Planning your Thames Path walk

Published 15 March 2017. Last updated 15 November 2023

Statue of Father Thames at St John's Lock, Lechlade
Father Thames, standing guard over St John’s Lock, Lechlade

The River Thames isn’t the longest river in the UK – that honour goes to the Severn instead – however the Thames is certainly the best known, and arguably the mightiest of the UK’s rivers. Over the years it’s been a key trading route, both for the import and export of goods to the country, or for transporting items internally as well. Without the Thames, London simply wouldn’t be the city it is today.

Given the river’s importance, it’s only natural that someone would want to make a walking trail that follows it. That’s the Thames Path National Trail, and it’s a National Trail like no others.

It doesn’t follow the whole of the river’s journey – it stops some miles off the coast at the Thames Barrier – but the trail follows a good chunk of it. And as it goes along, you see the river change. At one end it’s a narrow rural waterway, and at the other, a massive expanse of industry and commerce.

Inside This Guide

  1. What is the walk like?
  2. The route
  3. Planning an itinerary
  4. Finding and booking accommodation
  5. Getting to/from the Thames Path
  6. Guide Books and Maps
  7. And finally, and any questions

What is the walk like?

Geese and a barge, on the River Thames near Mapledurham
Geese and a barge, on the River Thames near Mapledurham

Walking on the Thames Path will take you on a journey. Whichever end of the trail you start from, you’ll walk and watch the river change.

The Thames goes through many changes. There’s the quiet, rural Thames near the source; barely bothered by visitors. Then there’s the Thames at leisure, passing through riverside towns and villages, where the water is visited by powerboats and barges. As you get closer to London, the towns get bigger, and the earthen paths begin to give way to tarmac and paving flags. There’s royal Thames with castles and palaces, historic Thames as you visit the site where the Magna Carta was signed. And then there’s suburban Thames, before arriving near Westminster for full on tourist Thames. Finally you leave the centre of London and head to industrial Thames where business and commerce rules.

This makes the Thames Path one of the most distinctive and varied walking trails in the country.

By the nature of the fact that it follows a river, the Thames Path is a pretty flat walk with no real hills to speak of. At many points, it is paved, making walking easy, and for most of the trail there are lots of facilities available.

Thanks to good paths, the vast majority of the Thames Path can be walked all year round. There may be times where there may when flooding may cause problems, however should this occur, generally there are plenty of options for bypassing any problematic areas that arise.

However this is not true of the section between the source and Oxford. This section is especially prone to flooding in winter months, and there are often few alternative routes. If it is under flood, you can end up having to do substantial detours, as the river spills over into many fields. Even paths some distance from the river, that you may think will be ideal alternatives, can be under water and un-usuable. As such, we recommend that the section between the source and Oxford is best attempted between May and October.

The route

From the source to the Thames Barrier, you can see the route of the Thames Path in the map above. Note that this is a guide to the route only, and whilst pretty accurate, is not guaranteed to be 100% correct.

The (far shorter) Thames Path Extension (from the Thames Barrier to Crayford Ness) is shown in this second map

Planning an itinerary

Sign above a tunnel denoting the eastern end of the Thames Path
180 miles from here to the source of the Thames

For centuries the Thames was a hugely important trading route, allowing goods to be shipped to and from the capital, and exported across the world.

The result of this is that numerous towns and villages grew up along side the river, a fact that is a huge boon to the Thames Path walker. It means that, for the majority of its length at least, the Thames Path has plenty of facilities along its route. And that means plenty of options for splitting up your walk.

Because there are so many options, we’ve not produced a series of specific itineraries, but instead split the trail up into a number of “sections”. Some of these sections are longer than others, and in most cases you will probably want to combine multiple “sections” into a single days walk.

Once you hit the Greater London boundary, the ability to chunk up the Thames Path in different ways increases enormously, thanks to an increase in river crossings and the presence of a highly frequent efficient public transport network (any Londoners who are tempted to laugh at this comment would be well advised to spend a week outside the capital relying on public transport, especially late at night.) As such, this section has been split into two sections: one for the Thames Path ‘in the country’ and another for the Thames Path ‘in Greater London.’ Like the official guide book, our definition of ‘country’ is from the source to Hampton Court. And for ‘Greater London’ it’s Hampton Court to the Thames Barrier.

The ‘country’ section

Each of the locations listed below has accommodation, shops and at least one pub, unless otherwise noted. Generally they are major towns or large villages. Any places with limited accommodation are noted. Where there is a railway station available on or near the route, this is marked with a 🚂.

Stage From To Distance
      Miles Km
1 Source of the Thames Kemble 🚂
2 Kemble 🚂 Ashton Keynes 9
3 Ashton Keynes Cricklade 5
4 Cricklade Lechlade 11 17¾
5 Lechlade Kelmscott 1
6 Kelmscott 1 Newbridge 2 14 22½
7 Newbridge 2 Oxford 🚂 14 22½
8 Oxford 🚂 Radley 🚂 6
9 Radley 🚂 Abingdon 6
10 Abingdon Culham 3 🚂 6
11 Culham 3 🚂 Wallingford 11¼ 18
12 Wallingford Cholsey 🚂
13 Cholsey 🚂 Goring and Streatley 🚂 4
14 Goring and Streatley 🚂 Pangbourne 🚂 7
15 Pangbourne 🚂 Tilehurst 🚂
16 Tilehurst 🚂 Reading 🚂
17 Reading 🚂 Henley-on-Thames 🚂 14
18 Henley-on-Thames 🚂 Marlow 🚂 13¾
19 Marlow 🚂 Bourne End 🚂
20 Bourne End 🚂 Cookham 🚂 2
21 Cookham 🚂 Maidenhead 🚂
22 Maidenhead 🚂 Windsor 🚂 10½
23 Windsor 🚂 Staines 🚂 13¼
24 Staines 🚂 Shepperton 🚂 9
25 Shepperton 🚂 Hampton Court 🚂 10


  1. Limited accommodation in Kelmscott at the village pub only. Alternative accommodation is at Lechlade. No shop.
  2. Limited accommodation at Newbridge at the Rose Revived pub. Alternative accommodation can be found a few miles off route at Brighthamton, or Northmoor. Alternatively, a bus or taxi ride will take you to the towns of Abindgon or Witney.
  3. Culham station is a mile away from the village. Culham has no shop.

The ‘Greater London’ section

Once you hit Greater London, the ways of breaking up the Thames Path increase enormously. There are also plenty of tourist-related diversions that you may want to enjoy whilst breaking your walk. Because of this, we have provided distances between locations where there is a nearby railway or London Underground stations, although the whole London section is rarely far from a bus service as well. For added complexity, for most of the London section there are two alternatives – you can walk on the North Bank or the South Bank. In our experience, you’ll have a better time on the South Bank. It stays closer to the river, and has better views. However where the section can be walked on the North Bank, we have included that distance too.

Locations with a rail or Underground station are marked with a 🚂 symbol.

Stage From To Distance (North Bank) Distance (South Bank)
      Miles Km Miles Km
1 Hampton Court 🚂 Kingston-upon-Thames 🚂 3 5
2 Kingston-upon-Thames 🚂 Teddington 🚂 2
3 Teddington 🚂 Richmond 🚂
4 Richmond 🚂 Kew Bridge 🚂 4 3 5
5 Kew Bridge 🚂 Hammersmith/Barnes 1 🚂 4 4
6 Hammersmith/Barnes 1 🚂 Putney Bridge 🚂
7 Putney Bridge 🚂 Vauxhall Bridge 🚂 6 6
8 Vauxhall Bridge 🚂 Westminster Bridge 🚂 1 1
9 Westminster Bridge 🚂 Waterloo Bridge 🚂 ¾ ½ 1
10 Waterloo Bridge 🚂 Blackfriars Bridge 🚂 ½ 1 ½ 1
11 Blackfriars Bridge 🚂 London Bridge 🚂 2
12 London Bridge 🚂 Tower Bridge 🚂 ½ 1 ½ 1
13 Tower Bridge 🚂 Wapping/Rotherhithe 2 🚂 1
14 Wapping/Rotherhithe 2 🚂 Greenwich Foot Tunnel 🚂 6
15 Greenwich Foot Tunnel 🚂 Thames Barrier 3 🚂 4 6


  1. Distance to Hammersmith for north bank, and Barnes for South Bank
  2. Distance to Wapping for north bank, and Rotherhithe for South Bank
  3. Nearest railway station is Woolwich Dockyard. Alternatively, follow the Thames Path Extension to Woolwich

The Thames Path Extension

Although the eastern end of the Thames Path National Trail is at the Thames Barrier, you don’t need to end there as the Thames Path Extension carries on another ten miles to Crayford Ness. This is fully waymarked and generally referred to as the Thames Path on signposts, but uses a picture of a Thames Sailing Barge as a logo instead of the National Trail acorn. It is shown on the map above in green.

