Canoeing the Non-tidal Thames
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The special features of this itinerary are:

Describing the river as a downstream paddler sees it, north bank on the left and mileages from the top.   Cricklade is mile zero.  

An up-to-date listing of campsites within reach of the river.  Tell me if I've missed any.

An iGreen take on the environment; tolls and canoes good, government and motor boats bad.       

 

0.0 miles - Cricklade High Bridge

The Thames is a navigation from Cricklade but fortunately powered boats cannot easily get this far.  Launch about ¼ mile below (GR 103939).  From here to Inglesham Round House is shallow and weedy.  Best in spring before the weeds grow too thick. 

 

0.5 miles - A419 Bridge

0.9 miles - Eysey footbridge

1.8 miles - River Ray enters right

2 miles - Water Eaton footbridge

3.8 miles - Camping left bank.  Access for canoes.  Second Chance Caravan Park, Marston Meysey. Wiltshire. SN6 6SN. Tel. Edward Stroud 01285 810675   

August 2006 update - Paul Jordan reports this as an excellent site.

4.1 miles - Castle Eaton Bridge.  

Red Lion pub in village R.

 

6.8 miles - Hannington Bridge

10 miles - junction of the derelict Thames and Severn canal and mouth of the river Colne Left.

10.1 miles - Inglesham Round House and footbridge.  The normal limit of navigation for powered boats.  Smaller ones can get about two miles higher. 

 

10.5 miles - Ha’penny Bridge Lechlade built in 1792 by James Hollingworth  

hapennybridgelechlade.jpg (36363 bytes) Old tollhouse on the right.  Painting by Doug Myers. Click here for more

Originally a toll bridge J, the halfpenny charge for pedestrians was lifted in 1839.   Now it's “free”, you pay whether you use it or not L.   

Land right below the bridge for camping.  Bridge House campsite. GL7 3AG.  Tel Mr. R Cooper 01367 252348.   Click hereThe campsite is set one field back from the river but it’s an easy carry.  

 

11.5 miles - St John’s Lock built 1790   

If you’ve forgotten to get a permit buy one here.  The lock keepers are perfectly happy for you to do this.  

 

St John’s bridge 1886

The first bridge here built in 1229, was one of the earliest stone bridges to cross the Thames. A new bridge built in 1790 had to be completely rebuilt in 1879.   

The first of many Trout Inns left.  Friday night jazz.

Easiest landing is 50 yards back up the weir stream.  Slipway just within side channel leads into field downstream from the pub.  Camping here.  Ask at the Trout Inn.   

Note - St John’s Priory Parks, Caravan Park across the road no longer takes campers.  

 

Bloomers Hole footbridge 2000.  

100 yards downstream. 

Defensive Pill box left bank.  Many more to come. 

The second line of defence against a German invasion in 1941.  Liberty still has to be fought for.  Bombers and transporters fly into RAF Brize Norton from Kosovo, Afghanistan or Iraq most days.  Look out for the high tailfins and four tail engines of the VC10.  

 

The VC10 reminds us of the harm of government intervention in commercial decisions.  Ministry planners assumed that the main VC10 customer would be BOAC the nationalised predecessor to British Airways, and specified engines sufficiently powerful to enable a full plane to take of from Nairobi airport at 5,000 feet.  This enabled a generation of British tourists to fly to East Africa, but was wastefully overpowered for most commercial routes of the time.   Fortunately for the environment but less so for Vickers the manufacturers, the world's airlines sensibly brought more economical Boeing 707's instead.  Only 54 VC10s were produced.  Boeing was relatively free from government interference and eventually sold 1,010 707s.  

12.5 miles - Buscot lock

Some functionary from the Health and Safety branch of the Nanny State has been active here.  Enjoy the ankle level "Beware of mole holes" sign.  Look out for "Beware of low signs" next year!  

