The Thames. A river that, perhaps more than any other, has helped define the nation.
For 184 miles the Thames Path National Trail follows the river, from its source down to the Thames Barrier to the east of London. From rural countryside on the west, through to one of the greatest urban walks in the world on the east, the Thames Path is a unique National Trail.
I started walking the trail in spring 2013 with my partner Catherine, and our son Sam. Starting from the eastern end we set off on our way to the source in day long hikes. We haven't quite got there yet. But we will.
Published 7 November 2013
A baby may have arrived but that’s no reason to give up walking.
Published 13 November 2013
The Thames Barrier, a white elephant, a former white elephant, crying baby and a brewery. Battenburg anyone?
Published 20 November 2013
Tourists, famous bridges, tourists, famous buildings and tourists.
Published 27 November 2013
The Doctor, art, culture, markets, skateparks, bridges, oh so many bridges, a big dock-off wheel and where some politicians live.
Published 4 December 2013
A strange tour guide, flats, oh so many empty flats, a terrible cafe in a lovely park, bridges galore.
Published 11 December 2013
Rowing boats everywhere, breweries everywhere, joggers everywhere, mud everywhere.
Published 8 January 2014
Ultra runners, locks, big parks and big houses, lots of people, a ferry and the non-tidal Thames.
Published 15 January 2014
Some sort of boat things on the water, a royal palace, a royal town, a 500 year old tree, embarrassed of the river, and “Cameron did something or other”
Published 23 April 2014
Sun, moored up boats and a giant model of Shrek. Goodbye London, hello Surrey.
Published 9 July 2014
Queues at the locks, the stairs and stripes, Laleham in Bloom and a great name for a dry cleaners.
Published 24 September 2014
Walking alone, an origami metal swan, Sludge Tank Number 2, a monument to democracy and a fantastically named MP, and a great big castle which takes up the river bank.
Published 7 January 2015
Money and influence, an extremely expensive education, a dip in the water, alleyways, trees and an idiot driving a car.
Published 14 January 2015
Mud sticking to the boots, a magnificent suspension bridge, weather bomb, an island, pay for a picnic, the Hellfire Club, a tempting pub and put on your finery for the Regatta.
Published 1 April 2015
Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for soothing the blood.
Published 8 April 2015
Mud, barbed wire, pain, suffering and a pub lunch.
Published 15 April 2015
Snow everywhere, a town with few chain-stores, off along a diversion, a pub that wasn’t, and a race to the station.
Published 22 April 2015
A power station, lovely towns, brutally attacked picnic benches, graffiti and a seat of learning that just looks scruffy.
Published 26 October 2016
Bicycles, wet, oh so very wet streets, students everywhere, and drinking with (and without) Inspector Morse.
Published 2 November 2016
Oxford by day, a stroll down the river, an unpaid toll, and a lock that’s not pink and not on a hill.
Published 9 November 2016
Away from the river, a mysteriously absent ferry, flooding, mudding and then, finally, some drinking.
Published 16 November 2016
Flood, flood, glorious flood. There’s nothing quite like it for soothing the blood.
Published 23 November 2016
Back to the river, a promising return, hailstones the size of golf balls, a problem, and another, and another.
Published 11 January 2017
A man and two dogs jumping through flooded fields, a discarded bra by the side of the road, and absolutely no chance of getting near the Thames at all.
Published 18 January 2017
The final push. By bus and by train. A soggy field. And a stone saying that it was all very much over.
Published 25 January 2017
After visiting the source, it was time to visit the place where the river Thames finished its journey.
Published 15 March 2017
Fancy a stroll up, or down, one of the longest and most important rivers in the United Kingdom? Plan your own walk on the Thames Path with our guide.
Published 19 June 2013
The mighty and majestic monument to walking. And not flood defences at all.
Published 7 November 2013
From the source in the east, down to the barrier on the west.
Published 25 March 2015
Just what do the Monkey Island computer games have to do with the Thames Path?
Published 30 March 2016
At its eastern end, the Thames Path National Trail finishes next to the mighty metallic wonder of the Thames Barrier, not far from Woolwich. But is there a better place that this mighty long distance trail to end?
Published 1 February 2017
From rural Gloucestershire, through the suburbs to the gleaming metal of the Thames Barrier, the Thames Path follows the story of what is perhaps the UK’s most famous river.
Published 8 February 2017
At its eastern end, the Thames Path finishes up at the mighty Thames Barrier. But what’s at the western end? Well it’s a field in Gloucestershire. A field from where the Thames’s journey really begins…
Published 22 February 2017
Finding out just how direct – or not – the Thames Path actually is.
Published 15 February 2017
When do you class walking route as “done”? It’s a question that was firmly on my mind as I sat on a train heading home a few hours after arriving at the western end of the Thames Path,
Published 24 November 2013
Fine views don’t just come from hills. You can find them on urban walks too.
Published 7 April 2013
Getting from one side of a boundary to another, London style.