Whether it is worth it depends though if you’d rather end your walk at the sleek metallic majesty of the Thames Barrier, or at a quiet patch of land near a scrap metal yard.

Still interested? These are the distances:

Stage From To Distance
      Miles Km
1 Thames Barrier 🚂 Woolwich (Foot Tunnel) 🚂 2
2 Woolwich (Royal Arsenal) 🚂 Erith 🚂 7 11¼
3 Erith 🚂 Crayford Ness 2

Note that there is no public transport Crayford Ness. There are two options: walk back to Erith, or carry on follow initially following the London LOOP before following the LOOP link signs to Slade Green railway station.

Breaking the walk up for several trips

The Thames Path passes many railway stations along its route, meaning its extremely easy to split the route up into several trips. Indeed, if you live in London, or near the Thames, it’s an absolute doddle to walk most of the Thames Path in day hikes. The options are endless.

The one section that is an exception to this is the section from the source to Oxford. Unless you live locally, this is likely to require a four day trip to complete this section as there are no railway stations on the route, and whilst there are some buses – like the Stagecoach 66 bus that runs from Swindon to Oxford that mostly follows the A420 – you’ll need to be prepared to make detours of a couple of miles from the trail.

Extending your walk

As well as the Thames Path Extension, the Thames Path intersects with a large number of walking trails on its journey. There are too many to list here, but notable trails include the Ridgeway and the London LOOP. At the western end, near the source, the Wysis Way runs for 55 miles/88km and connects with the Offa’s Dyke National Trail at Monmouth, and the Cotswold Way National Trail.

If you wish to head to the sea, the England Coast Path is now waymarked and will take you from Woolwich to the Isle of Grain.  From the Thames Barrier simply follow the Thames Path Extension to meet up with the Coast Path.

Rest days

The country section doesn’t have that many sections well worth spending a whole day in, although there are several towns like Abingdon and Henley where an hour or two spent exploring, would be a hugely re-warding experience.

The most obvious place to stop is the university city of Oxford, where you can easily spend a day wandering down its narrow streets and checking out its sights.

Once you hit Greater London, the Thames Path takes you past numerous tourist attractions. Indeed it’s well worth, if you have the time, to walk shorter days in Greater London and take in some of the fantastic sights on the route. Obvious contenders include Hampton Court Palace, Tate Britain, the Houses of Parliament, the South Bank (including the London Eye, Borough Market, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and maritime Greenwich. And that’s just the options that don’t involve leaping on a bus or a tube train. Even if you live in London, there’s plenty to see and explore.

Finding and booking accommodation

The Magna Carta Memorial. Celebrating a legendary document, just a short way from the Thames Path.
The Magna Carta Memorial. Celebrating a legendary document, just a short way from the Thames Path.

As it travels through many larger towns and villages, you’ll have no problems with finding accommodation. The Thames Path National Trail website includes a detailed accommodation guide, although inevitably its not comprehensive, especially in London (far from it.) That means alternative accommodation can be found using your favourite search engine.

If staying in London, you may find it easier to stay in the same place for a couple of nights, and use the capital’s excellent public transport to get to and from your accommodation.

Accommodation Booking Services and Baggage Transfer

A number of companies will arrange your walk for you. Generally this includes baggage transfer as well. You can find a list of companies who will book accommodation on the official Thames Path website.

The official website also has a list of companies who provide baggage transfer if you just want that service.

Hostels and bunkbarns

The Thames Path is served by a number of hostels, although most are in London. Those near to the trail are:

The YHA also has several other London hostels, and a full listing can be found in the London section of their website. There are also independent hostels, although often targeted at a younger clientele.

If you plan to stay at multiple YHA hostels, it’s well worth considering becoming a member as this will save you some money.

Until recently there was a YHA in Oxford, but this permanently closed in 2021.


Most of the camping opportunities on the Thames Path are in the western end, in the more rural sections. This includes the option to stay the night on some lock islands. The Thames Path accommodation guide includes known places to camp.

Due to the nature of the trail, wild camping is not generally advised or possible. Under English law you are not legally allowed to wild camp without permission of the landowner.

Getting to/from the Thames Path

First Great Western train at Tilehurst station
A train sits at Tilehurst station, just metres away from the Thames Path.

As has been noted above, the Thames Path is extremely well served by the National Rail network in the country section, with most stations having regular services to London – either direct or by changing once. Train times and connections can be found on the National Rail website.

In the Greater London section of the trail, the Thames Path is extremely well served by public transport in the form of National Rail, London Underground or London’s extensive bus network. To plan journeys in London, visit the Transport for London website.

Guide Books and Maps

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

First up, guide books, and you simply can’t go wrong with the two official guide books, published by Aurum Press.

The Thames Path in the Countryby David Sharp and Tony Gowers

The Thames Path in the Country by David Sharp and Tony Gowers, covers the trail between the source and Hampton Court. It includes plenty of information about the trail, as well as Ordnance Survey Explorer scale (1:25,000) maps for the whole route, and show plenty of the area around the route as well. The book also includes information about public transport options. The last update was 2016.

The Thames Path in Londonby Phobe Clapham

The Thames Path in London by Phobe Clapham, is the book for the London section between Hampton Court and the Thames Barrier, with detailed coverage for both the North Bank and South Bank options. It also includes the Thames Path Extension, enabling you to extend your walk to Crayford Ness if you wish. It was last updated in 2018.

As well as masses of detail, and local information, the book has one glorious feature: it’s maps. It uses the Ordnance Survey’s 1:10,000 scale. This is an easy to use street map, with road names and everything. This is incredibly useful when you’re trying to navigate your way through the Greater London area. As far as we know, this is the only Thames Path guidebook to use these maps, and the benefits of navigating the Thames Path this way should not be underestimated!

Trailblazer Thames Pathby Joel Newton, Anna Udagawa, and William Allberry

For planning a multi-day walk, you may well find the Trailblazer Thames Path guide book to be of great benefit. These incredibly detailed books list a multitude of accommodation providers, pubs, and other services on the trail. They also include maps and walk instructions, although the maps are hand drawn, and we prefer the detail provided by a proper map.

Thames Path Adventure Atlasby David Sharp and Tony Gowers

When it comes to maps, an excellent choice is the A-Z Thames Path Adventure Atlas. This range of maps are an excellent alternative to carrying individual Ordnance Survey maps, and gives you the whole of the trail – and a good area around it – in a single, slim volume. The maps are at the Ordnance Survey Explorer scale of 1:25,000. This is not ideal in London, and the Thames Path in London’s maps are better, but for the rest of the route, this is a great book to have.

Cicerone Thames Path Map Bookletby Cicerone

Another map booklet option is the Cicerone Thames Path Map Booklet. This also contains Ordnance Survey Explorer scale maps.

Thames Path XT40 Mapby Harvey's

As ever, there is a Harveys Thames Path map, at Harvey’s scale of 1:40,000. The scale is too small to be truly useful in London, however may be useful outside the capital. However generally for the Thames Path, we recommend the higher scale of the Explorer maps as you will benefit from the extra detail.

Finally, if you fancy filling your rucksacks with paper maps containing the fine work of the Ordnance Survey, then these are the ones you need:

  • Landranger: 163, 164, 174, 175, 176, 177
  • Explorer: 160, 161, 162, 168, 169, 170, 171, 172, 173, 180

We thoroughly recommend the Explorer scale, and the Landrangers really won’t help you once you hit London.

And finally, and any questions

Topiary sculpture of a child riding on a bird
The Thames Path, for all your topiary needs.

If you’ve got this far, then hopefully you’re preparing to put your walking boots on very soon. I hope you have an excellent walk.

And if you’ve any questions about the Thames Path, feel free to ask them below and we’ll do the best to answer those we can.


Dave Lee

11 September 2017 at 4:48 pm

I have a comment on your section regarding breaking the Thames Path up into several trips, where you note that the lack of public transport on the section to Oxford makes it difficult.
In fact, it is doable with a bit of planning. There is a good bus service from Cricklade to Swindon (Stagecoach bus 51/51A). And the real helper is the Stagecoach 66 from Swindon to Oxford, which runs mostly along the A420 parallel to the Thames. That means there’s a bus stop a few miles off the main path all the way from Faringdon to Farmoor, at which point you’re almost in Oxford anyway!
Hope that helps…


22 September 2017 at 11:35 am

I agree with the usefulness of the 66 bus. It even has a regular service on Sundays! I used it to/from an obscure road junction called Buckland Turn, about 2.5 miles of road-walking south of Tadpole Bridge. This, together with staying at a place you didn’t mention, The Ferryman Inn at Bablock Hythe (about 10 miles from Oxford), let me do the walk from the source to Oxford in five legs over three weekends:

Day 1 (standalone): Source to Cricklade
Days 2/3 (full weekend): Cricklade to Tadpole Bridge/Buckland Turn, staying overnight in Lechlade
Days 4/5 (full weekend): Buckland Turn/Tadpole Bridge to Oxford, staying overnight in Bablock Hythe

Leslie Snyder

11 March 2018 at 3:55 am

Generally, how is the weather on the Thames path in late September and into the middle of October? I know you can’t give me a definite weather report but something general would be really helpful. For example, we live in Columbus, Ohio, and I can tell a visitor that we have beautiful fall days that are often warm in the daytime and cool but not freezing in the evening. when it rains, it rarely last for more than a few hours in our autumn. Can anyone give me an idea of the weather in the early fall?

