There is guidance in England on staying safe and protecting others in greenspaces.
Exercise is important for health and wellbeing, but please follow guidance to stay safe and protect others.
Read the new measures effective in England from 5th November 2020 here.
• You must not leave or be outside of your home except for specific purposes. These include to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place – with the people you live with, with your support bubble or, when on your own, with 1 person from another household.
• Outdoor public places include parks, beaches and the countryside.
• Spending time or exercising outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space).
• If you need to travel you are encouraged to walk or cycle where possible, and to plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. This will allow you to practice social distancing while you travel.
• Overnight stays and holidays away from primary residences are not allowed.
• You should minimise time spent outside your home.
Remember – ‘Hands. Face. Space’
You should read the full advice and regulations for England here before visiting.
Relevant advice when using of public rights of way in England:
• Wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors.
• Make space and stay at least 2 metres apart from anyone outside your household or support bubble where possible, or at least 1 metre with precautions, such as wearing a face mask.
• Take hand sanitiser with you in case there are no handwashing facilities.
• Follow the Countryside Code. Leave no trace of your visit, take all your litter home and don’t light fires or barbecues.
•Keep dogs under effective control and on a lead when you are around farm animals.
• Leave gates as you find them or follow instructions on signs.
• Use footpaths and follow signs where they suggest alternative route other people and protect the natural environment.
• Remember your actions can affect people’s lives and livelihoods.
Find useful facts and learn more about the Thames Path. Select the blue tabs below for more details.
The Thames Path is a long distance walking trail, following England’s best known river for 184 miles (294 Km) as it meanders from its source in the Cotswolds through several rural counties and on into the heart of London. On its way the Trail passes peaceful water meadows rich in wildlife, historic towns and cities and many lovely villages, finishing at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich just a few miles from the sea.
Easy to reach by public transport, the Thames Path is a gentle Trail, able to be walked by people of all ages and abilities. This National Trail can be enjoyed in many ways, whether for an afternoon’s stroll, a weekend’s break or a full scale, but relatively gentle, trek of its whole length. It is very well way-marked so following the route is easy. But it is always a good idea to take a guidebook or map, to help you decide, check out the route descriptions
The best months to visit are spring through to the end of autumn. If you’re interested in wildlife there are always a range of birds present on and around the river but they’re at their most active and visible during April and May whilst establishing territories and finding mates. If you’re keen on wildflowers, then April to September is the time to visit, and if insects such as butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies are the things you’d most like to see choose June to September.
There are Route Descriptions in the Further Information section of this website.
Visit our News Page for the latest interesting and exciting news about the Thames Path.
Check out our Trail Officer’s blog here.
The Thames Path is unique, it’s the only long distance path to follow a river for most of its length. And, of course, it’s the river that gives the Thames Path its character and fashions the countryside through which you will walk.
At the start, the source of the River Thames in a field in the Cotswolds, you may well find no water at all. However, gradually as you travel the trickle becomes a stream and soon a river bordered by willows and alders. As far as Oxford, apart from a couple of small towns and a few villages, there is a real sense of remoteness and rural tranquillity as the Thames winds its way through flat water meadows grazed by cattle or sheep, or fields of crops.
Beyond Oxford, the city of dreaming spires, you will still be in the heart of the countryside but the river continues to widen, the willows seem to grow larger, and settlements become more frequent. From Goring, where the Thames Path coincides for a short distance with another National Trail, The Ridgeway, the Chilterns provide a wooded backdrop, the colours changing dramatically with the seasons.
When you reach Henley, the Trail starts to get busier with more people enjoying picnics on the bank, or boats on the water. Usually however, once you’re away from towns or villages around a bend or two of the river, you’ll regain the rural peacefulness. As the Thames Path passes beneath Windsor Castle, you are reminded that you are following a Royal river, and the palaces of Hampton Court and Kew soon to follow confirm this.
From the last non-tidal lock on the Thames at Teddington, you can choose to walk on either the north or south banks of the river through London. You’ll pass leafy Richmond and Kew, remarkably green areas, before entering the heart of the City and on to the final section of the Thames Path amongst restored warehouses and working wharves in London’s docklands.
From the source of the Thames in the Cotswolds follow this iconic river through stunning countryside, the city of Oxford, famous Henley, past Windsor Castle and Hampton Court and into the heart of London.
Explore the Thames Path for three days, a week or even longer. Find inspiration for your walking adventure using our suggested itineraries, or select one of our bookable itineraries which are highlighted with a star.
Explore the river by boat, visit the fabulous stately homes, palaces, gardens and nature reserves along the way. Stop off to enjoy the sights of Oxford and London.
Feeling inspired? Build a bespoke itinerary and start planning your visit to this great National Trail here.