The Wandle Valley Festival, 12-13 June 2005

What is it? A celebration of South London’s own river, this festival has the distinction of happening within walking distance of my house. The rather byzantine website eventually gives up the festival’s secrets – a collection of thematically linked events which center on two walks – “mouth to source” and “source to mouth”. Shire horse rides, rubbish sculptures (no, no, made of rubbish) and kite flying also included.

Am I sold? I’m sold on the idea of walking along the Wandle and feel I should do it more. I’m less sold on the idea of doing it with a lot of other people. Most of the activities are a bit of a cheat, being stuff the ‘event centres’ (Abbey Mills, Deen City Farm) do anyway, but the ‘Festival’ works as an advert for family things to do in Merton and Tooting.

Festival Rating: **