News from 2024


Heavy rainfall means the river Thames and its tributaries are on flood alert. The Thames Path may be flooded, do not walk-through floodwater, the current is strong, and the edge of the path hidden under water.  There are flood warnings in place for many areas along the river Thames, especially the upper stretches between the source of the river Thames and Maidenhead. As much as we usually like to encourage you to get out on our beautiful National Trail, the safety of our walkers always comes first, and we would advise you to delay walks in flooded areas until drier conditions are with us.

Before considering any trips to the Thames Path check out local weather reports and flood guidance using these websites:

Top tips if you encounter flood water:

  • Do NOT enter the flood water. It may be deeper than you think, or fast flowing, or there may be unseen hazards below the surface.
  • Find an alternative route.
  • Do not set out on any walks in low visibility or bad weather.
  • If you or someone you are with does accidentally fall in deeper water, follow the RNLI’s safety advice – lie back, relax, float to live.
Flood Warning
Flood Warning Sign

Get out and about with Go Jauntly!

Go Jauntly is a walking app that brings you happiness outdoors. Discover walking guides, tours, nature and city trails, create your own routes and share outdoor adventures.

Are you looking for child-friendly walks along the river Thames? The Port of London Authority ‘Active Thames’ and the Thames Path National Trail have teamed up with Go Jauntly to bring these family friendly walks to the app.

Walking the Thames with children couldn’t be easier! You can find a link to these walks here: Walks by activethames – Go Jauntly

If you want to download the app too, click here: Walking app – Download — Go Jauntly

Get your walking boots on and get outside!


Go Jauntly App

News from 2023

National Trails Day 2023

Get Involved!

Saturday the 3rd of June 2023 is National Trails Day 2023 which celebrates everything that is amazing about our glorious National Trails. It’s easy to get involved, just visit The Trails – National Trails to find your closest trail and have a read of the ideas below.


The activity that immediately jumps to mind when thinking of our National Trails is walking, so with hundreds of miles of trails to explore across the UK now if a perfect time to grab those walking boots and get discovering! Did you know that the Thames Path National Trail is 185 miles long, and the only National Trail in Europe to follow a river from its source all the way to the sea? That would be a spectacular thing to tick off your bucket list!


Walking isn’t for everyone, we get it, so if pedal power is more your idea of a great day out, then there are certain parts of the Thames Path National Trail open to cyclists too, check out our interactive map for information on where bikes are allowed – scroll to the bottom of the page to find the map and select cycling info from the tools on the left.  Trail Information – National Trails

Mooch with your mutt!

With sniffs galore and plenty of sights to see dogs love the Thames Path just as much as their humans! Just be sure to keep your furry friend under control at all times to respect other trail users, not to mention the grazing animals that you may encounter along parts of the route.

Social Media Superstar

Maybe you like to record everything you do in pictures and videos? You could even livestream your National Trails Day adventures to share all the fun there is to have out in nature. We’d love to see your highlights of the Thames Path – tag us in our social media feeds! Twitter: @ThamesPathNT, Facebook: ThamesPathNT, Instagram: thamespathnt Don’t forget to use our hashtag for the day #mythamespathadventures

Litter Picks

Don’t fancy a long walk on National Trails Day, but still want to get involved? Why not do a litter pick at a local part of the trail? Maybe you could get some other enthusiastic friends to help you and make a day of it! Our National Trails are mostly maintained by volunteers, so little gestures like a litter pick make a massive difference to the maintenance of the trail. Maybe you’d like to become a volunteer with us? Follow this link to find out more: Thames Path – Volunteers – National Trails


Did you know, that National Trails Day (Saturday 3rd of June) is also World cider day! Why not combine the two by stopping off at some of the wonderful pubs along the Thames Path and quenching your thirst! Just make sure to have a designated driver to get you home afterwards. To find listings of pubs along the Thames Path, check out our interactive map, and select B&Bs/Hotels/Pubs from the tools on the left. Trail Information – National Trails

Sustainable Travel

Save on fuel and explore the Thames Path using the bus and rail networks. Great Western Railways have a selection of Ranger Tickets which give unlimited off-peak travel for a day, or longer. They have several options, including a Thames Branches Day Ranger and an Oxfordshire Day Ranger. Rangers and rovers | Great Western Railway ( you are London based, check out the Transport for London Thames Path walking ideas Thames Path – Transport for London (

Walk the Thames also has lots of advice on using public transport to access the fabulous Thames Path, click here for more information How to Get There – Walk The Thames.