 

June 2005 update. This sort of nonsense is likely to get worse.  The Environment Agency has recently opened its Thames Waterway Plan for consultation.  Click here for details.  As a taster, let me quote from "Area Aspiration O-934" for Lechlade: "Encourage locals to walk more and therefore benefit their health;  encourage more people to visit and to spend in the Thames corridor; spread the impact of visitors away from honeypot areas."   It's bad enough when the NHS tries to stop you smoking, but why is the Environment Agency herding us towards the Thames and spreading us evenly along it.  Here's an environmental prediction that, in contrast to Greenpeace's (Click here) really will come true.  Before I die (I'm 50 and my parents both lived to be 80, so let's say in the next 30 years) publicly funded bodies will have covered the entire length of the Thames Valley path in concrete or Tarmac.  

13.75 miles - Eaton footbridge.  

Wood-clad steel.  The site of the last Thames flash lock which disappeared in 1938.   Houseboats are moored in the backwater.  

14.25 miles - Kelmscot village and Plough Inn left.   

Camping and Caravanning Club certificated site.   Field and tap for club members only.  If you use it join the C & C club.

 

Kelmscott Manor (click here) was co-owned by William Morris the founder of the Arts & Crafts movement and the pre-Raphaelite painter Dante Gabriel Rossetti from 1871.  It is a lovely house.  Click here to read Morris's own ruminations on it.  

 

Morris was less lovely.  He was an early example of the paternalist middle class socialists who preach against the very  modernism from which they have benefited.  He objected to railways, despite visiting Kelmscott Manor, his second home, via the Great Western.    He complained that poor rural people did not care about their environment, and founded the Commons Preservation Society, a contradiction in terms if ever there was one.   

 

He founded the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (click here) in 1877.  They still appear to believe that every building which intellectuals think has artistic value should be preserved whether it can be put to any good use or not.    Read his manifesto for them here together with some iGreen thoughts.  

 

His socialist campaigns in which he objects to advertising, and the division of labour only demonstrated his ignorance of capitalism.  His wallpaper company allegedly only sold items which he himself could make!  This was 100 years after Adam Smith published the Wealth of Nations!  Read two of his pamphlets here (Against advertising, News from Nowhere).   

 

Were he alive today he would be against GM technology and for the building of state subsidised wind farms everywhere except his own back yard.  He would surely oppose wallpaper, the main modern development for which he is presently remembered.  

 

Perhaps I'm being harsh.  After all he is dead.  To redress the balance click here to read a poem about Morris, by UA Fanthorpe. 

16 miles - Grafton lock

Otters have recently returned to the river near here and we saw many kingfishers in 2003.   The 2002 UK breeding bird survey reported that of the 105 species monitored since 1994, 29 had declined, but 52 had increased.  Kingfishers had increased by more than 50 per cent.   

17 miles Radcot Bridge, 1787.

The river divides above the bridge (main channel left, but the right channel is easily navigable for canoes) so there are now two stone bridges at Radcot. The Old Bridge built in 1225 is now over the side stream.   The newer bridge over the main river, was built in 1787.  Tricky for power boats as the arch is narrow and the bend blind.   The Swan hotel lawn left is a good place to watch them struggle through the bridge.   

 

The old bridge was the site of a skirmish in 1387 between Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, a supporter of Richard II, and the

 

Here Oxford's hero, famous for his boar,

While clashing swords upon his target sound,

And showers of arrows from his breast rebound,

Prepared for worst of fates, undaunted stood,

And urged his heart into the rapid flood.

The waves in triumph bore him, and were proud

To sink beneath their honourable load.

Camping on the island.  Ask at The Swan Hotel, Radcot Bridge, Faringdon, Oxon OX18 2SX   Tel: 01367 810220.   

There is a caravan site on the north bank, owned by the snooty “Caravan Club”, not to be confused with the cheap and cheerful "Camping and Caravanning" club.  The former will not let non-members camp.  But no matter, the island is cheaper and more fun.     

17.5 miles - Radcot lock

 

17.75 miles – Old Man’s Bridge (foot) 1868

 

20.5 miles - Rushey Lock

Camping here. Toilet and basin with hot water, well maintained.   Tel: 01367 870218

  August 2006 - An excellent small site and helpful lock keeper. 