Derick Rethans

12 March 2018 at 11:45 am


I’m planning to do the whole of the Thames Path this year, and was wondering whether it would be too much of a stretch to do Source to Oxford in 3 days (with stops in Circklade and Newbridge). It’s going to be in June/July, and my main concern is the 44km between Circklade and Newbridge… Is it generally good walking with hiking boots?


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

13 March 2018 at 9:10 am

Hello Leslie – generally Autumn in the south of England can be a great time to walk. However you may get a day where it just rains all the time. Although in Britain that’s true most of the year!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

13 March 2018 at 9:14 am

Hi Derick – the Thames Path’s a pretty flat route, and usually easy going. I’m not sure I’d personally want to do 44km in one day, but of all the routes I know, the Thames Path would be the easiest to do that distance. The question I’d ask is, have you experience of walking such a long distance in one day? If not, then it’s a serious challenge.

Derick Rethans

13 March 2018 at 10:08 am

Thanks for your comment Andrew,

I walk about 10-20km a day, and have done a 35km walk — all in London with lots of people “in the way”, so I’m pretty sure I can do 44km in the country side, starting early and relaxed.

BTW, is there a reason why your site disables PgUp/PgDn for scrolling, and the cursor in this comment field and for scrolling too?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

13 March 2018 at 3:39 pm

Yep, if you’ve done 35km in London, 44km on the Thames Path should be fine!

As for the Page Up/Page Down – there was nothing I was doing deliberately. Turns out the code I use to embed the maps on the page was hijacking them. Rather than scrolling the page up and down, it was scrolling the map instead. There was a simple fix for that, and everything should now work as you’d expect. I presume the same thing was causing the comment problems as well.


24 March 2018 at 4:37 pm

Hi Andrew,
Do you know if anyone has attempted the entire length from the source to the sea? I’m planning to do this next year and finish at the end of Southend pier, taking about 12 days while staying along the route – maybe less. I’m currently struggling to find a good way to cross the river Darent so I can eventually reach Gravesend.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

24 March 2018 at 7:10 pm

Hello James – whilst I know there have been suggestions of extending the route to the sea, I don’t know of anyone who has done it myself. Maybe someone does?

Tessa Gooding

3 April 2018 at 1:41 pm

Hello, thanks for the advice on here. I’m looking to do a sponsored challenge for a local homeless charity in October and am thinking about walking 54 miles along the south of the river in one go from Windsor to the Thames Barrier (I’ve calculated it based on your information above). To make it a significant enough challenge I’ll probably start on a Saturday morning and finish on a Sunday morning, as I’m guessing it will take me an average of 3 miles per hour plus breaks as it’s pretty flat. Do you think planning to do it within 24 hours is feasible? I will probably bring my dog for the first half of it – he may not manage the whole thing. We will train by doing long Sunday walks over the few months beforehand.

Tessa Gooding

3 April 2018 at 1:51 pm

The other option is we do Teddington Lock to River Darent, which I think is 42 miles and if we do it in one go, people will hopefully also see that as a sufficient challenge. Plus the walk is to raise awareness of homelessness in London and I think this bit is the part within the Greater London boundaries.

Julian Lewis

24 April 2018 at 2:24 pm

I would like to walk from Windsor on the Thames path ending at the The Shard.Can you tell me how far it is and how easy it is as I have only just learnt to walk again.

Derick Rethans

24 April 2018 at 3:20 pm

Julian, it’s about 55km from Windsor to London Bridge – quite a long walk, but possible to do in two days.

Annabelle Cartwright

12 May 2018 at 3:51 pm

I’m looking for a good place to park the Cricklade. My searches haven’t come up with much.


23 May 2018 at 2:04 pm

We were considering doing the Thames Path from London to Reading. How long roughly do you reckon this would take to walk (not including any stops along the way)?


13 June 2018 at 6:15 am

Hi, i am an extreme walker and am looking at walking from the barrier to the source in three days, 62 miles a day. That should give me between three and four hours sleep a night,providing the distances work out near to either a campsite or an Inn/b&b. Do you have any recommendations for anywhere at those distances.
Kindest regards


19 July 2018 at 4:17 pm

Thanks for all your stories, tips and advice. The only shame is that you walked from East to West and we are walking from West to East …

By-the-way, just as well that we started at the source, because the other way around we would probably never finish our walk.

Large parts of the ‘path’ from the source to Wallingford or so are no path at all (with sometimes waist high nettles and thistles, even far into June …) and lots of times you also cannot see the river. Not much fun there. We hardly ever met other walkers and wondered if the Thames Path was being maintained at all.

But towns like Ashton Keynes, Clifton Hampden and Wallingford are little gems, even though you sometimes need to leave the path to find them.

Looking forward to walking another part of the Thames Path next year, but with more realistic expectations.


29 July 2018 at 2:02 pm

I’m walking East to West with my son doing approx 10km as and when I have the time. Yesterday we did the stretch from Marlow to Henley. I’m loving the whole thing but I can see that it’ll need more planning as I get past Pangbourne with regard to public transport. Also because I’ll be further away from home (I live near Staines). Helpful comments about the bus routes thanks!

Mikey C

9 August 2018 at 11:41 pm

The only way to cross the River Darent is to follow the London Loop path which goes along the Rivers Darent and Cray to Crayford, go east along the A206 which crosses the Darent and take the similar path back up the other side, as sadly there is no public access to the Darent flood barrier which does cross the river!

Derick Rethans

13 August 2018 at 11:12 am

Goring-on-Thames has a train station (and is ~10 km from Pangbourne).
Wallingford has the X39/X40 bus from Reading (and is ~16km from Goring) See:
Dorchester can also mostly be reached by the X39/X40 bus, with a little detour walking
There is a train station at Culham, although not very close to the river.
Abingdon will have bus services to Didcot Parkway, where you can pick up the train into Reading again.

Beyond Oxford you’re going to struggle unless you’re willing to walk a little further. I did do the 90km from source to Oxford over three days.


15 August 2018 at 4:12 pm

I am organising a small group who live “on the continent”. I plan to split the walk into 3 separate weeks, spread over 1 or 2 years.

2 immediate questions:

1. are there companies which plan the walk, fix accommodation and move rucksacks from one location to another
2. best time to walk

Thanks for any help you can give.


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

16 August 2018 at 9:56 am

Hello Peter
Yes, there are companies who can plan your walk and move bags. You can find details on the Thames Path National Trail website.

As for time of year, most of it can be walked at any time. But the section between the source and Oxford is best done between May and October, due to the likelihood of the path flooding at other times.


16 August 2018 at 2:43 pm

Well, we walked the path in June of this year between the source and Henley. And we found that most of the time there was no actual path (but lots of stinging nettles instead, sometimes higher than my 5 ft 3) and the Thames was nowhere to be seen. We were not the only persons wondering if the path was being walked on at all at this end … Ofcourse, it can be walked. But whether it’s an overall nice experience, is quite another matter.

Nigel Croxford

17 August 2018 at 5:05 pm

In May 2018 I walked the Thames Path from the source to Putney Bridge in 6 consecutive days to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Macmillan Cancer Support, however my feet had suffered terribly and I wasn’t able to finish the final stretch to the Thames Barrier.
Next weekend, along with family and friends, I am going to finish my challenge and would like to know which is the best side of the river to walk and are there any diversions along the route
Thanks for your help.

Mikey C

20 August 2018 at 10:52 pm


Just noticed this on the Diamond Geezer blog, where he mentions the Thames Estuary Path, which runs from Tilbury to Leigh on Sea (near Southend) which is probably as near as you’ll get to a Thames Path to Southend (albeit running inland sometimes)

Sarah Price

21 August 2018 at 10:11 am

Nigel, I walked that stretch on the south side last year. Last February there was a diversion on the Greenwich Peninsula due to building work. It wasn’t well signposted but might be finished now of course!

Off to walk the next stretch from Pangbourne to Goring today…

David Newman

9 September 2018 at 10:06 pm

Sarah the building works just east of Greenwich are not finished, I walked the path there about two weeks ago. You have to go inland through housing estates and along a busy road, not pleasant but it takes only around 30 minutes to get through it to the Greenwich Peninsular.

Arkam Uzair

12 September 2018 at 10:36 am

I just finished the whole Great London path. I really enjoyed it. It is so diverse. I split it into 1.5-2 hours walk every day and finished it in 4-5 days. On weekend I walked Longer.

The more you move away from Centre, the path becomes more rural type but with less diversion.

I mostly walked south Path but always planned in the morning on the map to check which side to walk(North or south). I walked on that side which had less diversions.

