Whether you want a short walk (why not try one of the shorter suggested walks from rail stations?), a weekend’s break or a hike of the whole 184-mile (294km) Trail, these pages should provide you with all the information you need to plan.
When to visit
Best times are probably April through to November when there is little risk of flooding, and wildlife and views are at their best. Whenever you go, be prepared for the elements: carry warm and waterproof clothing, protect yourself from sun and carry water - upstream of Oxford this can be hard to find.
During winter months some sections of the Trail, especially above Oxford, can flood and become unwalkable (see Flood information)
Walking the whole path
You’ll probably take around 14 days to do it, an average of 13 miles a day. Our advice is to start gently, say just a half-day’s walk, and to have some day or half-day breaks. Many people complete the Trail over a series of weekends - this is made easy as the Thames Path has good public transport. And, please, if you walk most or all of the Path, do complete and return a feedback form and we'll send you a certificate and/or a cloth badge as a thank you.
Advice regarding dogs
Make sure your dog is fit before you start - on occasions people have had to abandon their trip because their dog can’t keep up!
Where there is livestock in fields, keep to the right of way where possible, however do your best to avoid walking through herds of cattle or other livestock. Farm animals, particularly cattle, can behave unpredictably if you get too close, especially if they’re with their young – so give them plenty of space.
By law you must control your dog so that it does not disturb or scare farm animals or wildlife. The National Farmers Union advises you to keep your dogs on a lead around livestock, but to let go if you are chased by cattle.
Make sure you’re familiar with what’s expected of dogs in the countryside - see our FAQs
Accommodation and services
Have a look at our accommodation map for local places to stay. If you'ld like someone else to do the planning for you, or you would like to walk without carrying your pack, then look at the Services pages.