Thames Path National Trail
Type: Walking Tour
Thames Path National Trail celebrates 20 Years
The Thames Path gained official National Trail status in 1989 and was eventually completed in July 1996. In July 2016 the Thames Path National Trail will mark its 20th Anniversary with the THAMES PATH BATON RELAY - Source to Sea in partnership with The Ramblers. The Relay will consist of a series of Rambler led walks along the entire length of the Thames Path National Trail and on to the Thames Path with an extension to Crayford Marshes.
The Thames Path National Trail is a wonderful way to explore the River Thames.
This long distance walking route starts at the source of the river in a field in the Cotswolds and follows the banks of the Thames for 184 miles (294km) through several rural counties before entering the City of London and finishing at the Thames Barrier in Greenwich. On its way the Trail passes through peaceful water meadows rich in wildlife, historic towns and cities such as Oxford, Henley and Windsor, many lovely villages and some of the best known landmarks of London.
The Thames Path is a gentle Trail, able to be walked by people of all ages and abilities. This National Trail can be enjoyed in many ways, whether for an afternoon's stroll, a weekend's break or a full scale, but relatively gentle, trek of its whole length. To walk the whole trail, using roughly 15 miles/24 Km a day as an average daily walking distance, the Trail can be completed in 14 days allowing for a couple of days’ rest.
To help you plan your walks, there are distance charts for sections of the walk from the source to Teddington and between London bridges. You can also download a copy of the Thames Path National Trail leaflet or find out more about circular and linear walks with 14 routes to choose from and leaflets and maps to download. Take a look at our trail videos.
Thames Path Paws Walks
The Thames Path is a great place for dog friendly walks with picturesque scenery and some dog-welcoming pubs along the routes. The reduction of stiles has helped to make the routes much more accessible for your canine friend and with plenty of opportunities for swimming, paddling and running around, the walks get the WOOF WOOF seal of approval.
Cookham – walk along the Thames Path at Cookham through scenic water meadows. Watch out for the cattle along some parts. Parking is available and choice of dog-friendly pubs.
Geocaching is a free, fun way to explore new places or to take a different look at places you already know. It’s a bit like a high-tech treasure hunt that anyone can join. There are lots of geocaches along the Thames Path and geocache trails for everyone, no matter how far you want to walk. If you have an account with geocaching.com (it's free to sign up) then you can find out more about the Thames Patch geocache trails.
Read about how the new Thames Path Partnership (PDF) will benefit the future of the Thames Path National Trail or why not take part in the Thames Path challenge; a 50k or 100k charity fundraiser taking place in September 2016.
Enjoy the Thames Path… Help us maintain it with a donation
If you love being close to the river and walking the Thames Path, you can now donate and help us maintain and enhance our National Trail.
80% of your donation will go towards maintaining the trail and running our volunteer scheme – making and installing new signs, maintaining and buying new gates, vegetation management, and restoring the river bank. 20% will go towards providing information about the Trail. If you would like to donate please visit here.
Why not get involved yourself and volunteer. Volunteers are essential to maintaining the quality experience of the Thames Path. The National Trails team will work with you on clearing the paths, signage, gates and bridges on weekdays and occasional weekends. Tools and training are provided. ‘Monitors’ are also required to walk a 2-3 mile section of the trail every month and reporting any problems. You can adopt your own section.
Read what the Evening Standard recommends for the Thames this autumn.Enjoy the Thames Path… Help us maintain it with a donation