Riverside Activities

National Trails Day doesn’t just have to be about using your walking boots, why not dip your toe in the Thames and try an activity like sailing, canoeing, or stand up paddleboarding? There are plenty of companies who can help you out with a rental for the day, Thames Canoe Hire in Reading have a selection of canoes, SUPs and motorboats to hire Thames Canoe Hire | Canoe Hire | Boat Hire | SUP Hire

If you fancy sitting back and letting someone else do the work, Hobbs of Henley run river cruises along the Thames, and also rent out boats for self-drive adventures River cruises & boat hire on the Thames | Hobbs of Henley.

Whatever you decide to do, we hope you have a fantastic National Trails Day!


Featured Artist of the Thames Path National Trail

Birds of the Thames Path Collection

The Thames Path National Trail have partnered with artist Luke Western in an exciting collaboration that will bring to you a beautiful series of works entitled ‘Birds of the Thames Path.’

Luke is an illustrator, sculptor and painter. His passion for nature, and specifically birds, caught the attention of the Thames Path Team whilst running his annual campaign called the ‘Art For Good Initiative’. This saw Luke giving away his prints for free, yes you heard us correctly – FREE! Luke’s idea was that by doing this small gesture of kindness it would help bring original artwork into all communities – a deed that we at the Thames Path really loved.

“Birds of the Thames Path” will be a collection of A5 and A4 size prints featuring some of the most beloved birds found along the Thames Path National Trail.

By purchasing any item from the collection, you will be supporting our cause, and you will not only be acquiring a stunning piece of art but also contributing to the conservation of the Thames Path environment and the local communities.

To see the full collection, please follow this link

Luke Western Logo

The Guardian: 'A Year in the Life of the Great River Thames'

Jill Mead, a writer and photographer, has created a three part photo essay entitled ‘A year in the life of the great River Thames’ for the Guardian Newspaper. Jill, a longtime London resident and urban photographer, takes a look at the many sides and seasons of the waterway. Beautifully captured photos are accompanied with descriptive text so skilfully penned that you feel like you are right there by her side.
Grab a coffee, sit back and have a read – the links to all three parts can be found below.
Photo credit: Jill Mead
Henley Regatta in all its excessive Pimm's and ceremony.

New Section of Thames Path opens

Globe View Walkway
A new section of the Thames Path opened up this week on the north bank of the River Thames. The section is close to the Millennium Bridge and runs underneath a set of former warehouses that are now residential flats. It has been closed for 20 years, but re-opened this March, removing a diversion that’s been in place since 2003, and in doing so has completed a long desire to open up the Thames path along the entire width of the City of London.
The stunning views of the Globe Theatre across the river are why the alley has today been officially named Globe View Walkway.
We look forward to seeing new information boards describing the history of the site, and new Thames Path signs with the National Trail acorn. This walkway means the Thames Path is now riverside from Temple to Tower Bridge for the first time in 20 years.
Thanks must go to Brian Mooney from City of London Corporation: City View who campaigned tirelessly for this section of the Thames Path to be opened up, and also the lead architects Rivington Street Studio, main contractor JB Riney and lighting designer FPOV for creating a very attractive addition to the Thames Path National Trail.


Globe View Walkway Internal
Globe View Walkway Credit Hannah Gutteridge
Views across the Thames from Globe View Walkway
Views from Globe View credit Ian Mansfield

New Festival: Reading Walks Festival

10th – 14th May 2023

This year marks the first ever Reading Walks Festival. Running from the 10th to the 14th of May 2023, the Walks Festival is different from your usual music or food gathering, instead, this festival celebrates what we do on our feet!

With over 40 walks available you don’t need to be a pro-hiker to enjoy this festival, there are walks to suit all tastes, ranging from 1 hour wanders, up to a full 2-day pilgrimage! As you walk, the volunteer guides will share stories of the landscape and heritage of Reading and the surrounding countryside, bringing the landscape around you to life.

