Just how far is the Thames Path? The below table shows the precise cumulative mileage throughout the walk assuming you start at the source. We’ve divided the Thames Path distances into 5 key sections:
Source to Oxford
Oxford to Reading
Reading to Windsor
Windsor to Richmond
Richmond to Thames Barrier
You can save a proposed itinerary by going to our route planner and registering. The route planner stores all the Thames Path distances and will show you mileage each day.
For general information about the Thames Path please click here.
An asterisk * indicates that we have written a blog on this place in one of our newsletters. Click on the asterisk to be taken there.
Source to Oxford
- Source 0.0
A spring surrounded by stones marks the source of the Thames. There is a stone monument next to it so you can't miss it. The spring is rarely bubbling. So, more likely, your first site of the Thames will be water in the field a few yards downstream. There used to be a stone statue of Old Father Thames but that was moved to St John's Lock near Lechlade some years ago. If you google Source of the Thames you may still see pictures of it. But don't worry. You're in the right place.
- Somerford Keynes 4.3
Somerford Keynes is a pretty Cotswold village slightly off the Thames Path but it has a pub: the Bakers Arms. The break point is the point at which a path for the village leaves the Thames Path. The path leads to the right of the church. It's a beautiful spot when the sun is shining.
- Ashton Keynes 6.8
A small village with a shop, a pub and a bed and breakfast. The river, small as it is, runs through the heart of the village. The mileage is based on where the path meets the village road whilst walking downstream.
- Water Hay Car Park 8.1
Inclined to be flooded!
- Cricklade 12.2
The first (or last!) town you will reach on the Path. Cricklade has pubs, takeaways, grocery stores, and cafes.
- Castle Eaton 16.5
The Red Lion pub has a lovely beer garden right on the river
- Hannington Bridge 18.6
The Path crosses a quiet road which leads to the nearby village of Kempsford
- Lechlade 23.0
Much prettier than its neighbour, Cricklade, it also has pubs, restaurants, cafes and shops. You have to cross the bridge to get to the town. Lechlade (or more precisely St John's Lock) marks the end of the navigable part of the Thames. You won't find many boats upstream from here.
- Buscot 24.9
This is one of the prettiest locks on the river. There's a tea room 1/4 of a mile down the lane close to Buscot Manor which offers accommodation. A short walk upstream (but on the right bank and therefore on the otherside from the Path) is Buscot Old Parsonage, which is a National Trust property. Buscot Park, another National Trust property, is a country house built in neoclassical style between 1780 and 1783. There is a large display of ceramics, pictures, furniture and objets d'art.
- Kelmscott 26.7
Kelmscott is a hamlet close by the Thames. Famous for being the country home of William Morris. The mileage is calculated based on leaving the Path on the eastern side of Kelmscott.
- Radcot Bridge 29.4
Radcot Bridge is believed to be the oldest bridge on the Thames having been built around 1200 and is largely still intact. Ye Olde Swan offers food and drink as well as tipi tents!
- Tadpole Bridge 33.4
This is perhaps one of the most remote spots on the Thames. The Trout is your only source of refreshment for a few miles.
- Shifford Lock * 36.7
At Shifford Cut you have the option of walking to Chimney to the north or Duxford to the south. Neither offer much in the way of refreshments or accommodation but a car may be parked at either. Read more in our blogs
- Newbridge * 39.4
This is the 2nd oldest bridge across the Thames - which is presumably why its called Newbridge (Radcot being the old bridge?). There are 2 pubs here: The Rose Revived and The Maybush. It is said that Oliver Cromwell drank at the Rose Revived whilst on his campaigns. He ordered an extra tankard of ale and placed in it a drooping rose that he had been wearing. The rose revived!
- Northmoor Lock 41.6
One of the remotest locks on the Thames, Northmoor is just over a mile's walk from the river. There is an inviting campsite (Barefoot Campsite) on the other side of the river from the lock (accessible across the lock gates). However, the road to Appleton is privately owned by the campsite and should not be used. There is a footpath about 100m upstream which will take you to Appleton
- Bablock Hythe 43.1
Nothing here except the Ferryman's Inn, so called because the pub used to ferry people back and forth across the river. In fact, the Thames Path used to cross to the other side of the river here (when walking downstream) following the right bank. Presumably the path was rerouted to follow the left bank once the ferryman retired. Some guides still tell you to cross the river.
