Thames Path

  • Windsor Castle From the Thames - © By Flickr user Swimboy1
  • Near Abingdon - © By Flickr user HumphreytheCamel
  • Somewhere near Cholsey - © By Flickr user HumphreytheCamel
  • Thames Path - © By Flickr user JonasB
  • Thames Path - © By Flickr user Otama
  • Thames Path to Richmond Hill - © By Flickr user JimLinwood
  • Hampton Court Palace - © By Flickr user Edwin11
  • Isleworth, London - © By Flickr user Mike_fleming
  • Thames Path at Battersea Park - © By Flickr user Europealacarte.co.uk
  • Houses of Parliament - © By Flickr user PeterCurbishley
  • London Eye - © By Flickr user AdrianoAurelioAraujo
  • Waterloo Bridge - © By Flickr user Half a World Away
  • Thames Path From Ernst and Young - © By Flickr user Mattfromlondon
  • Tower Bridge - © By Flickr user Trodel
  • Towards Canary Wharf - © By Flickr user Sachab
  • Falcon Dock Bridge - © By Flickr user SwissDave
  • Thames Path towards Woolwich - © By Flickr user Sachab
  • Greenwich Peninsula - © By Flickr user HumphreytheCamel
  • Thames Barrier - © By Flickr user KarenRoe
  • Clifton Hampden, Oxfordshire - © By Flickr user Bob Cox Photgraphy

Key information: Thames Path

    • 184 miles of path and road following the Thames River, from its source all the way to its maritime flood plain. Two-week walk or a huge choice of day or half-hour strolls.
      • Generally gentle routes provide a stimulating variety of historic, rural and industrial landscapes.
        • Not a path for lovers of solitude or wild empty landscape outside urban centres, the Thames runs through the sort of green, agricultural-village landscape that graces the fronts of English Tourism brochures.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating82
  • Beauty28
  • Natural interest14
  • Human interest15
  • Charisma28
  • Negative points3
  • Total rating82
  • Note: Neg: some crowding, and occasional stretches along busy roads

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 184 miles in full
  • Maximum Altitude: N/A
  • Level of Difficulty: Straightforward
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Clifton Hampden, Oxfordshire - © By Flickr user Bob Cox Photgraphy

WALK SUMMARY

The history of England and indeed, given the Brits propensity for trade and colonisation, many other countries is inextricably tied up with the history of the Thames. This great river tidal for many miles of its length and navigable right up into the heart of the country has been a focal point for Englands royal, industrial, voyaging and artistic life for two thousand years, and remains (of castles, palaces, abbeys, villas, houses of parliament, peaceful trading towns, towering cranes) from every phase of the countrys civilisation can still be seen along its banks.

The Thames Path national trail covers 184 miles of the rivers length, from the trickle of its source north of Kemble, Gloucestershire, to the great silver flood barrier downstream of London. In between, it traverses a wonderful swathe of the sort of lush, rolling green farmland, and passes through the ancient towns and cities, that grace the fronts of English Tourism brochures. Despite its industrial heritage, the Thames is the cleanest major-city river in the world, and hosts a huge variety of wildlife both on its banks and in its water all the way to the sea; and easy-walking towpaths, remnants of the rivers function as a major cargo route, run much of the way up to Lechlade, Gloucestershire. It is also one of Britains more popular leisure waterways, with canal-boats, houseboats, kayaks, anglers and swimmers mucking around on much of its length.

 With hundreds of entry-points, the Thames is a great place for easy, all-generation walks through fascinating, gentle landscape that changes rapidly and dramatically with the seasons. Allow a fortnight to walk the whole path; theres simply too much to see along the way to do it any faster.

There is much to delight throughout its length, but the best sections include:

  • Section 1: Source to Cricklade.
  • Section 3: Lechlade to Newbridge.
  • Section 4: Newbridge to Oxford.
  • Parts of Sections 12 and 13: Hampton Court to Richmond / Richmond to Putney.
  • Parts of Section 14: Chelsea Bridge to Tower Bridge.

See Routes below for more information.

We would welcome other ideas for best sections!

WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS

Name: Administrator
Posted on: 08/09/2011

“Wonderful, beautiful, easy for my friend and I - 65 yr. old women. Walked 10-15 miles a day for 7 days - from Oxford to Windsor. Well documented walk, convenient facilities for food, rest, etc. along the way. Quaint villages, history, welcoming people, cows and sheep, and the everchanging Thames running through it all.”
Submitted by: anonymous

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

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Somewhere near Cholsey - ©By Flickr user HumphreytheCamel

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Thames Path - ©By Flickr user JonasB...
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