The fabulous Thames Path Team are getting involved too, hosting a walk between Reading and Goring along the iconic Thames Path. The walk is around 4 hours, and approximately 16 km, with the option of taking a cruise for the return trip. To join us, or for more information on this walk, please follow this link: Thames Path National Trail Reading to Goring | What’s On Reading (

For information on the entire Reading Walks Festival, please click here: Reading Walks Festival | What’s On Reading (

Introducing the new Thames Path Engagement Officer Clare Jarratt

January 2023

Clare joined the Thames Path National Trail team at the end of January 2023 after a varied history that has seen her working in education, heritage, events and even firefighting!

She brings enthusiasm by the bagful and is looking forward to creating a mixed calendar of exciting Events for the Thames Path National Trail, making it a place where everyone can enjoy spending time. As well as Events, Clare aims to improve awareness of the Trail, and assist the Trail Manager in assuring the upkeep of the path.

Of her new role, Clare says, ‘I am eager to start this new opportunity to increase awareness of the beautiful Thames Path National Trail among local communities in towns, villages and cities that it passes through. There are so many exciting projects to get started on!’

To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @thamespathnt to get a flavour of the attractions on the Trail and the River Thames. To contact Clare about Events which take part on the Thames Path, or other comments,  email:

Iffley Meadows Signboard
Clare Jarratt at Iffley Meadows

Active Thames awards funding to projects utilising the Thames Path

January 2023

Six new projects to encourage and enable more people to enjoy walking on the Thames Path National Trail in London are among the recipients of Active Thames grants announced by the Port of London Authority on 16 January 2023.

Congratulations to:

  • Laburnum Boat Club in south Hackney with their Inclusive Waters project that will enable disadvantaged young people to take walking trips on the Thames Path.
  • The Proper Blokes Club runs regular sessions on the Thames Path for men walking and talking to break the stigma of men’s mental health.
  • The Ramblers organising two projects: guided walks along the Thames Path on the England Coast Path between Woolwich and Grain, and walk-leader training days for people who wish to organise walking sessions.
  • Re-Instate’s 215 Smiles project in Erith to run weekly walking groups on the Thames Path for people experiencing mental ill-health and for people with learning disabilities.
  • Silverfit in Kingston on Thames developing new Nordic walking sessions on the Thames Path, especially for older people referred by their GPs.
  • Thames Landscape Strategy in Richmond for their Cool Walks sessions to provide companionship and increase the activity levels of people who might find walking challenging.

The Thames Path National Trail is one of the partners in Active Thames, led by the Port of London Authority. This year £150,000 in grants was awarded to a total of 26 successful applicants. Read about all the Active Thames projects here

The increase in funding from over £90,000 last year to nearly £150,000 this year demonstrates the continuing commitment Active Thames partners have made to promoting walking on the Thames Path National Trail as well as water-borne activities on the tidal Thames and inland waterways in London, Kent, and Essex.

Active Thames aims to encourage groups that are less likely to engage in physical activity on and alongside the river, including individuals from ethnically diverse communities, lower socio-economic groups, and people with disabilities.


News from 2022

River Thames on flood alert

The Thames Path may be flooded.

Heavy rainfall means the river Thames and its tributaries are on flood alert. The Thames Path may be flooded, do not walk-through floodwater, the current is strong, and the edge of the path hidden under water.

Check local flooding;

Flood alerts and warnings – GOV.UK (

EA closure sign in Wallingford

Flood warning sign

Thames Path at Benson Weir closed

Winter 2022 

Thames Path diversion in place for the foreseeable future.

The EA have closed their walkway across Benson Weir to members of the public due to safety concerns, which they have explained further in their briefing note:

Benson weir walkway closure – external briefing v1 d2

A diversion route is clearly signposted on the ground and we will continue to work with the EA to ensure this important link is reopened.

If you are visiting Wallingford the Path is still open up to the Lock, should you like to enjoy this lovely section of path.