- Pinkhill 45.9
Just past the lock, the Path takes a minor detour away from the river and behind the Pinkhill Boatyard (pictured left), along the busy B4044 (Swinford to Farmoor) and back to the river.It's possible to leave a car by the roadside.The distance is where the path meets the road.
- Swinford Bridge 46.9
One of only two toll bridges on the Thames (aside from the Dartford Crossing which is beyond the end of the Path). The fare for a car is the mighty sum of 5p. The bridge is governed by its own Act of Parliament.
- Godstow Bridge * 50.5
The bridge provides access to the Trout (pictured left) just across the river as well as Port Meadow car park. The remains of Godstow Abbey are a short distance from the Path. Read more in our blogs.
- Osney Bridge, Oxford 52.9
Gateway to Oxford, the centre being about 1/2 a mile east of the bridge. Oxford is the oldest and most celebrated university towns in Europe (although Cambridge alumni may disagree). It is also home to J R Tolkien, Cardinal (now Saint) John Neumann and Harry Potter! There are rail connections to London, Birmingham and the north, and also to nearby Didcot Parkway where you can connect for South Wales and the South West.
Oxford to Reading
- Folly Bridge, Oxford 54.0
The A4144, Abingdon Road, crosses the Thames at what is known as Folly Bridge. It's a double bridge as an island in the middle of the river on which The Folly Restaurant sits.
- Donnington Bridge 55.0
Donnington Bridge provides access to the southern Oxford suburbs of Donnington, on the left bank, and Hinksey on the right bank. It's a modern bridge with some interesting graffiti.
- Iffley Lock 55.4
At Iffley Lock it is possible to cross from the Path on the right bank across to the left bank where the delightful village of Iffley can be found.
- Sandford Lock 57.1
The lock provides access to the pretty village of Sandford with its pubs, The Trout being the nearest, as well as the A4074 which runs between Oxford and Reading.
- Radley Boat House 58.8
Famous for its college, this is a convenient place to join the Thames Path as there is a train service to Oxford. The station is about a mile away.
- Abingdon * 62.5
Abingdon is a historic market town. A Benedictine abbey was founded here as far back as the 7th century although there's little left of it now. Aside from numerous shops, hotels, restaurants, bars and cafes, Abingdon's more recent claim to fame is as home to MG cars and the Old Speckled Hen beer, derived from the MG's nickname: Owld Specked 'Un. Read more in our blogs.
- Culham Old Bridge 63.4
It's possible to leave the Thames Path at Culham Old Bridge where the A415 from Abingdon to Culham comes close to the river. It is possible to leave a car here but spaces are limited. The old bridge crosses a stretch of water (Back Water) that runs from the Thames upstream of Abingdon and presumably is man made to divert water away from Abingdon.
- Culham Lock * 64.7
Not much here except a car park and a café. Culham railway station is halfway between here and Clifton Hampden where trains run to Oxford and Reading, but not on Sundays! Read more in our blogs.
- Clifton Hampden * 67.9
The pretty village of Clifton Hampden lies on the left bank. There is a general stores here (closes at noon on weekends). On the other side of the river (right bank) lies the Barley Mow which serves meals daily. From Clifton Hampden you can walk to Culham railway station where trains run to Oxford and Reading (no service on Sundays). Read more in our blogs.
- Days Lock/Little Wittenham * 70.3
Just past Days Lock it is possible to cross the river to Little Wittenham on the left bank from where you can climb up Wittenham Clumps, a pair of hills around 400 feet high. Hardly mountaineering but at least you get to exercise those thigh muscles. The views aren't bad either! Read more in our blogs.
- Dorchester * 71.0
Dorchester is a beautiful village and well worth the detour. It was the first capital of Wessex before Winchester. An Abbey was founded in the middle ages and the current church dates back 600 years. There are a number of pubs serving food as well as a co-op. Dorchester lies just off the Path. The distance is based on leaving the path where the Thame meets the Thames. Read more in our blogs.
