Information for boaters on the River Thames
There are several key things you need to know if you're going to get afloat on the river. Whether you're on a powered boat or a kayak you'll find the following information essential to keep your trip trouble free and enjoyable.
Boating on the tidal Thames
The Port of London Authority’s website Boating on the Thames has been developed to help recreational users navigate the tidal Thames, whether you’re a first timer or a regular visitor.
When boating on the River Thames, remember river flow conditions can vary in any season. Make sure you’re familiar with how to check them, both before setting off and while you’re afloat. You’ll find all the information you need on the Environment Agency River Thames conditions page.
Closures and restrictions
Sometimes events or maintenance work on the River Thames can cause restrictions or closures on your route. Make sure you check the Environment Agency website for full details before planning your trip.
There are 45 locks on the River Thames, managed by the Environment Agency. For information on lock dimensions, facilities and how to go through a lock, see the Environment Agency Locks page. If you’re interested in finding out more about their history, see our Locks page.
There is a wide selection of short-stay and permanent moorings available on the River Thames. To find out more information, see the Environment Agency’s Moorings page.
There are a number of slipways and launching sites along the River Thames. To find out where to launch your boat, see the Environment Agency’s Slipways page.
The River Thames offers a great choice for those looking to have a boat restored or a new one built and the long established boatyards along the Thames also offer many other services.
Emergency Rendezvous Points
To help you stay safe on the river, the Passenger Boat Association has produced a list of points on the river where the Emergency Services can gain access and provide assistance if you need it. You can download the full rendezvous point document from the Environment Agency website.
As you enjoy cruising along the River Thames, you’ll see bridges of all shapes and sizes. Knowing how much room you’ll have to get through will help you plan your journey. For all bridge height information, see the Environment Agency website.
For any other information about boating on the River Thames, see the Environment Agency River Thames pages.
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
The River Thames offers fantastic leisure facilities for boating. Whether you are looking for a relaxing afternoon, seeing the sights while somebody else drives, or you want to be in charge and hire a boat, punt or canoe for an hour or longer. Read more…
Fancy a quick snack, or a hearty three-course meal? What about a glass of wine by the river? There’s a whole host of pubs, restaurants and tea rooms along the River Thames.
From historic royal palaces to thrill-filled theme parks, the River Thames is surrounded by lots of exciting attractions.