Before and after picture of Thames path surfacing
Before and after picture of Thames path surfacing at Hurst Park
Before and after picture of Thames path surfacing
Before and after picture of Thames path surfacing at Hurst Park

Thames Path surface improvements

Summer 2022

Hurst Park in Surrey

Surface improvements have been carried out by Surrey County Council for a section of the Thames Path in Hurst Park near Walton bridge. The works have improved a well-used section prone to flooding. A natural hard wearing surface material has improved this uneven and often muddy section of path which is particularly popular due to its proximity and access to Hurst Park and the local cafés. The surfacing work was funded by the Elmbridge Community Infrastructure Levy, which Surrey have a successful track history of utilising, to improve the Footpath network in the Borough.

As part of the work some minor revetment was installed using recycled plastic as well as rock rolls, a cost-effective revetment solution which reduces the impact of flooding and high-water levels scouring out the path.

With only a short walk from Hampton Court train station or the free Hurst Meadows car park,  you could be checking out the new surfacing for yourself and enjoying the following cafes- Miss Polly Café at the East Molesey Cricket Club, Eight on the River at the Molesey Boat Club and Little H at Molesey Lock.

Rowers training on the river

Trailblazer Guide to the Thames Path, third edition


A review by Wendy Tobitt- Thames Path National Trail volunteer.

Open the new edition of the Trailblazer Guide to the Thames Path National Trail at any page and you’re immediately ‘on the trail’.

Beautiful hand-drawn maps and helpful text describe what you can see along the entire 185.2 miles route of the Thames Path following the river from its source to the sea.

The third edition of the Trailblazer Guide is the first guide to the Thames Path that includes the Trail’s extension in London to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel, where it links with the England Coast Path National Trail.

This handy book contains a vast wealth of comprehensive information to help readers plan their Thames Path walk for the full length or a weekend stroll.

The Guide is carefully laid out so it’s easy to read whether you’re walking westwards towards the source, or eastwards towards London. GPS waypoints marked on the maps help keep you on the right track at tricky junctions.

It’s divided into daily stages with start and end points that have public transport and accommodation; but these are only for guidance because everyone walks at different speeds.

Freehand maps by cartographer Nick Hill are particularly useful with annotations such as ‘can be very muddy needing a wide detour’ and ‘follow waymarks through woods’.

The suggested itineraries and maps are written by walkers for walkers, and it’s their entertaining style that makes the Guide so enjoyable to read, with fascinating nuggets of Thames-side history, culture and sport.

Many Thames Path National Trail walkers recommend previous editions of the Trailblazer Guide. This third edition maintains the high standards of accurate information with superb maps; it is a thoroughly enjoyable companion to the Trail.

Full version of this article is published in Thames Guardian, the magazine of the River Thames Society

Trailblazer Guide to the Thames Path, 3rd edition with 89 large-scale walking maps and guides to 99 towns and villages. Distributed in the UK by Heartwood Publishing, price £12.99.


Introducing Hannah Gutteridge

February 2022 

The Thames Path National Trail Manager.

Hannah joined the National Trail team at the start of this year after several years working in the public rights of way team with Surrey County Council.

She brings fresh ideas for making the Thames Path a modern trail accessible for all with improved surfaces, good signage and fewer physical restrictions so that people of all abilities can enjoy being by the river.

‘In the first few weeks I’ve met so many passionate people who really care about the Thames Path and the River Thames environment. Everyone is committed to looking after the Thames Path,’ says Hannah.

Hannah is responsible for the management of the 185.2 mile route from its source in the Cotswolds to Woolwich in east London. She works with a Partnership of more than 40 organisations including local authorities, the Ramblers and the River Thames Society to ensure the National Trail is kept in good condition.

‘I can’t help but be motivated by the enthusiasm from community groups championing the Trail, people working in our Partnership organisations, my colleagues and the amazing volunteers in the Thames Path team. I’m looking forward to working with them to develop new projects.’

To contact Hannah with comments and ideas for improving the Thames Path National Trail, email:
Follow us on social media @thamespathnt to get a flavour of the attractions on the Trail and the River Thames.

Thames Path Manager Hannah Gutteridge- Thames Path Manager

Thames Path National Trail close to Mapledurham Lock at Purley

February 2022

Concerns have been expressed about a new fence erected alongside the Thames Path National Trail close to Mapledurham Lock at Purley.