- Shillingford * 72.9
There's nothing in Shillingford (the Kingfisher pub is temporarily closed). Further downstream is Shillingford Bridge.The Shillingford Bridge Hotel overlooks the bridge and is a perfect place for afternoon tea. Note: the marker of 72.9 miles is to the bridge. Read more in our blogs
- Benson * 73.9
Benson is a busy place as a well known boating holiday company has a base here. No accommodation at Benson but there are buses that can take you back to Wallingford or downstream to Reading. The Waterfront Cafe serves food and there are pubs and takeaways in the town. Read more in our blogs.
- Wallingford * 75.7
Wallingford is a busy place. There are plenty of hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops as well as a castle and a museum. It was an important stronghold during the middle ages and again during the English Civil War. The remains of the castle can still be seen. Celebrated crime writer Agatha Christie lived at Winterbrook House in Wallingford until her death in 1976. The house is in Queen Anne style and dates back to the mid-18th century. It is believed to be the model for Danesmead, Miss Marple's house in the village of St Mary's Mead. Read more in our blogs.
- Cholsey * 78.4
Cholsey is not on the Thames Path. However, there is a road (Ferry Lane) leading to Cholsey about 1.25 miles away where there is a railway station (for Reading and Didcot Parkway), a pub and a Tesco Express. Read more in our blogs.
- Moulsford * 80.2
This is a rather disappointing village (except for the pub and the railway bridge) as you will have to walk 0.7 miles along the busy A329 (pavement provided), there are NO facilities except for a petrol station located 0.2. miles north of where the footpath meets the road. Cholsey railway station is 1.1 miles away. Read more in our blogs.
- Goring & Streatley * 82.4
A delightful pair of villages, Goring on the left bank and Streatley on the right bank. There are hotels, pubs, cafes and restaurants here as well as train services to Didcot Parkway and Reading. George Michael lived here from 1999 until his death in 2016. Read more in our blogs.
- Whitchurch & Pangbourne * 86.8
Whitchurch Bridge is the other toll bridge. It's a bit more expensive than Swinford at 60p although, again, pedestrians are free. As you cross the bridge into Pangbourne you cannot but admire the idyllic scene upstream. There are 2 pubs in Whitchurch and not much else. However Pangbourne has just about everything you need: 2 hotels, restaurants, cafes, pharmacist, a co-op, and a railway station where trains can take you to Reading in one direction and Didcot Parkway or Oxford in the other. Read more in our blogs.
- Purley on Thames * 89.4
The land around Purley on Thames was once mostly owned by Quakers. As a result, there are no pubs here. There is a shop at the top of Colyton Way. Colyton Way runs parallel to Mapledurham Drive which you will walk up. Mapledurham House is a classic Elizabethan House and has been handed down throught the generations for hundreds of years. It is better known as the location for The Eagle Has Landed starring Michael Caine and Donald Sutherland. Although open to the public you can't practically visit it as there is no way across the lock. Read more in our blogs.
- Tilehurst * 90.3
The magical half-way point but unfortunately celebrated by a walk through a housing estate (aside from a brief encounter with a small wood). Out the other end is the A329 which you lose, shortly before Tilehurst station, to thankfully regain the river. The mileage is calculated to the former Roebuck pub, where you leave the A329 to rejoin the river (pictured left). Read more in our blogs.
- Reading Bridge * 93.6
Reading is the first sizeable town since Oxford and is best approached from Reading Bridge. The railway station is one of the busiest in England with connections to just about everywhere. Despite its modern appearance it is an ancient city. Reading Abbey was founded in 1121 and it is believed Henry I, son of William the Conqueror, rests here. Overlooking the ruins is a large redbrick building. This is the former Reading Gaol where Oscar Wilde was resident and wrote his famous Ballad. Reading is famous for its 3 B's: biscuits, bulbs and brewing. Sadly, they have all long gone. Read more in our blogs.
Reading to Windsor
- Kennet Canal 94.5
The 88 mile long Kennet to Avon Canal meets the Thames here. When completed in 1810 it provided a vital transport link as goods could be transported from London to Bristol. It fell into decline once the Great Western Railway was built. The canal provides easy access into the centre of Reading (see picture).
