River Thames Foreshore Walks with Lara Maiklem and Mike WebberForeshore Walk Larking Heritage Guided Walk
£105 (plus booking fee)
- Book Tickets
Join mudlark Lara Maiklem and Thames archaeologist Mike Webber for a guided walk along the foreshore.
Discover London’s longest archaeological site with best-selling author and mudlark Lara Maiklem and foreshore archaeologist Mike Webber.
Join best-selling author Lara Maiklem (the London Mudlark) and archaeologist Mike Webber, with his encyclopaedic knowledge of London and the River Thames, for a walk along the Thames foreshore. Learn about London’s past and how the Thames has shaped the history of our great city and discover how the lives of Londoners and visitors alike have been entwined with the Thames for thousands of years.
The walk will start in the courtyard at Southwark Cathedral (located on the north side opposite the River Thames) and you will first of all enjoy a short history of the Thames as you walk to the entry point for the foreshore where you will learn more about the archaeology and ecology of the Thames as well as see what kind of objects are being exposed by this tidal river.
Those who join us for this walk will spend at least 2 hours on the foreshore with Lara and Mike and there may even be a trip to the Mudlark pub situated next the Cathedral afterwards where you can discuss what you learnt on your walk. The ticket price also includes a signed copy of Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames or A Field Guide to Larking: Beachcombing, Mudlarking, Fieldwalking and More by Lara Maiklem. Just let us know on the day your preference.
Lara Maiklem is a mudlark. She searches for lost and forgotten objects on the foreshore of the Tidal Thames, through central London and beyond. Among the thousands of things she has rescued from the mud are Tudor shoes, medieval pins, Roman pots, Georgian wig curlers and modern wedding rings. Her first book, Mudlarking: Lost and Found on the River Thames (Bloomsbury, 2019), is the story of the river told through the objects she has found and is a tale of obsession, tide-watching, mud-walking and endless hours of searching in all weathers. Mudlarking was a Sunday Times Bestseller, an Observer Book of the Year, Radio 4 Book of the Week and Winner of the 2020 Indie Book Award for Non Fiction.
Her second book, A Field Guide to Larking: Beachcombing, Mudlarking, Fieldwalking and More, is an illustrated practical guide for those who want to search for themselves, whether on beaches (beachlarking), in fields (fieldlarking), houses (houselarking), gardens (gardenlarking) and of course mudlarking in rivers.Lara grew up in the countryside, moved to London in the early 1990s and now lives a ten-minute walk from the beach on the east Kent coast. She has been mudlarking for almost 20 years and has spent a lifetime looking down for lost objects and interesting things. Lara has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes and has written about mudlarking for the Guardian, the Telegraph, The Financial Times, The Spectator and BBC Radio.
Lara was made a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 2022.
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 of his 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.
We are grateful to Lara Maiklem and Mike Webber for donating their time for this walk, which will raise funds for the Cathedral. The income generated will help to:
• Rebuild and reimagine our ministry following the Covid-19 pandemic
• Safeguard our heritage and care for our fabric
• Maintain and develop our education and outreach
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.
Image credit: Lara Maiklem