During February a new fence was erected by the landowner alongside the Thames Path National Trail close to Mapledurham Lock at Purley. This coincided with work at Mapledurham Lock by the Environment Agency to replace the old fish pass and create a new fish pass channel which necessitated a new footbridge over the channel and gates at both ends of the bridge.

We are aware of the concerns expressed by local people that the width of the riverside path has been reduced, consequently it may become muddy and slippery in wet weather. We have discussed this with West Berkshire Council, the local authority responsible for keeping the Thames Path in good and safe condition in the section between Streatley and west Reading. The landowner is also aware of the issues.

We will continue to monitor this, and work with West Berkshire Council and the landowner to improve the situation so that people can walk and run on the National Trail safely.

Storm Eunice: fallen trees and challenging walking conditions

February 2022

After the storm has passed you may find fallen trees and branches blocking the Path. Please report these so that we can arrange with our local highway authority partners for them to be cleared as soon as possible. Use or Fix My Street  if you know the nearby UK postcode, or street name and area.

Storm damage and fallen trees

New Hartley Steps Signs Installed at Whitchurch Hill

These new signs on the Thames Path National Trail at Whitchurch Hill mark the Hartley Steps, probably the steepest section of the Trail.

Volunteers next to new signsHartley steps – Hartslock wood end – with volunteers Araba & Roger

The Hartley Steps signs celebrate the efforts of local resident Eric Hartley who encouraged Oxfordshire County Council to get the much-needed 71 steps installed with a ramp alongside. This makes the steep ascent/descent much safer for cyclists, walkers and horse riders.

This section of the bridleway between Whitchurch Hill and Hartslock is on the chalk of the Chiltern Hills. Contractors who installed the Hartley Steps a few years ago used specialist equipment to drill into the exceptionally hard chalk.

Pictured at the installation of the Hartley Steps signs are volunteers Araba McMillan and Roger Pope, who found a spot of earth soft enough to hammer in the post!

Eric Hartley from the nearby village of Whitchurch on Thames is a lifelong advocate of walks in this area. Over the years he’s walked more than 22,000 miles to research 12 walks, which are published in a book and online on the  village website.

New signs by the Hartley Steps Hartley steps – Whitchurch end

Thank you to Eric and Whitchurch Parish Council for your continuing support of the Thames Path National Trail, and thank you to the volunteers who made the Hartley Steps signs in our workshop and installed them.

My, How We've Grown!

January 2022

As from 12th January 2022 the Thames Path National Trail has grown by 1.2 miles!

Group of people at the launch of the England Coast Path from Grain to Woolwich Launch of the ECP Grain to Woolwich

The Thames Path has now been extended to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel, a distance of 1.2miles (1.95 km) where it meets the England Coast Path which comes inland from Kent to the Woolwich Foot Tunnel. The start/finish of the Thames Path National Trail was the Thames Barrier.

In total the Thames Path National Trail is now 185.2miles (298 km) from the source of the River Thames to Woolwich.

From Woolwich to the Isle of Grain, 47 miles (76 kms), the new National Trail route called the Thames Path, part of the England Coast Path. The Source to Sea distance, following the south bank of the Thames through London, is 232.2 miles (373.7 kms). The length of National Trail along the Thames has been increased by 48.3 miles / 77.8 km)

There are new signs to be made!

News from 2021

England Coast Path Grain to Woolwich & Source to Sea - Officially Open

Today the England Coast Path is officially open from Grain to Woolwich.

It connects with the Thames Path National Trail to create a continuous ‘source to sea’ National Trail along the length of the River Thames from the Cotswolds to the North Sea. The entire ‘source to sea’ trail is 232 miles (374 km) following the south bank of the River Thames in London.
The Thames Path National Trail links with the England Coast Path at the Woolwich Foot Tunnel, 1.2 miles east of the Thames Barrier. The Woolwich Foot Tunnel is already an iconic location on the Capital Ring, one of London’s long-distance trails.