The area from Kew Bridge till Hampton Court is so beautiful and scenic. The central area has its own charm.

The walk between Lime house and Island gardens is the worst part of the walk as there are mostly private properties and restricted areas near river which you cant enter. You have to go on a side road and then re-join.

O2 construction work also caused a bit of inconvenience due to some construction work but apparently they are saying that something exciting is coming.

On one end I finish at Hampton Court and on other end I finished near River Darent.

What I did was that I walked from Thames Barrier till River Darent. From river Darent I walked half an hour and then took a side walk to River Cray and ultimately reached Main road somewhere close to Queen Elizabeth Bridge 2. From there I had two options, either to Walk to Crayford or Slade Green. Both were approximately same distance, so I chose Slade Green.

Beyond thames barrier, if you wish to split walks, you can do so easily as you pass near lots of rail stations like Woolwich Dockyard, Woolwich Arsenal, Plumstead, Abbeywood, Belverde, Erith.

After Erith you need to prepare yourself to do a boring main road walk if you plan to reach Slade Green or Crayford.

The walk in Bishop’s part on the route between Putney to Hammersmith is so beautiful and scenic. Its like a forest walk as Bishop’s route is covered by tree.

Geof Malone

1 October 2018 at 7:07 pm

My wife and I finally arrived at the source last week. Despite it being a few years since setting off from the Barrier, we still felt a great sense of achievement!

Andrew has all the information you need here but, for breaking the trip down to easy day stages, we followed It was written around 2004 but what little has changed is well signed. We didn’t bother carrying any maps or guidebooks.

We live in London so it was easy to go as far as Oxford doing day trips, mostly from 9 – 12 miles. The only exception was a night in delightful Dorchester-on-Thames when the transport back would have been too much hassle.

We did Oxford to the source in five days, staying at Bablock Hythe, Tadpole Bridge, Lechlade and Cricklade (lovely walking and nice places to stay) and finished off with a celebratory night at the Thames Head Inn, about 20 minutes’ walk from the source.

Jon Clifton

16 October 2018 at 8:33 am

We started the Thames Path last August (2017) at Greenwich and are currently at Dorchester on Thames initially doing the walks on ‘days out’ from where we live in Norfolk. Now we are staying weekends in self catering. We are loving it so much and would recommend to anyone. We use taxis or trains to get us back to the car after the days walking. Lovely villages, great pubs, loved London, the Chilterns are scenic,….. cant wait to get back.


18 October 2018 at 1:26 pm

Dear Geof Malone, I was just wondering if you experienced any problems walking the path in October. We walked the path in June of this year between the source and Henley. Just after a period of heavy rains. And we found that most of the time there was no actual path (but lots of stinging nettles instead, sometimes higher than my 5 ft 3) and the path had not been maintained. Reading all the Hosannah stories about the path on this website, I’m just wondering if we were just there at the wrong time …

Geof Malone

23 October 2018 at 9:31 pm

Hi Winny,
Sorry for the belated reply. We were very lucky with the weather. Took rain gear but it was shorts and t-shirt all the way, the path was clear and don’t remember getting stung, but can certainly see the potential for it getting a bit rough in a few places in the wet weather.


28 November 2018 at 3:23 pm

Similar to what was mentioned in an earlier post (James, March 24 2018), I am also intending to walk the whole length from the source at Kemble to Southend Pier. I’m anticipating 12 – 15 days.

The Thames Path itself is well-documented although does anyone have a walking route from the Thames Barrier to Southend? I’m assuming there isn’t a convenient pathway that runs alongside the river – there are some dotted lines showing on Google Maps, which I take to be footpaths, although these are interrupted by docks, sewerage works and sundry industrial sites, so I think it might be a disaster-in-waiting to set off without a planned route beforehand.

Any help or comment gratefully received


29 November 2018 at 1:59 pm

Hi Simon,
I haven’t come across anything extensively documented online about my full route.
I’ve planned for quite a few miles “inland” and diverting around – particularly when the river meets the River Cray, near Crayford on the south bank (see Mikey C’s route above). Once at Gravesend, I’m getting the ferry over to Tilbury (the only transport I’ll be using) and then it’s several miles round to Stanford Le Hope, past Basildon to Pitsea and then down towards Canvey Island. and following the Estuary waterline all the way through to Southend.

I found there’s no magic route marked out – so I’ve hard to invest a lot of time to check different routes that make it up, and actually getting boots on the ground at the weekend with an OS map of the areas (don’t rely on Google).

Hope this helps


29 November 2018 at 6:23 pm

Four of us will be walking on the Thames Path in mid April. We’d really appreciate your guidance about which segment to walk. We have only three days so we would like to find a segment that is quaint but with beautiful scenery. Any suggestions?

Simon Hall

30 November 2018 at 6:36 pm

Thanks James
I’ll work on this over the next few weeks and come to a conclusion. If I think the diversions east of the Thames Barrier would take me too far from the bank of the estuary then I’ll just walk from Kemble to the Barrier, doing 15 – 18 miles a day.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

3 December 2018 at 9:10 pm

Hi Leslie
It’s difficult to chose a perfect three day stretch, but perhaps the sections between Tilehurst/Reading and Oxford would meet your criteria. It’s quite varied, with lots of interesting scenery and some lovely villages and towns.

If you had an extra day – and were going later in the year – the Source and Oxford would be a great one. But in April there’s a risk that there may be flooded sections. Probably less of a risk in April, but generally I suggest waiting until May before trying that bit.


3 December 2018 at 11:32 pm

Thank you so much!


7 December 2018 at 10:50 pm

Hi Andrew,
We are from Australia and are planning to walk in the Cotswolds in May 2019 finishing in Oxford. We are thinking that it would be good to then tag on the Oxford to London section of the Thames Path. Question, would like to know if it is necessary to pre book nightly accommodation (pubs and B & B’s etc) or is it possible to find accom along the way? If accom is relatively easy to find it would give us more flexibility each day (weather, sightseeing etc), we have hiked extensively (several Camino walks in Spain, Portugal, France etc and have done the C2C in England twice).

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

9 December 2018 at 8:29 pm

Hello Wendy – generally I recommend booking in advance if you can but you may be alright if you’re prepared to travel a little bit away from the trail in the evening.

Jonathan Clifton

10 December 2018 at 11:02 am

Hi Wendy
We usually book accommodation (self catering usually) somewhere very close to The Thames and have three/four walking days. We then get taxis back to the car or accommodation. This has worked perfectly so far. I’d recommend searching taxis beforehand so you have several to choose from as some in the remoter areas are not always available and on other jobs. Our next trip is the Oxford section and have a lovely old cottage booked at Sutton Courteney. Have fun.


16 December 2018 at 3:35 am

Thank you Andrew and Jonathan.


29 December 2018 at 2:55 pm

We are a group of four seniors who have done a lot of walking. We walked 100 miles on the Camino in Spain in five days. We have three and a half days from April 11-14 to walk the most scenic and interesting section of the Thames Path. Any suggestions? we would really appreciate your opinions! Hope to hear lots of suggestions – thanks – Leslie from Columbus, Ohio

David Newman

29 December 2018 at 3:01 pm

Hi Leslie
It much depends upon the weather. April can be dry, warm, cold and wet ! The head of the Thames through to Tadpole Bridge is beautiful, quite wild, often off the river itself and quite isolated in parts, but awful if it is raining. That would take two days.
A day not to miss is across London, starting at Wandsworth through to Greenwich, or vice versa, a whole day. Another whole day is Richmond to Hampton Court and that is restful and has lots of stopping off points for a drink and two nice final destinations.


29 December 2018 at 3:37 pm

Hi David,
Thank you so much. I will check out all three of these. I think we would may have to decide once we get to England because we wouldn’t want to do to Tadpole Bridge if the weather predicts rain.


29 December 2018 at 7:21 pm

The piece I am missing is the Oxford to Reading stretch. I read that is good too. Depends where you are going to stay in England.

Stephen Robert Mobsby

13 January 2019 at 12:26 pm

We have done the South Downs and the Pennine Way in day walks between carparks adjacent to the route. With two cars you can leapfrog efficiently and cover 10 to 15 miles a day.

The OS maps show very few public carparks along the source to Oxford section. Anyone know of landowners, farmers, Publicans with large carparks, prepared to allow a car to be parked all day (perhaps for a small fee)


6 February 2019 at 7:41 pm

Hello, I’m planning to walk from Kew to Culham in July this year. I’m hoping to do it over 4 days. I am having trouble working out the exact mileage though. I have a feeling it might be between 90-95 miles. Could anyone give me a more accurate idea? Thanks!

Geof Malone

8 February 2019 at 1:06 pm


In a post in October I mentioned that is good for planning distances and I have just checked it and you’re right on the Kew-Culham distance. I reckon about 93 miles.