- Sonning * 96.7
This village is so beautiful that it attracts only the best. George Clooney lives here as does former Prime Minister Theresa May. And Uri Geller can sometimes be spotted walking along the Path. The river splits here with rather a large island formed in the middle necessitating two bridges. There are a few cafes and restaurants but no shops. Read more in our blogs.
- Shiplake College Boathouse 98.8
At the Boat House, it's possible to leave the Path and walk past the grounds of Shiplake College to Church Lane where, conceivably, a car could be parked.
- Shiplake 100.1
Welcome to the 100 club. Shiplake is a quiet village as it's away from the road between Reading and Henley. There is a convenience store in the centre of the village opposite the Baskerville pub which also offers rooms. Importantly it has a train station being on the branch line from Twyford to Henley, where it terminates. From Twyford you can take connections to London or Reading. George Orwell once lived here and Alfred Lord Tennyson does now (although in the churchyard!).
- Henley 102.4
Henley is a grand town, renowned for its Royal Regatta which takes place in the first week of July each year. The Regatta has been going since 1839 and teams compete from all over the world. It's also a big social event along with Ascot and Wimbledon with spectators decked in striped blazers and straw hats. It's worth seeing but you might just breathe a sigh of relief when you've gone past the crowds.
- Remenham * 103.6
The tiny village of Remenham is accessible by road and therefore makes a convenient break point. There is a small car park here. Directly across the river is Fawley Court. Together with Mapledurham House and Hardwick House it is believed to be the inspiration for Toad Hall in Kenneth Grahame's Wind in the Willows. Read more in our blogs.
- Hambledon * 104.3
At Hambledon Lock it is possible to leave the Path by crossing through the lock gates (when closed!) and across the river via a footbridge. Read more in our blogs.
- Aston * 105.4
Aston is rather a remote village nestling on a small hill overlooking a bend in the river. The Flower Pot Hotel offers rooms. Read more in our blogs.
- Hurley * 108.7
Overlooked by neighbouring Henley this village has a collection of good pubs, a campsite and a car park. Read more in our blogs.
- Marlow 111.0
Not quite as prestigious as its neighbour, Henley, Marlow is no less delightful on a summer's day. Shops, restaurants, hotels and cafes are a plenty. There's even a train service, known locally as the Marlow Donkey, that runs downstream to Maidenhead. It's rather an old line and is not the most reliable.
- Bourne End 113.9
Bourne End marks the turning point of an enormous loop that has been followed ever since Reading. The loop from Reading to Windsor is 32 miles but only 15 miles as the crow flies. Never mind. It's all downhill now! There are plenty of facilities in Bourne End including a railway station which is on the Maidenhead to Marlow branch line. From Maidenhead you can connect to Reading or London.
- Cookham 115.3
Cookham is one of the prettiest villages on the Thames and a popular place for dog walkers. The main village is just over half a mile away where there are shops and a railway station that can take you to Maidenhead. Otherwise you can enjoy refreshments at Bel and the Dragon where you can also get a room for the night.
- Maidenhead 118.6
The town of Maidenhead lies 3/4 of a mile to the west of the river and is therefore usually bypassed. There's no reason to visit Maidenhead other than for food supplies or for transportation - the railway station providing a regular train service into London and out to Reading and beyond. The mileage is taken at the bridge.
- Dorney/Bray Marina * 121.0
A footbridge takes you across the river to the marina at Bray and a car park. Across the river and slightly downstream is Oakley Court Hotel, a magnificent gothic structure which was frequently used in the Hammer House of Horror films, made by nearby Bray Studios.Staying on the left bank there is a road leading to a car park and beautiful Dorney Court, a Tudor Manor House and latterly a popular film set (pictured left). Read more in our blogs.
- Dorney Lake * 122.8
Dorney Lake is a man-made rowing lake. It is privately owned by Eton College. It was used in the 2012 Olympics for rowing. The lake is 2,200 metres long and has 8 rowing lanes. Marlow Regatta use Dorney Lake for their races. Read more in our blogs.