We will update the Thames Path website in the next few weeks. Read Natural England’s press release NE ECP Grain to Woolwich PR

Thames Path waymarker on post

Thames Path volunteers plant trees for River of Life 11 Project at Little Wittenham

It’s lovely to be planting trees instead of cutting them back’ says Thames Path volunteer Ian, pictured with colleague Diana wielding a shillelagh mallet to knock in a stake.

Volunteers working on the Thames Path

Earlier this month a dozen Thames Path volunteers planted 170 trees, under the supervision of Tim and Beth from the Earth Trust, to help create a new wet woodland near the River Thames in Oxfordshire.

This is part of the Earth Trust’s River of Life II project on three sites beside the Thames Path National Trail between Clifton Hampden and Dorchester. The new wetland landscape includes 16 ponds, seven backwater channels and 1.6 hectares of woodland.

The trees planted on Church Farm, Little Wittenham include black poplar, alder, several species of willow, oak, holly, buckthorn, common dogwood and blackthorn. Some will grow quickly and others more slowly. This rich variety of species will ensure the biodiversity of the site benefits as soon as the trees planted this winter unfurl their leaves next spring.

Watch this video with aerial images of the River of Life II project 
Click on this link for further  information.

New Boardwalk Abingdon

September 2021

One of the muddiest sections of the Thames Path National Trail is now much easier to walk along, thanks to this smart new boardwalk.

Repair works to path at Abingdon
Boardwalk at Abingdon

Upstream from Abingdon the Path goes through woodland, which is often flooded in winter and rarely dries out in the summer.

The new boardwalk made from recycled materials by Hahn Plastics Ltd gives good grip and a sturdy walking surface across the worst of the mud.

Steve Tabbitt, Thames Path National Trail officer welcomes the new weather-resistant surface. ‘This section of the Path is low-lying and has been a problem for years, especially after the last few winter floods.

‘The Thames Path is very popular in Abingdon because it links with circular walks around Radley and makes a very pleasant route into Oxford. I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get this job completed so that people will have easier walks this winter.’

This work has been jointly funded by a grant of £7,000 from the Trust for Oxfordshire’s Environment (TOE) Local Environment Fund, a contribution from Oxfordshire County Council, and funds received by the Thames Path National Trail.

Thames Path Happy 25th Anniversary

July 2021

The Thames Path National Trail, the 184-mile long-distance footpath from the source of the River Thames in Trewsbury Mead, Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier in Woolwich, London, is celebrating its 25th anniversary on Saturday 24 July.

The Thames Path was named as one of the country’s long distance recreational routes in the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949.

From 1973 the Ramblers and the River Thames Society worked together with local campaign groups negotiating with landowners and local authorities, and lobbying politicians to restore the old towing path from the days of barges on the River Thames.

The final section was opened and the Thames Path National Trail inaugurated at the Thames Barrier on 24 July 1996.

Since then, the Trail has been walked by millions of people and is frequently used for long-distance running and charity events.

In 2012 it featured in the opening sequence of the London 2012 Olympics, which inspired at least one walker to step out on the Trail and experience the variety of countryside and city landscapes.

Steve Good, chair of the Thames Path National Trail Partnership says: “The Trail is one of the most-loved long-distance routes in the country. Some people use it every day to get to work, and it’s a life-time’s goal for others to walk the entire length.

“I hope everyone who loves the Trail will share their favourite sections and places on social media, and inspire even more people to take their next steps along the Thames Path.”

Thames Path walkers are encouraged to share their favourite sections and places on the Thames Path via social media using #ThamesPath25 on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Pictured at Marsh Lock on the River Thames near Henley are representatives of the organisations that set up the Thames Path National Trail.

Group of people celebrating the Thames Path 25th Anniversary in July 2021

From the left: Peter Finch chairman of the River Thames Society, Kate Ashbrook Vice President of the Ramblers and general secretary of Open Spaces Society, Des Garrahan former chair of the Ramblers and founder of Metropolitan Ramblers, Steve Tabbitt and Elaine Townson, Thames Path National Trail team.
Photo: Wendy Tobitt, Thames Path National Trail volunteer

Thames Path National Trail social media:

Localised flooding around the upper reaches

May 2021

Due to high rainfall over the past few weeks the upper reaches of the Thames and the Trail from Ashton Keynes to Cricklade may have localised flooding.