Going back to Stephen’s post from last month, there are car parks at all riverside pubs. We stayed at the Ferryman Inn at Bablock Hythe and the Trout at Tadpole Bridge and I reckon you could get sorted with a few calls. Lechlade and Cricklade are small towns with plenty of parking and there is also the Thames Head Inn as well as layby parking near the source.

The source was dry when we were there, but with recent rains I am planning to venture up there again (from close by this time, not from the Barrier!) to see if it really is possible to see the river rising.


12 February 2019 at 3:07 am

Hi I’m planning to walk theThames from Source to London in August this year. My question is about public transport from central London to (as close as possible) the source. I’m on a budget so taxi is last on my list of options. I’m from new Zealand so not familiar with uk public transport.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

12 February 2019 at 8:57 am

Hello Jasmine. Definitely no need for a taxi. The easiest way is train. There are direct trains from London Paddington station in central London to Kemble. Kemble is a mile and a half from the source, and close to the Thames Path. The journey takes about 75 minutes. The Thames Path is very well served by public transport for most of its length.


19 February 2019 at 10:27 am

I live in East Sussex and I would like to do a part of the TPW…I just don’t know which bit to do. Potentially I would like to do about 25 – 35km. I would prefer to do a nice pretty section, rather than urban. I would need to get the train to the start, do the walk, then train back to Eastbourne. Any ideas? Ideally the train stations I get on and off would be near to the river and easy to navigate to and from.


David Newman

20 February 2019 at 10:05 pm

Clare, easy. Eastbourne to Clapham Junction to Kew Bridge walk west and south to Hampton Court, train back to C Junction. The path is all along the river but you are never isolated. And you can stop along the way at Richmond or Kingston. It takes you past Teddington Lock too from tidal to non tidal.

Julie Wallace

24 February 2019 at 7:33 am

Hi, I’d like to take my 9 year old lab on the path from Pangbourne to Reading. She is too heavy for me to consider lifting her over any barriers along the path. Are there any sections that might prevent her walking unhindered?
Thanks in advance.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

24 February 2019 at 8:27 pm

Hello Julie – I don’t recall any particular barriers on that section, but I have to say I wasn’t looking out for them!


27 February 2019 at 7:11 pm

Hey there :)
I’d love to do the Thames Path, but my only option are three weeks at the end of July/beginning of August. Is the route very busy at this time of the year? Since you’ve done so many walks, would you recommend an alternative long distance path for July/August? I’ve never been to Great Britain, so I’m open for all suggestions. Thank you in advance!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

1 March 2019 at 9:40 am

Hello Leonie – the Thames Path is often busy all year round. But other than the section through central London – which is always crazy – it’s rarely that bad.


19 March 2019 at 5:56 pm

Hey, looming to run the length from source to sea over 7 days next year. It breaks down nicely into a marathon a day. Has anyone on this forum any experience in this and can suggest the natural stops around 26 miles each day. Thanks for any suggestions

Sarah Price

25 March 2019 at 5:31 am

Hi Stuart, no I don’t have any experience of marathon running but I would say don’t do that in winter! The sections that we have walked in winter have been very muddy and very slow going.

wendy chapman

31 March 2019 at 8:51 pm

Leslie Snyder, In reference to weather in the autumn. I moved her from Wisconsin and know what you mean about the fall weather there. Here is should be similar with warmer days and cool but not frosty nights. There could be more grey days with on and off drizzle or rain but your chances of nice weather are good during this season.


31 March 2019 at 10:59 pm

Thanks, Wendy. Believe it or not, we are coming now on April 11 for a four day walk. Thant’;s all we have time for right now. We vare hoping for good weather – should be beautiful because plants shoul;d be in bloom. Weare excited and hope for rain-free days!


16 April 2019 at 1:33 pm

I’m walking Putney Bridge to Henley. Are there any detailed map or instructions anywhere as the route looks quite tricky in parts regarding following the river/cross overs etc. Or is it clearly sign posted?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

16 April 2019 at 3:44 pm

Hi Peter – the route’s very well signposted, especially in London. The best instructions and maps are in the Thames Path in the City book mentioned above. It has street maps in it with road names given.

wendy chapman

16 April 2019 at 3:52 pm

HI Peter,

I just finished walking to Henley and have walked from the flood defences in stages. It is well marked and you should not have trouble. You can upload an app to your phone that has the OS map and that makes it a breeze. Also, there are a couple of great books to use as a guide if you desire.


16 April 2019 at 8:11 pm

Thanks Andrew and Wendy, that’s great.
Do you happen to know the name of the app you mentioned?

wendy chapman

18 April 2019 at 8:13 am

HI Peter, The app is called the Thames Path Map Lite. It is terrific and will help you when the path diverts a bit from the riverside. I have an iPhone so cannot tell you if there is an android version. I highly recommend it. Also, if you have a recent OS map of the version there is a way to upload it to your phone as well. Good luck.

Leigh Hatts

19 April 2019 at 9:04 pm

Just catching up at last with this interesting site.

But I think readers should be aware that you can walk the other way! If you know the Thames in London you will want to find the source and have the fun of finding the river becoming more and more narrow.

My book, Walking The Thames Path (Cicerone), was developed from the trail’s feasibility study.

The river is always changing so you may want to walk the other way, or walk back, afterwards. David Sharp was a generous friend and pioneer and we worked well together on Thames problems.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

20 April 2019 at 9:32 pm

As someone who did walk from London to the Source, I have to agree with Leigh Hatts. The Source is a much better ending!

Roger Stevenson

6 May 2019 at 10:42 pm

Apologies for asking, but is cycling allowed on the footpath ?
The answer has to be NO, but thought I would ask.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

6 May 2019 at 10:45 pm

Hello Roger. There’s a few bits of the Thames Path where cycles are allowed, but for the most part, they are not.

Preston Sewell

20 May 2019 at 5:06 pm

Thanks for the information. I’ll be visiting London in July of this year and hope to start on the trail from that end. How far … time will tell. I found two apps for my Android phone:
Naturally, being old school, I will also obtain a hard copy.

Richard Ogden

2 June 2019 at 9:38 pm

Some friends are visiting from Brasil in August and want to walk from their hotel in Sonning along the river to Shiplake. How far is that and how long should it take reasonably fit over-60’s?

Preston Sewell (aka Trekking Turtle)

3 June 2019 at 1:29 am

Several entries on google relating to the short walk you mentioned. Try this link:
Should answer most of the questions that your friends will have.

Tom Howard

18 June 2019 at 2:40 am

In reply to Stuart (19th March),
I am currently running from from source to sea, but am doing it bit by bit in sections rather than in consecutive days like yourself. I run about 22km – 32km at a time and base my start and end points by the closest train station. From the source until Oxford facilities and public transport is sparse. It’s quite rural, but very beautiful. Cricklade and Lechlade are the best places to aim for before Oxford, after which there are plenty of towns and facilities for the remainder of the route. Running the Thames (or any river) is an amazing and unique way to see the country. I’m really enjoying it. I highly recommend it to you.

Faye Anderton

19 July 2019 at 1:20 pm

Hi there, I begin my 100 mile walk from Hammersmith back to Abingdon next week. Looking at the weather forecast it is going to be a scorcher. I can see water points marked on the thames path planning guide, but there are none listed anywhere near London or towards Reading direction. Can anyone suggest any shops or water points that are very close to the path along the way? Thanks!

Lindsay Vibert

20 July 2019 at 8:59 am

My wife and I traveled from Australia to walk the Thames Path. We had the luxury of 18 days walking from the Source to London during September 2018. We had rest days in Windsor and Oxford. And not a drop of rain the entire journey.
The highlight for me was the entire journey from the Source to Oxford.
The lowlight was passing a naked hiker near Shifford lock. I am still trying to figure out what he was doing!

We have previously also completed a walk from Oxford to Bath in Sept 2016.


Mary B

5 August 2019 at 11:22 pm

I am completing the whole route this year, a day at a time, using public transport from London, freedom pass London area and busses via links from high Wycombe, (Henley, maidenhead, etc and even a once a day lovely village route into oxford). I also use X90 coach to oxford bus links, (both
sides of Oxfordshire), trains to Reading and the source. I particularly love journeys on local community services
Such as after leaving oxford bus station at 8.45 – (first x90 out of London) on a 66 to Faringdon, then Pulhams coach 113 to Radcot, Thursdays only! Much careful planning involved as part of the fun! Just be sure to arrive back into a village in time for the last bus, often a school service. Sometimes things do go wrong – a service from Bablock Hythe no longer runs! This meant a 3 mile trek to Farmoor and darkness. (Now I’ve reached the main road, which direction for a bus stop?) A kind soul carrying a phone with a torch showed me the way alongside that busy road and across to the stop for oxford.
I’m about to do another patch now. Oxford, Whitney, Buckland to catch a community minibus T01 for Hinton Waldrist high street. (Only one outward journey on 3 week days). Then I plan to walk via Duxford to Shifford Lock Cut and on to the Rose Revived, New bridge. Last busses back toward Oxford 17.15 and 18.29. Make sure you’re there, Mary! Now, what I am trying to remember is, on which side of the road do I stand for the correct destination? Wish me luck!

