The Thames Path 20th Anniversary Baton Relay - Source to Sea

15th August 2016

Ramblers and walkers came out in their hundreds in July to be bathed in glorious sunshine as they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Thames Path, the only British National Trail to follow a river from source to sea, the iconic and greatest river in Britain - The Thames

The walkers marked the historic event with a 16 day walking relay, the first leg of which started at the source of the River Thames and ended on The Thames Path extension, over 200 miles away along its’ estuary.

A baton, made by the Thames Path Trail Volunteers, from the remains of a 130 year old Thames Conservancy gate was handed over each day to a lead rambler, starting at Coates, Gloucestershire in the Cotswold Hills and ending at Crayford Marshes, the finishing point of the Thames Path Extension.

The Path offered many opportunities for wildlife spotting. There was a sighting of a curlew being hunted by 2 peregrine falcons a few hundred metres upstream from Vauxhall Bridge.

Steven Tabbitt said: “It was an amazing sight that you might expect to see in some isolated area of the British Isles, but to see this on day 14 in Central London is truly awesome. What an incredible experience!”

This free event saw representatives turning out from the local Parishes, Councils, The Ramblers, The River Thames Society, our Volunteers, as well as the public including walkers from America, Canada, Chile, Spain and Germany.

The relay provided a great opportunity to bring together organisations who value what the trail brings to their area and those many individuals who enjoy walking the Thames Path, in a celebration of this unique National Trail ”

The Thames Path National Trail has a humble start - the infant River Thames rises in a field in the western Cotswolds to pass through ever changing countryside - a field track across water meadows, a path through villages in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire then through historic cities like Oxford and Windsor.

Once it reaches the capital, it winds its way through London, passing internationally famous landmarks - such as Hampton Court Palace, Kew Gardens and the Houses of Parliament, Tower and London bridges, finally passing through the World Heritage Site of Greenwich, with its official finish or start at the Thames Barrier.

To be able to walk the trail, engaging  with the riverside wildlife and experience the liquid history of England is a trully enriching experience.

More news from the Trail »

Share this story:

Thames Path by Tower bridge - Steve Tabbitt
Thames Path Ashton Keynes - Steve Tabbitt
Thames Path Abingdon - Steve Tabbitt