Thames Path at sunset

In the upper reaches – including Water Eaton, Castle Eaton and Cricklade (thanks for photo above taken by ‘Walk the Thames’ ) – prepare to come across some flooding and muddy sections. Do NOT attempt to walk through floodwater.

The Waterhay car park (called Waterhay for a reason) is very susceptible to flooding. Most of the year this makes a very accessible car park and picnic spot, with footpaths through to Ashton Keynes, North Meadow National Nature Reserve and Cricklade.

Flooding on the Thames Path between Ashton Keynes and Cricklade

Location: Along the Ashton Keynes to Cricklade Road, next to the bridge across the River Thames.
Waterhay, Leigh, Swindon SN6 6QY, UK

Spring time walking the Thames Path

Spring 2021

Keep your walking boots waterproofed for the next few weeks! Some parts of the Thames Path in the countryside are still wet although there hasn’t been any rain for days.

It’s been a wet winter with heavy rainfall from the autumn through to March, especially in the wide catchment area of the upper reaches of the Thames above Reading. This catchment area includes all the tributary rivers and streams that feed into the River Thames. Several of these rivers and the Thames itself flooded for weeks onto land that was already wet.

Fields and meadows beside the River Thames were saturated with water from rainfall before the river flooded onto them. Soil absorbs as much water as it can and then water sits on top, making a squelchy wet surface for walking, and it can take some time for the surface to dry out.

The aquifer that feeds the spring at the source of the River Thames, in Trewsbury Mead near the village of Coate in Gloucestershire, has been flowing well throughout the winter. This aquifer often dries out in the summer, but groundwater levels are likely to remain high this spring say hydrologists at the British Geological Survey in Wallingford. Their UK Hydrological Outlook forecasts river flows in south east England are likely to be normal to above normal in March. More information:

Before you set out
• check the Flood warnings web page
• check the River Levels
• check if there are diversions you could make, in case you encounter very muddy or flooded routes

River levels are still  high along parts of the River Thames. Flooding of the Trail and low lying roads and land is possible.

Walkers are advised never  to attempt to walk through floodwater as it is not possible to see where the river bank starts.
Up-to-date information on Flooding 

Flooding on the Thames Path

Spring time is coming

Spring 2021

Throughout this season prepare to come across some flooding and muddy sections.

Before you set out
• check the Flood warnings web page
• check the River Levels
• check if there are diversions you could make, in case you encounter very muddy or flooded routes

River levels are still  high along parts of the River Thames. Flooding of the Trail and low lying roads and land is possible.

Walkers are advised never  to attempt to walk through floodwater as it is not possible to see where the river bank starts.
Up-to-date information on Flooding 

Due to increased footfall along the Trail there may be areas of churned up mud especially around gates or where cattle have gathered.

News from 2020

Repairs to the Thames Path National Trail

Summer 2020

Throughout the year repairs are required to the Trail. There are erosion issues as the riverbank is worn by the Thames, or surfaces needing to be replaced after they have worn and become difficult for  Trail walkers. See the gallery for photos of Trail repairs at Radley, Benson and Streatley undertaken through summer 2020.

Erosion to the Trail and repairs to the Thames Path surface at Radley Thames Path, Radley-erosion and repairs

Thames Path at Benson-before showing the pitted muddied surface and after surface repair works completed Thames Path at Benson-before showing the pitted muddied surface and after surface repair works completed

Thames Path Streatley before, muddy pitted surface - and after surface repair workThames Path Streatley before, muddy pitted surface – and after surface repair work

Thames Path and Ridgeway National Trails Volunteers receive the Queen’ s Award for Voluntary Service

June 2020

Thames Path and Ridgeway National Trails volunteers, a group of volunteers hosted by Oxfordshire County Council, have been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK.

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The MBE for Volunteer Groups The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The MBE for Volunteer Groups

The National Trail Volunteers help to maintain, enhance and promote the 2 Trails. The Thames Path starts at the source of the Thames, near Kemble Gloucestershire and follows the river 184 miles to the Thames Barrier Greenwich. The Ridgeway runs for 87miles from Overton Hill near Avebury to Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire.