21 miles - Tadpole bridge. c1789.  

tadpole bridge.jpg (70530 bytes)

Canoe centre right bank just above the bridge.   Trout Inn right bank below bridge.  Land on R. bank below the bridge.   Buckland Marsh, Nr Faringdon, Oxon SN7 8RF  Tel: 01367 870382  Click here.  Camping along the bank.  For the most secluded spot paddle 100 yards downstream and land right.  

 

22.75 – Tenfoot bridge

Constructed entirely of wood.

 

24 miles - Shifford lock cut left.  

 

24.75 miles - Footbridge. 

Wood encased steel on concrete piles

 

24.5 miles - Shifford Lock

Just below the lock the original course of the river enters right.  You can paddle back up this original stream about half a mile to Duxford ford (is that a tautology?), a lovely spot for a picnic.   August 2006 - spoilt a little by rubbish. Let's all try to remove some.

Camping in Duxford.  JW Florey. Badgers bank. Duxford. 01865 820248

 

27.5 miles – River Windrush joins left.  Newbridge c1250.   

Two famous pubs here.  The Rose Revived left.  Maybush Inn right.

Land 100 yards downstream on left at Cokethorpe school canoe club landing stage

 

28 miles - Hart's weir footbridge.  Site of another of the long gone Thames flash locks.

 

29.5 miles - Northmoor lock

Camping in the field.  Cold water tap only.  c/o West Farm, Eaton, Nr Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5PR Tel: 01865 862908

 

31 miles - Bablock Hythe.  

A ford since Roman times.  An old ferry is now only intermittently operational.   Until the 1960s there was a car ferry here! There are plans to build a footbridge. 

Camping left at Lower Farm, GA Wade, Northmoor, Whitney, OX8 1AU Tel: 01865 300237.  

Also at Long Meadow  c/o West Farm, Eaton, Nr Abingdon, OX13 5PR.  Tel: 01865 862908, 

And at Elms Farm Mrs. J Ireland, West End, Stanton Harcourt. Tel 01865 880464.  Both these latter campsites are further from the river.

August 2006 - Elms Farm reported as very poor value. Shower and toilet but no hand wash.

 

32 miles – The grassy bank of the enormous Farnmoor reservoir appears on the right, and the river enters a series of meanders. 

Could Farnmoor be a little smaller if water was metered and people wasted less?  

33.5 miles - Pinkhill lock.

Picnic site and camping on the island.  Toilets only.   Eynsham, Witney, Oxon, OX8 1JH Tel: 01865 881452

 

34.5 miles – Swinford Toll Bridge J 1777.  

Camping right

swinford toll bridge.jpg (29811 bytes) Painting by Doug Myers. Click here for more

5p per car. 

One of only two current toll bridges on the non-tidal Thames.  Whitchurch is the other.  The number has been falling for hundreds of years, but tolls seem to be returning elsewhere at last.  Let us hope this is the nadir for the Thames. 

35 miles - Eynsham Lock

Camping here at the Lock.  Swinford Bridge, Eynsham, Oxon, OX8 1BY.  Tel: 01865 881324  

36 miles - River Evenlode joins left. Camping at Cassington Mill Caravan Park, Eynsham Rd  Cassington.  OX8 1DB. Tel: 01865 881081.   About ½ mile up the river Evenlode

 

37 miles - The King’s lock cut R. 

The Wolvercote-Gostow circuit may be an option here, but only for the brave.   Ignore the Kings lock cut and continue on the main stream towards Kings weir.  About 100yds above the weir follow the channel left.   This is a navigation for boats passing from the Thames to the Oxford canal.  After about ½ mile a canal (Duke’s cut) leaves left to join the Oxford canal.  Ignore this and stay on the main stream under the A34 to Wolvercote weir.  Tim O'Connor there is no safe portage option, just nettles, brambles and, at best, a six foot seal launch into the pool directly below the weir.  I am NOT recommending this.   There is a  second gentler weir under the bridge at Wolvercote which may be easier if you could reach it.   If you do get through paddle on down to rejoin the river just below Godstow lock, and then drop me a note.  

