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Thames Path National Trail celebrates 20 Years

The Thames Path gained official National Trail status in 1989 and was eventually completed in July 1996.

Follow the greatest river in England for 184 miles from its source in the Cotswold hills to the sea. Passing through peaceful water meadows, unspoilt rural villages, historical towns and cities, and finally through the heart of London to end at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich.

It takes in some of Britain’s most iconic sites along the way and with 40 miles running through the heart of London it provides an important pedestrian thoroughfare.  Lonely Planet included it in its ’10 of the world’s best City Hikes’ in 2013.

The Thames Path is one of the most popular of the fifteen National Trails. Twenty years of enjoyment whether for recreation, health, leisure or – in some places for commuting, is certainly worth celebrating!

The Event runs daily between Saturday 9 and Sunday 24 July with a different starting point each day. Starting points are: Kemble, Cricklade, Lechlade, Newbridge, Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford, Pangbourne, Shiplake, Marlow, Windsor, Shepperton, Kingston, Kew, Vauxhall and Thames Barrier. Read more…

Development of the Thames Path

David Sharp, a designer, illustrator, writer, campaigner, organiser, walker and vice-president of the Ramblers, who died aged 89 in 2015, has left an important legacy.  His work was the public face of the Ramblers through the 1960s to 1980s. David was the father of the Thames Path. 

He took the ideal, which was outlined in the Hobhouse committee report of 1947 along with the Pennine Way and a few other long-distance paths, and he made it happen.  When he started work on it there were 22 missing ferries, but he found paths and joined them up, working with the planning authorities to win riverside access. On 24 July 1996, the Thames Path national trail was opened at the Thames Barrier.  

Get Involved


Phone: 01865 810 224 (Information line is staffed Tuesday to Thursday)

Visit the Thames Path Website

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