The volunteers keep the public informed and engaged through social media, help in the office, monitor sections of the Trails reporting back any issues, through to working in all weathers maintaining our National Trail standards. Every week throughout the year volunteer work parties install signs, repair gates, cut grass and clear scrub, to name but a few tasks. Volunteers come from towns and villages along the trails, and further afield.

Everyone has a passion to help keep the trails open for the local communities as well as national and international tourists, which in turn helps attract more visitors to the many pubs, cafes and tourist destinations the Trails have to offer.

The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups to benefit their local communities. It was created in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Recipients are announced each year on 2nd June, the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation. Award winners this year are wonderfully diverse. They include volunteer groups from across the UK, including a community shop in Cornwall, a group working with refugees and vulnerable people in Stirling and our very own National Trail Volunteers.

Chairman of the Thames Path National Trail’s Partnership and volunteer, West Oxfordshire Councillor Stephen Good said: ‘I’m delighted that our group’s work has been recognised, it pays tribute to all the hard work and commitment from our volunteers’.

Representatives of the National Trails will receive the award from Tim Stevenson OBE., Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire later this summer. Furthermore, two volunteers will attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2021, along with other recipients of this year Award.

Dr Mayon-White, a National Trails Volunteer, said:

‘We’re out in all weathers looking after the Thames and Ridgeway because we love the countryside and enjoy making these National Trails easier for everyone to enjoy them. It’s a great honour to be recognised with the Queen’s Award, for doing something that we enjoy so much and is valued by everyone using the Trails. Many of us are in our retirement years, but that doesn’t stop us from taking on tasks such as online mapping and social media, making and putting in fingerposts and installing gates.’

Marian Spain, Natural England’s Chief Executive and a regular user of The Ridgeway, said: ‘I am delighted to see this prestigious award go to the dedicated volunteers on the Thames Path and Ridgeway. Not only do they play a significant role in maintaining the quality of the trail, but the volunteer group also provides many people with an opportunity to connect with nature whilst walking on the paths. Living close to The Ridgeway I can vouch for just how well cared for this Trail is and how valued it is by locals and visitors alike.’

Visit The Queens’s Award  for further details.
To learn more about the Thames Path and Ridgeway National Trails and volunteering opportunities visit and click on the links to find each of the Trails.

Follow us : @ThamesPathNT

Trail Volunteers out and about working on the Trails
Trail Volunteers out and about working on the Trails

Covid-19 and Walking on the Thames Path

We hope you will enjoy walking the Thames Path, so please follow the Government guidance given on our main page

Also when you’re out and about, do remember the Countryside Code 

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Only travel to the Thames Path if you haven’t got suitable places to enjoy closer to home. Usually we would welcome lots of visitors, but social distancing reduces the numbers of people that car parks and the Trail can accommodate.

The Thames Path National Trail is very narrow in many places, even in towns, which makes it difficult for people to stay safely 2m apart from others.

If you’re walking, running or cycling (where permitted) on the Thames Path, please be considerate of other users and take the required action to maintain 2m distance from people as you pass each other.

Do not congregate around gates and areas where boats are moored. Please be respectful of boat users. If you’re on a towpath or beside moorings then you’re probably within 2m of the people living on the boats.

The Canal and River Trust has issued useful advice for boaters and people using towpaths,

Environment Agency updates

Here’s advice from London’s Parks and Green Spaces

Consider waiting to visit popular beauty spots until after restrictions have eased. Be considerate of local residents and farmers, they’re also having to keep to government guidelines.

We’ve had to put on hold the Thames Path National Trail volunteer scheme. This means that our volunteers are not able to monitor all 184 miles of the Trail to report on safety issues including obstructions, erosion, damaged signs, fallen trees.

If you spot anything that would be a risk to the safety of people using the Path, please report the location, giving OS coordinates if possible, to and we will do our best to work with partner Highway Authorities, the Environment Agency and landowners to resolve the problem.

We and our contractors are catching up with mowing and managing the riverside vegetation, so please take extra care if you meet people working on the Path, thank you.
The Thames Path National Trail will still be here for you to enjoy after the current Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Stay apart – Act responsibly – Save lives

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