Sarah Price

2 September 2019 at 7:37 am

I finished the whole walk in the middle of August! I went from the Thames Barrier towards the source which is a great way round to do it. I managed it all in days trips from where I live near Staines, except for one overnight stay at The Trout, Tadpole Bridge. I used buses to Swinford Bridge, Newbridge, Lechlade and Cricklade. The internet is an amazing thing for planning trips!


12 September 2019 at 9:14 pm

I have just found this website, thank you so much, really helpful info.


17 October 2019 at 10:37 am

Just found this website. I live in SE London and regularly walk or cycle eastwards. I prefer this side of the river. Wider and more real. No gin palaces. 6m difference in tides. Quieter. Lots of bird life and wild or industrial bits among the many new developments – right opposite the financial district highrises. Working boats to watch. Mad but neer dull sculpture installations in North Greenwich area. The ecology park and the yacht club with its little boats.
There are areas near Greenwich where cyclists share with walkers, but there is mutual respect. (watch out though for occasional silent electric scooters). A tip for those walking or cycling in autumn – if you have a choice, go west to east in SE London – Greenwich to Erith. The strong head winds coming back from east to west can be challenging and tiring.
I’d say don’t stop at the Barrier. . Thamesmead – the developers built a man made lake that attracts a lot of birds and parts of the path are very pretty (don’t go inland…).It gets bleak and wilder and more industrial nearer Belvedere (after Gallions Park) – sometimes in autumn there are seals.

I have a question re footwear please. The SE bit is now mostly hard paths and the sandy industrial bits with its aggregate plants; deep water terminal; dry dock area, is also very hard on the feet. I need stability shoes due to chronic muscle issues – boots or shoes?! Need to protect feet, all lower body muscles and lower back. Today I’m trying boots but I believe the soles will wear out if worn too much on hard paths? My trainers give me only 3 1/2 hours before pain stops me enjoying the walk.

Heather Milnes

22 October 2019 at 7:21 pm

Thanks for a really useful article. We are considering biking from Teddington to Waterloo along the Thames Path and then returning to Teddington by train.
Would you be able to tell me 1) is this part of the path doable by bike 2) can we take bikes on the train from Waterloo to Teddington?
Many thanks

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 October 2019 at 8:15 pm

Hello Heather. You’ll have to ask South Western Railway about their bikes on trains policy. But I’m pretty sure that stretch is doable by bike.

Shevonne Nuttall

26 October 2019 at 6:53 pm

I’m planning a charity walk taking in around 100 miles of the Thames Path, ideally ending at the Thames Barrier.
Could you reccommend books, your own or others, that start from the source and head into London?

Ken Skehan

10 December 2019 at 2:23 pm

Hello Andrew.

We’re lucky enough to live near the source in Ashton Keynes (NB Andrew: your list of country stages at the start of the site says Kemble to Ashford Keynes).

I was looking for Thames Path forums to let people know if they want a souvenir of their Thames Path walk, the National Trails website has just started selling framed prints of ‘The Infant Thames’, a beautiful representation of the section between the source and our village, painted by my wife Val.

Not sure if you’ll approve but I see you moderate regularly so respect whether you choose to publish this or not :).

We were in Twickenham earlier this year. My advice for the section between Richmond and Hampton Court is definitely walk on the south (Richmond) side of the river. You walk almost through a tunnel of trees at times, then adjacent to Kew Gardens, rather than the north (Isleworth) side which is quite a bit on roads, including Brentford High St. and industrial estates, and is poorly signed.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

19 December 2019 at 9:09 am

Hi Ken – no idea where Ashford Keynes is, but thanks for letting me know. Now duly corrected.

claire Smith

13 January 2020 at 6:58 pm

I live in Richmond and am proposing to do the Thames Path this year, with my dogs.
It just so happens that I will be spending New Year close to Chimney Meadows so I was proposing to do the source to Chimney Meadows late December. Do you think it will be too wet and Muddy at that time?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

14 January 2020 at 9:26 am

Hello Claire – it’s quite possible it will be very muddy. It’s a very grassy section of the walk and if there is a lot of rain, it can be very waterlogged. But if you’re in the area, there’s no harm in trying it. Just be prepared.

Tony Caton

15 January 2020 at 10:06 pm

Hi Andrew
A small group of us are proposing to walk from Westminster to Hampton Court. Do you know the mileage and how long it should take?We’d like to complete that section in a day if possible
Many thanks

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

16 January 2020 at 9:12 am

It’s about 20 miles or so. If you can walk 20 miles in a day, then you’ll be able to do it in a day.


20 January 2020 at 7:11 pm

Hi Andrew,
Great site. Thank you.
Do you perhaps know if there is over night parking in Streatley? Planning to stay at Streatley on the Friday, leave car there as I walk to Oxford. Stay in Oxford. Walk to Lechlade and then get the public transport back to Streatley. I have tried finding a 2 day parking place but haven’t quite found it yet.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

20 January 2020 at 8:44 pm

Hello Andrea – have no idea I am afraid.


26 April 2020 at 10:24 am

Hello, we are looking to do a 26.2 mile walk from Putney Bridge heading towards Slough. Does anyone have any idea what our end point would be?
Any help appreciated.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

26 April 2020 at 9:46 pm

Natalie – somewhere between Hampton Court and Sheperton.

Jan Grant

11 May 2020 at 4:05 pm

Hi there, hoping to get back to work in dentistry within the next few weeks. Don’t want to take transport but, live in Richmond and work in Westminster. Can I walk the Thames path without interruption ?
Appreciate your help.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

12 May 2020 at 1:56 pm

Jan – there’s a few bits where the Thames Path coincides with roads, but not that many. It’s a pretty constant path in Greater London. May be a long walk though, depending on where you are in Richmond.

Iain Redpath

27 May 2020 at 4:46 pm

Which sections of the Thames Path are the least enjoyable/scenic ? Trying to plan sections to walk on / use public transport on / boat on ?

Geraldine Groves

16 June 2020 at 1:44 pm

Hi, planning on starting the Thames path with my son, who’s not always the most willing of hikers……
We’ll take a train to Kemble from London – is it easy to find the start of the path from the station?
We’re then booked for a night to stay in Cricklade, and the following day would walk to Lechlade, I’m thinking. Although – is there somewhere between Cricklade & Lechlade where we could then return to London from (in case he’s feeling like a very relaxed second day…..!)

Of course, an alternative is to drive and park in Kemble, and then get public transport back there from Lechlade at the end of our second day……does anyone know anything about how feasible this might be?


Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

16 June 2020 at 3:40 pm

Geraldine – there’s no Thames Path signs at Kemble station as the trail doesn’t go there, but if you get a guidebook or map, you’ll find the route easy to follow once you’re there.

Between Cricklade and Lechlade are a couple of villages but very limited public transport. You’d probably have to go off route to Kempsford or Upper Inglesham, and then wait for a bus there. However there’s only a handful of services a day so you may have a long wait.

Geraldine Groves

17 June 2020 at 11:06 am

Thanks – so, is Kemble the best station to go to, if we go with the public transport option? I’d understood that the start of the path/source of the Thames was in Kemble – maybe I got that wrong.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

17 June 2020 at 4:57 pm

Kemble is the nearest station, and is about half a mile from the Thames Path. But the start of the Thames Path and the source are not at Kemble.

You have to leave the station, find the Wysis Way and follow that for a short way, then you get to the Thames Path. You turn left to get to the source – it’s about a mile and a half from Kemble.

Geraldine Groves

20 June 2020 at 11:18 am

Thanks, that’s helpful – I think we’ll drive to the start, and then take our chances that we can get public transport back from Lechlade the following day. Looks like a bus to Cirencester is easy, and then probably a taxi.

Paul Garwood

20 June 2020 at 7:06 pm

Hi I am over 60 and whilst I do not walk regularly usually set myself a physical or mental challenge each yea. A couple of years ago I did the Cotswold way in 5 days after appropriate training.I have also doen the London 100 cycle ride and the three peaks in 36 hours I am thinking of doing the Thames way in say 6 days next year Would this be realistic. Thanks

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

21 June 2020 at 8:46 pm

Paul – if you think you can do 30 miles a day walking for six days, then you’re better than I am! I’d say spread it over a few more days myself.


24 June 2020 at 10:59 am

Firstly, thanks for your tremendous website. It is probably the best single resource I’ve seen for getting people on the right track — excuse the pub.

Do you plan on completing any more trails? If so which ones? I’m curious.

I actually live in Southwest London, so alongside the Thames Path, also interestingly enough close to where the London Loop dissects the Thames. However, whilst I love hiking my question is deviating off a little bit, as it is about cycling.

