How far would the crow have to fly to get from one end of the Thames Path, to the other?

Published 22 February 2017

Me, standing next to a giant map of the Thames, in a subway

Sometimes you just need to stand next to a giant map on a wall

I perhaps spend too much time looking at maps. But when you look at a map of the River Thames in detail, there’s one thing that’s quite abundant.

It doesn’t go in a very direct route.

It wibbles and wobbles left right and centre. There are many parts of the Thames Path where you can spend hours walking, and yet find yourself barely that much further on from the point you set off on. well that’s rivers for you.

But it got me thinking, as I’m want to do. If I was a crow, and was to fly in a straight line between the two ends of the Thames Path, how much would I need to fly? And how many extra miles does all that wibbling and wobbling around, make you walk?

In the old days I would probably have had to spread maps all around my living room (or perhaps the spare bedroom as that’s got a lot more spare floor space), got out a very long ruler and tried to measure it. Either that or become a crow. But these are modern times, and inevitably there’s websites that do that kind of thing for you.

One quick search of the internet and I came across doogal.co.uk; a site that has various map and postcode related gubbins, including the handy ability to measure the distance between two points.

All I had to do was put in my two locations. So I dug out the co-ordinates for the ‘The Source of the River Thames’ and ‘The Thames Barrier’, and after a quick calculate and loud PING noise, there was the answer.

89.8 miles/144.6km.

Actual distance of the Thames Path as listed on its official website? 184 miles/296km

Yes, all that wibbling and wobbling around adds a whopping extra 95 miles to your journey.

So now you know. If you want to walk the Thames Path, be prepared to travel a lot further than that crow would need to. Assuming the crow knew where it was going anyway.

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