About the River Thames

It’s part of the longest river in England, it has 45 locks, is home to over 25 species of fish, boasts three areas of outstanding natural beauty and it’s the only river in Europe to have a national trail follow its entire length. This is the rural River Thames.

Starting as a small trickle in the Cotswolds the River Thames travels over 210 miles through the heart of some of England’s most picturesque towns, right into the centre of London and eventually, out into the North Sea. Whether you’re a holiday-maker, a fisherman, boater or just in search of something to do at the weekend, you will find everything you need on the banks of the River Thames.

Facts about the River Thames:

  • The River Thames may take its name from the Sanskrit Tamas meaning “dark” as its waters are often dark and cloudy; another school of thought is that it is named after the Roman Tam meaning “wide” and Isis meaning water.
  • The Environment Agency is the navigation authority for the non-tidal Thames from its source to Teddington Lock. 265 yards below Teddington Lock an obelisk marks the boundary of the jurisdiction between the Environment Agency and the Port of London Authority.
  • Henley-on-Thames is famous for its regatta which started in 1839 and gained royal patronage in 1851. The first Oxford and Cambridge boat races were held here and finished at Henley bridge.
  • There are 45 Locks on the non-tidal River Thames
  • Buscot Lock, just east of Lechlade, is the smallest lock on the river.
  • Pangbourne, where the river Pang flows into the River Thames, is famous as the home of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows and also as the place where Jerome K Jerome’s three men in a boat finish their journey at the Swan Inn.
  • Just downriver from Pangbourne is Mapledurham House, dating from 1588, and thought to be the model for Toad Hall.
  • The non-tidal River Thames is home to over 25 species of course fish.
  • The Thames Path follows the river for 296km (184 miles) from its source, making it the longest riverside walk in Europe.

For more information visit http://www.visitthames.co.uk/