- Eton and Windsor * 125.1
It would be a shame if you walked through Royal Windsor without stopping. Aside from a supply of hotels and eateries, there is much to see. After Buckingham Palace, Windsor is the Queen's most frequented palace and, practially speaking, is her home. The castle towers over the town. But spare a thought for Eton, a stone's throw away on the other side of the river. Walk a half mile along the High Street and you will arrive at Eton College which has educated 20 former British Prime Ministers, including the current incumbent, Boris Johnson. The school is a collection of buildings on public roads. Don't be surprised to see boys crossing the road in their tailcoats. Read more in our blogs.
Windsor to Richmond
Considering how close Datchet is to the busy M4, it is a surprisingly quiet village. There are shops, restaurants and a train station which runs to Windsor in one direction and London Waterloo in the other.
- Albert Bridge, Old Windsor 128.3
The Albert Bridge allows the B3021 between Datchet and Old Windsor to cross the Thames. It provides the Thames Path walker the shortest route to Old Windsor, although a longer but more traffic free route is by the moorings next to Old Windsor church. A royal settlement existed here from probably the 9th century until it was moved to the more strategic location of Windsor with its hill top. It's a good 0.5 mile detour into Old Windsor which has shops and refreshments. It's not particularly quaint so, unless you are in dire need, I would soldier on.
- Bells of Ouzeley 130.0
The Path meets the road after passing some moorings where you will find The Bells of Ouzeley., a pub that's, frankly, a little in need of some TLC but is first port of call for a long while if you have not detoured to Old Windsor. If you park a car, you need to log in at reception or you may face a hefty fine. The Path by the moorings is inclined to flooding - see picture left.
- Runnymede 130.5
Who knows where exactly the Magna Carta was signed? We know it was somewhere around here. The fact that there are nearby memorials to JJK and the RAF demonstrates that. For now, let us wallow in the history that surrounds us....somewhere?
- Staines 133.1
In an effort to improve its image, Staines recently changed its name to Staines-upon-Thames. Apparently they wanted to rid themselves of their most infamous fictional resident Ali G. The change of name has done nothing to improve the town which remains somewhat of a concrete jungle with modern offices and retail parks. Despite its modern appearance, Staines is very old indeed being an important river crossing in Roman times. Staines is the first town you arrive at within the M25, the London Orbital. There is a railway station on the line from London Waterloo and both Windsor and Reading, the line forking at Staines.
- Laleham * 135.6
The village of Laleham has buses, a pub and a shop as well as car parks. Shortly before reaching Laleham is Penton Hook Lock (pictured left). Here the natural Thames makes a very sharp meander which the lock cuts through. Think of a head with the lock being the neck. The head is Penton Hook Island and it is possible to cross the lock and access the island which has its own riverside trail. The island is home to herons and water voles. Read more in our blogs.
- Chertsey Bridge * 137.1
Annoyingly Chertsey lies about a mile west of the river so, unless you are lucky enough to stay at the Bridge, you will need to take a bit of a walk along Bridge Road if you need lodgings, shops or transport. The station has trains running upstream to Staines and downstream to Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames. Read more in our blogs.
- Shepperton & Weybridge Landing 139.0
The Path crosses to the other side of the river here. And yet there is no path. Help is by a small motor boat which must be called for by ringing a bell. It costs £2.50 per person. In bad weather the ferry service may not operate. An official Thames Path left bank alternative must be followed. This is far inferior so should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
- Walton 140.3
Walton lies to the right as you walk downstream and, unless you are in search of refreshment or transport, there's no reason to stop. Aside from being the birthplace of Julie Andrews, there's not much to note. The bridge was built in 2013 and must be the newest bridge on the river. It is the sixth in a long succession of bridges, one of which was painted by Canaletto.
- Sunbury Lock 142.0
At Sunbury Lock you will see the town of Sunbury beguiling to you with pubs, restaurants and cafes. Unfortunately there's no way to get across so you must continue past the gas works and the water treatment facility in the direction of Hampton. There is, however, a nearby hotel. The Weir sits right on the river and only accessible by foot. Rooms overlooking the river are available.
- Hampton Court 145.1
Hampton Court is full of shops and restaurants so you will not go malnourished here. Hampton Court station sits on the end of a branch line that leads to London Waterloo. But the main reason to stop here is to see the Palace.
