full refund. In the event of sudden, high rainfall we will notify you with as much time as possible, full refunds will be offered. Please keep any eye on your booking email address in case of cancellation. Unfortunately, we cannot issue refunds for personal cancellations.

Meeting Places

Please see booking page for details of meeting points.

Practical Information

Please bring wellies or walking boots (no crocs or open toed sandals!) Be prepared for rain or shine and a little bit of mud. Waterborne diseases can be a risk therefore it is important that those with open cuts or eczema have them covered and that children keep their hands away from their faces when exploring the foreshore.  You should wash your hands thoroughly afterwards and especially before eating and drinking! If you prefer to wear rubber gloves then please bring these with you.

The Thames Explorer Trust is a huge fan of dogs (and cats) however as some people are not, we ask your not to bring your dog with you.

We have several sites for foreshore exploration. Please see the map opposite and check the location for the date of your event. Please note the foreshore steps can be quite steep and people with mobility problems should call us first for more information.

Weather policy – events take place outside whatever the weather, therefore it’s important that everyone is dressed appropriately and is prepared for changing weather conditions. We do not have any indoor facilities.  It may be possible to seek shelter in nearby public buildings at the discretion of the owners. 

Health and Safety Guidelines for Visitors to the Foreshore, updated for Covid-19 July 2020

We do everything we can to keep our visitors safe and we have a very low accident record over many years.  The Trust has public liability insurance, a child protection policy and we comply with Health and Safety Executive regulations. We follow ‘good practice’ for operating procedures and staff training.  All staff have up-to-date enhanced DBS checks. Staff are competent in safeguarding and accident and emergency procedures.

Please read this advice before your journey:

  • It is essential that you bring waterproof gloves and bag to carry them home in
  • All participants must bring a face covering – ­­­­
  • Please bring hand-sanitizer as there may be no local hand-washing facilities – wash your hands with soap and water at the first available opportunity.
  • Cover freshly broken skin and eczema with waterproof plaster
  • Activities take place on riverside paths and the foreshore. Access to the foreshore (draw docks or steps) may be slippery and steep, the foreshore can also be muddy and uneven. Our staff will point out any hazards to you and remind you of how to keep safe before going onto the foreshore.
  • Please listen to the advice and follow instructions given by our staff
  • You are responsible for your own safety at all times
  • You are responsible for the safety of any children in your group at all times
  • Do not climb on walls or railings and keep within safety rails at all times
  • Do not remove any artefacts from the foreshore – take a photo instead and leave finds behind.
  • Thames Explorer staff will advise you how to remain safe during your visit, however you are responsible for your own safety and that of your parties safety at all times.


Protecting Your Health – Covid -19

In response to Covid-19 we have reduced the number of people we take on the foreshore to enable safe social distancing and have strengthened some of our advice to minimise the risks.

Please keep a safe distance from our staff and other people not in your group. The current guideline is 2 metres where possible.

This is an outdoor event where clear communication is essential for safety. For that reason our staff may not be wearing a face covering.

Please wear your face covering, especially if you nearer to someone than 2 metres.

If you pick up an item please do not hand it directly to staff or other people in the group. Safe sharing rules will be explained on the day.

Remember to keep hands away from your face during your time on the foreshore.

Eating or drinking on the foreshore is not permitted.

Bring and use hand sanitizer and wash your hands with soap and water at the first opportunity

After you leave the foreshore, do not eat or drink until you have washed your hands.


Leptospirosis (Weil’s Disease)

This is a bacterial infection transmitted through contact with animal urine and contaminated water.  There is a small possibility of contracting this disease when in contact with river water. In most cases the disease is only mild but in serious cases it can be life-threatening and symptoms should not be ignored.  Early symptoms are flu-like and include headaches, chills, high temperature, vomiting and muscle pains.  If you experience any flu-like symptoms within 3 weeks of visiting the river foreshore inform your doctor, referencing river water and Weil’s Disease. Tests are available and early treatment can limit the severity of the infection.

Gift certificates

If you would like to gift someone a trip you can download a certificate by clicking here. This certificate has no value in itself but is to notify someone you intend to purchase tickets for them as a gift for a future date. You can then book tickets in their name at a time of their choosing.