Do you know how far ‘up’ the Thames I would be able to navigate the towpath on a bicycle? For example, I know that from Southwest London it is possible to get a clear run as far as Windsor. I also know that going the other way you can pretty much ride all the way to Westminster, if you can’t do it on the south side then you can always cross over and ride the Chelsea embankment. You’re not really meant to cycle through central London but you can still pretty much go along the Southbank to Greenwich, and beyond.

But going the other way, past Windsor, I don’t really know, since I have never seen it. Is it possible to ride as far as Oxford? How about beyond Oxford?

My main concern is that I am keen to traverse the entire Thames path as far as the source, but I would likely have to split it into several day trips, which would drag out over months. Many parts of the path are fairly remote, so I’d have to get to the nearest train station each time and then do some riding and walking to get the whole path done in a long term shuffle.

Many thanks!

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

24 June 2020 at 4:02 pm

Hello George – most of the Thames Path isn’t a dedicated bridleway, but there’s enough space on the path probably all the way to Oxford. Beyond Oxford it would get tricky. There are routes you could take near the Thames though for much of it.

As for what is next, well much is dependent on the pandemic situation. I had made plans for trails to do this year. Whether they come to anything or not, I don’t know. So I’m not going to commit to anything right now – but I will certainly be doing something at some point.


26 June 2020 at 7:23 pm

Hi Andrew,
Thanks so much for your reply, it certainly makes things easier for my planning. I realise the national trail isn’t meant for cyclists, but it is such a joyful activity to ride along a towpath, and at this time I prefer a way of covering more ground then getting back home, so I hope the walkers don’t mind sharing!.

I know that cycling the route isn’t the same as hikinh it, but it would certainly make a decent day trip to make it all the way to Oxford in a day then get a train back. I’m not really sure what’s going on with the camping options this summer, which is why I think it would be a good idea to go to places that I can return home by public transport this summer. I’m pretty excited to see the bit that cuts through the Chilterns/North Downs… Then from Oxford to the source, not sure but will require some further planning…

I am sure that with your experience you are not looking for recommendations, but I noticed that some of the trails you are yet to conquer I happen to have been myself. When I lived up in Norfolk I hiked parts of the Peddars Way in sections, the part around Castle Acre in the Fens is nice, as is the coastal stretch of AONB around Well-next-the-sea. I noticed you’ve done some of the Welsh trails but I hiked a bit of Offa’s Dyke too, starting close to Hay-on-Wye. Finally, the Southwest Coast Path is stunning at any section. It would take weeks just to traverse around Cornwall alone, but one section on the southern Roseland peninsula is truly magnificent!

I completely understand what you mean about the pandemic situation right now… No point committing to anything right now… I just wanted to give my recommendations in case it is of any help to you, as you’ve already been so helpful to me… I will certainly check back the website later to see if you’ve managed any more, and good luck with it all. Thank you very much!


10 August 2020 at 7:07 pm

I have just completed the path. A new segment has opened, in the part between Cricklade and Lechlade . Instead of going all the way up to Upper Inglesham and following the road (mostly main road) to Inglesham, just before the final dog leg the new path turns left, goes down to the river and then follows the river all the way to Inglesham, emerging by Inglesham Church.

It is particularly well signed both ways, with clear markings (and maps) at the beginning and end of the new section.

PS Earlier in the section between Cricklade and Castle Eaton, shortly (? 1/2 Km) after leaving Cricklade and passing under the A319, the path takes a footbridge over to the north bank, and takes another about a Km or so later back to the south bank. I was a little careless in my map reading (not helped by the highlighting in my A-Z Trail Map masking the blue of the actual river) and ended up having to backtrack much further than I would have wished.

Douglas Faulconbridge

6 September 2020 at 5:07 pm

Hi Andrew
My wife and I have just completed the Thames Path Walk, from the Source to the Thames Barrier. Question – at the Source the Barrier is 184 miles away. At the Barrier the Source is180 miles away. We seem to have lost 4 miles!! Any thoughts? I am sure I have previously seen a sign at the Barrier saying 184 miles.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

7 September 2020 at 9:06 am

Good question Douglas. The official website says 184 miles, although it may be that the north and south bank sections in central London aren’t the same length.

Sophie johnson

20 September 2020 at 12:52 pm

Hello, me and my mum are looking to walk from Walton/Sunbury to Putney Bridge (craven cottage) can someone please tell me exactly how many miles this would be? Thanks


20 September 2020 at 3:45 pm

My husband and I have just completed the whole Path in stages during the last 2 months. We took 19 days in all and it’s been one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things we’ve done in a long while.
Signage was excellent all the way, but beware of some possible tampering at Shillingford between the A4074 and the river.
Our very best stopover was at the Red Lion at Cricklade. Lovely accommodation, friendly staff, great food, 10 hand pulls on the bar and a Brewery out the back!


28 October 2020 at 4:55 pm

My wife and I are thinking of walking parts of the route between Newbridge and Ashton Keynes sometime next week (3, 4, 5 November) if it’s not rainy too much. We’ve not walked there before and are wondering how mushy the ground is likely to be given the recent rain. I’m not keen on walking on very wet or muddy ground as I find it puts a strain on my dodgy back! Are there sections that we should probably avoid? Also, is this section reasonably picturesque and interesting? Thanks for any information you can give.

Francis Tuffy

29 December 2020 at 1:13 pm

Teddington Riverside is a recently opened housing development that borders the Thames at Teddington Lock. Does anyone know how I can find out whether the (walking) access to the river from the street is public?


28 February 2021 at 10:41 pm

I am hoping to walk Windsor to Hampton court. Is this a nice, well signposted section? Any idea how long it might take?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

2 March 2021 at 12:26 pm

Hello Holly – it is a nice section, and very easy to follow. It’s about two days depending on how fast you walk.


30 March 2021 at 10:56 am

Hi – My husband and I are planning to walk one part of the path but we haven’t decided which one. One of the possibilities is Kemble to Oxford and the other one is Oxford to Marlow, but just because we are familiar with Oxford and thought that it will be easier to travel to/from there.
We plan to walk for 5 or 6 days and it’ll be at the end of May. Do you have any suggestion of which part should we choose? From reading here I get that Kemble to Oxford may be less enjoyable but I’m not sure if Oxford to Marlow will be better or if we should include Windsor anyhow.

Alec Gallagher

3 June 2021 at 10:48 am

Hello all, I’m walking the path, stage by stage in weekly instalments this year, setting out from my home in Bedfordshire each time. I’m going from east to west and am using the Cicerone guide by Leigh Hatts. I have broken the habit of a lifetime and bought absolutely no maps for these trips because the Cicerone guide includes a separate book of the entire route taken from the OS’s Explorer (1:25,000) maps and so far I’ve had no problems at all with routefinding. I’ve also broken another habit of a lifetime and left my walking boots at home – the ground underfoot has so far really not necessitated robust footwear and I ‘ve been doing it in trainers.

The guide includes an extension from Erith to the barrier which is worth doing – there is still some industry going on in this stretch (when I walked past a large ro-ro ship was onloading vehicles from the Ford Dagenham works on the north bank) and you can see the big yellow containers containing domestic waste arriving at the incineration plant at Belvedere after their journey from Battersea). If you like that sort of thing, of course!

At the time of writing, four weeks in, I’ve got as far as Kingston. The only mild disappointment so far is that quite a lot of the towpath between Putney and Richmond has its views obscured by foliage – I wasn’t able to spot either Marble Hill or Ham House from the towpath at all – but these are minor gripes.

In my younger days in the 1970s and 1980s I and my friends did many of the long distance paths in the UK and Europe and thought nothing of doing 20+ mile days. By the time I’d finished the 13 miles to Kingston on 1st June (a very hot sunny day) I was cream-crackered! I think it’s an age thing….

I’ll report further at a later date. Good luck to all.

Alec Gallagher

3 June 2021 at 5:05 pm

For general info, people might like to know about a book called From Source to Sea by Tom Chesshyre. In 2016 he walked from the source to the London Stone on the Isle of Grain, which marks the eastern boundary of the City of London’s jurisdiction on the south side of the river and which Chesshyre interprets as the end of the Thames (as good as anywhere, I would say). From Source to Sea isn’t a guide book, just Chesshyre’s written account of his journey along the Thames Path, the diversions, the places he visited and the people he met along the way and is a pleasant enough read.


13 June 2021 at 10:03 am

Just a word of warning, on the source-Cricklade section, just east of Ewen, there’s a field you have to go through (under some big pylons) which was very boggy, this was in June. Wellies or waterproof boots + gaiters would have been useful. Luckily it was hot enough to dry out socks and shoes later. Also a herd of bulls to avoid while trying to navigate through the field, the path was non-existent at this point.


19 July 2021 at 2:21 pm

Looking for advice please.

1. I am planning to walk the TP in Sep on my own,doing weekly day trips from London; I’m female /65: do you think it will be safe walking?

When I walked the Capital Ring there were definitely parts I would not recommend women walking on their own , I know that is an urban walk but the TP seems quite isolated, at least in the early parts.