- Kingston upon Thames 148.1
Kingston (or Kings Town) was the coronation site for Saxon kings. Now it’s a modern commercial centre. A train station takes you downstream to Richmond. Hampton Wick is across the river. This was the starting point for Jerome K Jerome's journey in Three Men In A Boat.
- Teddington Lock 149.7
Teddington Lock marks the start of the tidal Thames. Downstream from here the Port of London Authority takes charge. The lock can be crossed to reach Teddington on the left bank where a more "urban" Thames Path can be followed.
- Ham House Ferry/Twickenham * 151.4
If walking on the right bank, half way between Kingston and Richmond lies Ham House, Built in 1610, it was one of the grandest houses in Stuart times. The house is now owned by the National Trust. There is also a ferry terminal which runs back and forth to Twickenham. It's an on-demand service so you just have to "wait and wave". At Twickenham you can enjoy rugby, beer, Turner's house, and the delightful Marble Hill House. Read more in our blogs.
- Richmond * 152.5
Richmond is a comparatively new town having been founded by Henry VII in 1501 when he built Richmond Palace, named after Richmond in North Yorkshire. Richmond Lock is the last (or first) of the 45 locks on the Thames. Richmond is the first tube stop as you walk downstream. From here on, transport is straightforward. Across the bridge lies Twickenham, home of England Rugby Union. Read more in our blogs.
Richmond to Thames Barrier
- Richmond Lock & Isleworth * 153.1
Again, assuming you are on the right bank, you can cross the river at Richmond Lock to walk through the lovely old town of Isleworth. Richmond Lock is the lock on the River Thames. Isleworth is an old village where the River Brent meets the Thames. "Old" Isleworth is virtually unchanged for 150 years with Georgian and Victorian houses lining the river front. Isleworth has the feel of an old fishing village. One would not be surprised to find seagulls and the smell of fish here. Read more in our blogs.
- Kew Bridge * 155.
Kew Bridge separates the lovely village of Kew on the right bank from the less attractive Brentford on the left bank. The main attraction here is the Royal Botanic Gardens, a complex of 326 acres filled with one of the most diverse collection of plants in the world . Another place to visit from Kew is Strand on the Green. It's on the left bank as you head downstream from Kew. It's full of 18th century houses and pubs. You can always take the left bank for this section of the river and cross back over at the next bridge, Chiswick Bridge. Read more in our blogs.
- Barnes Bridge 157.6
Barnes Bridge is a popular residential part of Barnes, which occupies the right bank of the Thames for the next 2-3 miles. A train station, pubs, restaurants and shops can be found here. The bridge, which is Grade 2 listed, is for rail and foot: no cars.
- Hammersmith Bridge 159.3
Hammersmith Bridge connects Hammersmith, on the left bank, to Barnes, on the right bank. Hammersmith is a busy commercial centre with good rail and tube connections. By contrast, Barnes is a quiet upmarket residential village. The two could not be more different. The bridge, which has survived two IRA attacks, is one of the most beautiful on the Thames but is currently undergoing major structural renovation and is therefore closed but open to pedestrians and cyclists.
- Putney Bridge 161.0
End point for the Boat Race, the bridge connects Putney on the right bank with Fulham on the left. When walking from Hammersmith it’s a good idea to stay on the left bank as you pass directly by Craven Cottage, home to Fulham Football Club, Bishops Park and Fulham Palace, the former home of the Bishop of London, and you can see a glorious line of London Plane trees.
- Wandsworth Bridge 162.6
Wandsworth Bridge is a road bridge linking the edge of Fulham on the left bank with Wandsworth on the right. Wandsworth has plenty of facilities: pubs, restaurants, shops and transport. It is named after the River Wandle, which flows into the Thames just upstream from the bridge. Wandsworth was mentioned in the hugely-successful film Love Actually when Hugh Grant's assistant lives in the "dodgy end" of Wandsworth. We're not sure exactly where the dodgy end is but presumably it's somewhere near the prison, which has housed notables including Oscar Wilde, Ronnie Biggs, Reg Kray and Rolf Harris (in order of appearance).
