August 21, 2012, 11:09 am -- /EPR NETWORK/ -- The rowing equivalent of the London Marathon, The Great River Race returns to the Thames with more competitors than ever this year. Inspired by a 1987 charity event in which a passenger barge rowed from Hampton Court Palace to the Tower of London, The Great River Race has become the biggest rowing race on the Thames with more than 2,000 entrants spread across 300 boats Ė significantly more than the 72 participants in its inaugural year.
Taking place on 15 September, it will ensure all sporting eyes remain on the capital even after the London 2012 Olympics closes with a bang. Starting upstream at London's Docklands at 10.30am the 21-mile long course finishes up at Ham in Richmond where a riverside party will take place. From midday and extending all through the afternoon, festivities will fill nearby Richmond Park including live music, a children's beach, donkey rides and refreshment stalls.
Although the race winds through most of the capital, the bulk of the dry-land action takes place in Richmond. LondonTown.com advises staying close to Richmond Park to capitalise on the free festivities. It recommends two handily located London hotels suitable for families.
The first is the Richmond Hill Hotel. This is a 17 th century grade II listed, four-star property with modern facilities, including cribs and high chairs for children. It's been reduced by 73% thanks to LondonTown.com so room rates start at £86 per night.
The Bingham is the second suggestion from LondonTown.com. Housed inside an attractive Georgian townhouse this cosy four-star hotel has rooms available in September for £158 per night. Along with its period features it also has modern facilities for children including high chairs and cribs.
There are other reasons to book with LondonTown.com aside from its impressive exclusive room discounts. It includes £250 worth of added value and free goodies for every booking made through its online booking system. Extras include two-for-one and discounts at a range of London attractions, free guides Ė audio and written Ė and free walking tours.