About the River
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.
- See our map of the River Thames featuring things to do, accommodation and restaurants along its path.
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. Latest news and a list of useful contact is available at www.riverthamesnews.com
Thames MotorBoaters Association - The Thames MotorBoaters Association (TMBA) is an association of owners of powered vessels registered with the Environment Agency for use on the River Thames between Lechlade and Teddington www.tmba.org.uk
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.
- 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 coarse fish.
- The Thames Path follows the river for 296km (184 miles) from its source, making it the longest riverside walk in Europe.
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
There really is so much to do on the river and nearby, that a day is not long enough. There are plenty of family-friendly places to stay nearby or on the river. Make your base at one of our family friendly hotels and you can discover history or enjoy a spot of camping...
Don’t forget there are endless ideas for adventure on the river. Check out our ideas for Great Family Days Out. The simplest way to explore the river is a rowing boat For a rainy day visit one of the Thames Valley Museums.
Fun on the River Thames doesn't always have to cost you. There are plenty of free ways to have a cheap day out with the kids on the River Thames. Take a stroll, get on your bike, catch a fish or play Pooh Sticks...