- Battersea Bridge 164.1
Battersea Bridge connects Battersea, on the right bank, to Chelsea, on the left bank. Battersea is an upcoming area with a lot of housing development going on. It has a lovely park, which you will walk though if on the right bank. The famous power station, a Grade II listed building, is also being turned into houses. There are significant diversions in place around the site. Chelsea, across the river, is an established prosperous neighbourhood. It's not a bad idea to switch across at Hammersmith and walk down the left bank where you will sure to be impressed by Chelsea Harbour. Albert Bridge, a much nicer bridge, is just 0.3 miles further downstream.
- Chelsea Bridge 165.1
A slight misnomer as it connects Battersea with the border of Chelsea and Pimlico on the left bank. It's the closest bridge to Battersea Power Station which is being redeveloped and just past Battersea Park (there are diversions at present). It would have been less confusing if Battersea Bridge and Chelsea Bridge swapped names!
- Vauxhall Bridge 166.7
This bridge, opened in 1906, carries road traffic from Vauxhall, on the right bank, to Pimlico and Millbank on the left. Vauxhall is an area of recently-built high rise blocks - commercial and residential. On the right bank, and close to the bridge, are the headquarters of MI5 which many will be familiar with from watching recent James Bond films.
- Westminster Bridge 168.8
Who cannot be moved at the sight of the Palace of Westminster on the other side of the river? This is why it's recommended to walk on the right bank. But cross the bridge to spend some time in Westminster Abbey. Don't forget to come back to the right bank. Plenty more spectacular views downstream.
- Southwark Bridge 169.2
About halfway between Westminster and Tower Bridges, Southwark Bridge is right in the heart of central London. St Paul's Cathedral and the skyscrapers of the city of London lie across the water on the left bank. Southwark has its own identity with Borough Market offering trendy indpendent food shops, the Tate Modern offering an unrivalled collection of modern art, and the Globe, a recreation of an Elizabethan theatre performing non-stop Shakespeare.
- Tower Bridge 170.2
Approaching upstream the iconic Tower Bridge, you cannot help but feel you have arrived in central London. From downstream the effect is no less impressive. That the bridge is guarded by the warship, HMS Belfast and the Tower of London only makes it more dramatic.
- Rotherhithe & Wapping 171.3
Here the underground connects both sides of the river with Wapping on the left bank and Rotherhithe on the right. Both banks have evidence of their historic ties to shipping. Even the pubs have nautical themes: Captain Kidd in Wapping stands near Execution Dock where the pirate, Wiiliam Kidd, was executed in 1701. The Mayflower, Rotherhithe, was named after the Pilgrim Father's ship, which was moored nearby.
- Canary Wharf Pier 173.1
Once again you have the choice of left or right bank for the stretch downstream from Tower Bridge. This time we recommend the left bank for the quaint streets of Wapping, former home of the newspapers, and then Canary Wharf. Just 30 years ago this was a wasteland. It's transformation as a financial centre is remarkable. Your rucksac might feel a little out of place amongst the briefcases.
- Greenwich 175.4
The final (or first) stopping point, Greenwich has so much to offer. Greenwich was the site of a Royal Palace. It was knocked down by Charles II in 1660 to make way for a Royal Naval College, a magnificent building designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and still standing. The Navy gave up the site in 1998 and the buildings are now used for a variety of purposes including the National Maritime Museum, the
- North Greenwich Pier 178.0
Having successfully navigated the diversions around the various building sites of North Greenwich its nice to find yourself on Olympian Way with what is now an interrupted path to the Thames Barrier which is now finally visible. You can, of course, take a ferry back to Greenwich from here but that would be a shame. Only 1.6 miles to go!
- Thames Barrier 179.6
Despite the rather unattractive surroundings the Thames Barrier is quite impressive. Built in 1982 at a cost of £534m, it is designed to prevent rising sea levels from flooding the Thames. It is generally used 2-3 times per year in addition to an annual full tide test closure. The 2020 test has been set for 29 September. The end (or beginning) of the Thames Path is marked at the Thames Barrier with a mural depicting each of the towns along the way and their height above sea level. There is a visitors centre where you can get a cup of tea. And that's about it. Now you just have to find your way out of here!
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