2. Is it well signposted ? I am currently doing the London Loop using ‘Go Jaunty’ but one doesn’t really ‘see’ anything as I’m always looking at the screen.
Appreciate any advice people may be able to give.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

19 July 2021 at 3:26 pm

Hello Sue – safety is a question I get every now and then. So much that I have a dedicated page on it. But the short answer is, yes, I do believe it will be safe walking it. Very safe in fact. It does go through some quiet areas, but so do many trails in the UK.

As for signposting, it’s hard to get lost on the Thames Path. Have a map (paper or app) with you just in case, but it is on the whole a very simple walk, and is well signposted.

Alec Gallagher

23 July 2021 at 2:25 pm

Hello Sue, I’m walking the path at the moment, having so far travelled from Erith to Lechlade since mid-May. I’ve met a few solo females and one couple walking in the opposite direction and none of them have looked very worried! Certainly, I’ve seen nothing to be concerned about, only a couple of harmless drunks at Oxford where there were plenty of other people around anyway. I agree with Andrew, the chances of problems are negligible.

And apart from a couple of accidental diversions on my part at Shad Thames and Staines (due to me not paying attention), the route could hardly be easier to follow, although it’s always a good idea to have a map of some description with you. Good luck!


2 August 2021 at 5:12 pm

Well, I’ve done it. 19 days between 11th May and 31st July and not a drop of rain. There is so much to see, a really lovely walk. A few thoughts which might be of help to others: 1) I had no problem finding places to park the car anywhere along the route. 2) Further to my earlier comment, I donned the boots around the Shiplake area when things got a bit uneven and boggy and thought it prudent to take the OS maps with me for the stretch between Oxford and the source, just in case. 3) The only potentially dangerous stretch is the towpath between Iffley Lock and Folly Bridge, Oxford where bicyclists, commercial tricycles and electric motorscooterists, most without bells, tear up and down the path with their usual scant regard for pedestrians. If you don’t want to risk a diversion to the Radcliffe Infirmary, stay alert and grow eyes in the back of your head! 4) Happy to recommend Taylen’s Taxis if you need a ride in the general area of Cricklade – flexible, friendly and very fairly priced.

Liz Ling

9 September 2021 at 12:33 pm

Great to find this site.Im desperate to do this walk and have been a long distance walker.
I plan to do it in sections unable to read a map but am hoping it is well signposted?
Cannot get away until early October.Last year did the Essex Wayin October and weather was great .however starting in Kemble to Oxford reckoning on 4 days walking.
So is it well way marked and is the risk of flooding so great that it would be wrong timing ?
PS happy not send a contribution to beer but don’t do pay pal!
?bank details in e mail?

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

9 September 2021 at 1:18 pm

Hi Liz – the Thames Path’s very well signposted. And mostly does consist of “follow the river”. I think you’ll be okay early October. It’s probably going to be early in the year when the flooding is the worst when there’s been lots of rain. But if for any reason you do get hit by flooding in the Kemble to Oxford section, you will need a map to work out alternative options as it’s not straightforward.

Des Markham

24 June 2022 at 1:01 pm

Hi I would like to say thank you for your inciteful website regarding the thames walk. I would like to start at the source but not sure about accommodation after the first 12/15 miles am I able to rough camp on the first night as my guide book is not clear. Thanks in advance. Des

Elizabeth Foster

22 July 2022 at 5:14 am

My husband and I finished the whole Offa’s Dyke trail from Chepstow to Prestatyn on 2 June. We loved it, the views were beyond beautiful and the weather was amazing, but there were some particularly nasty cows on the trail north of Welshpool which really spooked me. We are thinking of doing the Thames Towpath next May/June from Source to the Thames Barriers. Will we need to walk through fields of cows or bulls? I honestly don’t think I could do that.

Andrew Bowden (Rambling Man editor)

22 July 2022 at 9:16 am

Hi Elizabeth
Most of the Thames Path is on towpaths, although it does go through the occasional field. I don’t recall seeing any cows on the trail but I can’t guarantee it.


14 August 2022 at 1:49 pm

After crossing Chiswick Bridge onto the northern bank of the Thames, if you turn left (ie heading west), is there a path to walk along the river, or is the only way to Strand on the Green via Harrington Road and Grove Park Road, please?

Michelle Hayes

11 October 2022 at 8:04 pm

Hello. We are planning to walk from the source to Cricklade this weekend. I am mindful that there has been some rain. Is anyone able to comment on the current condition of the path in this section? Thank you.

Lucy B

15 April 2023 at 2:33 pm

Hello, I’ve just completed the Source to Oxford “paddle”. The floods had receded sufficiently to let us through, and despite bank holiday sunshine there were very few people. We’d planned relatively easy days, which was fortunate as the going was quite hard.

I would recommend the Environment Agency website if there is flooding. It was reassuring to see conditions improve ahead of us. For anyone looking for a night near Pinkhill Lock, Sabine Barn in Farmoor was good. It adds 1.6 miles to distance, but worth it.

Andrew – the link to your Thames Path blog is not working, but I could find the photographs on Flickr and it looked very familiar! I enjoy reading your perspective on walks I have done, and looking for new adventures. Thank you.

Chris Jones

19 May 2023 at 4:11 pm

First of all, thanks to Rambling Man for this very useful resource!

I walked from the source to Cricklade yesterday (May 2023)- I know we’ve had a wet spring- the path was impassable in two places, unless you don’t mind water up to your knees!

One was the section immediately south of Ewen, near Kemble- it doesn’t start too badly, and you think you can get around the water, but it quickly gets worse with no way to go around. I’d advise using the road that runs parallel and rejoin the route at Upper Mill Farm.

The second was at the start of the North Meadow nature reserve just before Cricklade- the whole field the path goes through was completely flooded. I had to retrace my steps and use the old railway line into Cricklade where you can rejoin the path.

Just thought this might be useful! Already nervous about how wet the next section might be…

Chris Jones

19 May 2023 at 4:17 pm

Second post, sorry!

Just wanted to say that the distances you have for the first leg are not correct. I suspect Somerford Keynes and Ashton Keynes have got mixed up.

Source to Kemble- 1.5 miles
Kemble to Ashton Keynes- 6 miles
Ashton Keynes to Cricklade- 5 miles

(I actually walked 13 miles but this included having to retrace my steps. National Trail website has this section at 12.3 miles)


27 May 2023 at 2:19 pm

Thanks Chris for the warning about the path after Ewen. I attempted it today on my first leg of the walk hoping it might have dried out but I think without wellies you’d come a cropper. I took your advice and took the parallel road instead.

Thank you Rambling Man for this useful and reassuring website! I’m sure I’ll be consulting it as I walk towards London over the coming months.

Mikey C

19 July 2023 at 5:51 pm

Having reached Newbridge by the end of 2019 as a series of day trips, I then somewhat stalled on completing the final section to the source, due to Lechlade’s pathetic public transport making day walks difficult, especially if travelling some distance to start the walk.
I finally did Cricklade to Newbridge this week as a 2 day trip, staying overnight in Lechlade. It works better in this direction, as that way you have the full day to do the longer Lechlade to Newbridge section (with time for exploration and pubs etc) and can catch the last 15 bus to Abingdon at 17:16. That bus is very convenient if you’re walking from Oxford to Newbridge too, as Abingdon has good bus connections to Didcot (for London) or Oxford.


10 September 2023 at 11:21 am

Three of us are playing on walking the Thames Path mid-Oct from Tilehurst – The London eye (roughly 102 miles) over 3 days. What shoes do you recommend? Someone mentioned trail runners and seal skin socks to keep our feet dry in case of rain. Any suggestions would be great.


Lilian R

15 September 2023 at 4:45 pm

I’m planning a Thames Path Walk but will only be visiting notable sights along the route.
What is the closest accommodation to the river source in Cirencester?
Many thanks

Mikey C

12 February 2024 at 10:15 pm

It’s not very frequent, but at last a bus between Swindon and Lechlade has been reinstated, making this section of the Thames Path a bit easier to do using public transport. Operated by Pelham Buses, the 64 operates 4 times a day in each direction.

Bradley T

27 March 2024 at 8:18 am

I’m wondering if there are any guidebooks explaining the sights and history of the towns along the path? I’m planning to walk the stretch from Oxford to London!
Many thanks


2 May 2024 at 11:46 am

On 14.08.22 Angela asked: “After crossing Chiswick Bridge onto the northern bank of the Thames, if you turn left (i.e. heading west), is there a path to walk along the river, or is the only way to Strand on the Green via Hartington Road and Grove Park Road, please?”
Answer: There is a short section of riverside path but the walker is soon obliged to use Hartington Road and Grove Park Road due partly to a private housing development.

On 29.12.20 Francis Tuffy asked: “Teddington Riverside is a recently opened housing development that borders the Thames at Teddington Lock. Does anyone know how I can find out whether the (walking) access to the river from the street is public?”
Answer: The Thames path is on the eastern bank of the river and there is pedestrian access by public footbridge from Ferry Road on the western side.

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