But see the Oxford circuit, click here.  Robert Yeowell (Canoe Focus April 2006) says the portage is OK in winter and spring.

37.5 miles - King’s Lock

Camping on the island.  Toilets and water tap only.  Godstow Road, Wolvercote, Oxford, Oxon, OX2 8PY.  Tel: 01865 553403

 

38.25 miles – A34 Oxford bypass bridge 1961

 

38.5 miles - Godstow Bridge 1792.   

Watch the power boaters navigate this.   The arches are narrow and low and it won’t be long before you witness a near miss and some marital discord.  Enjoy.  The Trout Inn L. overlooks the weir stream. Free parking. 

38.5 miles - Godstow Lock

 

39 miles- Port meadow left.

The famous Binsey poplars.  Click here to read more 

 

40 miles - Medley footbridge

40.5 miles - Junction with Oxford canal

 

40.75 – Osney Bridge 1888.   

Power boaters hate it, but this wonderful bridge, with the lowest clearance below Lechlade (7ft 6in), keeps the larger gin palaces off the upper reaches.   

41 miles - Osney Lock

 

41.25 miles - Osney railway bridges adjacent 1850 and 1887

 

41.5 miles - Road bridge

 

41.6 miles - Footbridge 1886

 

42 miles - Folly Bridge 1827, carries the A4144

The mile and a half to Iffley lock, initially with Christchuch meadow on the left, is the main rowing and punting stretch.  For a week in late May it is the site of the college "bumping races".  Every fine day the river is full of lovers punting, and walkers and cyclists on the tow path.  

Time for a poem.   Philip Larkin was an undergraduate in Oxford where, by all accounts, he had difficulty getting laid.  He wrote High Windows (click here) many years later when he was librarian in Hull and his sex life had picked up.  By then he was keeping at least three mistresses.   

 

Oxford Youth Hostel allows camping but is two miles from the river.  Jack Straws Lane, Headington.OX3 ODW Tel 01865 762997 

43 miles – Donnington Road bridge 1962.

Campsite on left bank of river 50yds below the bridge.  Tel Salter Brothers 01865 243421 office hours.  Otherwise just pull up and camp.  Rather a basic town site.  Don’t leave valuables unattended. 

 

Camping also at 22nd Oxford Sea Scouts Meadow Lane, Donnington Bridge Road, Oxford OX4 4BJ Tel: 01865 778459. The site is just beside the river but only available to scout and youth groups, and with pre-booking.

 

43.5 miles - Iffley lock

Vivien Greene, Graham Greene’s widow who died in 2003, lived nearby in Grove House, where she founded the Rotunda Museum of Antique Dolls Houses.   Elizabeth Jennings wrote a poem about the house.  Click here to read it.  The museum is now closed.

43.75 miles - Isis Bridge A423 1960

 

44 miles - Kennington railway bridge 1923

Camping at Oxford Camping International. All facilities.  1/2 mile up the Hinksey stream.  This enters the river right just above the railway bridge. 426 Abingdon Road, Oxford OX1 4XN Tel: 01865 246551

 

Also Oxford Camping & Caravanning Club site. 1/4 mile above Sandford lock on left bank.  Tel: 01865 244088

45 miles - Sandford Lock

47 miles - Radley College boathouse right

 

48.5 miles – Nuneham Railway Bridge, 1929

 

49.5 miles - Abingdon lock

 

50.5 miles – Abingdon Bridge, 1416

Privately built by local merchants, John Brett, John Huchyns and Geoffrey Barbour, with the aid of Sir Peter Besils of Besselsleigh, who supplied the stone from his quarries. It is a beautiful bridge some hundreds of yards in length, including the flood meadows.  The main stream is spanned by six arches.  It was restored in 1927.

River Ock enters right 

51 miles - Abingdon marina right

51.5 miles Culham cut

 

52 miles - Culham cut footbridge

 

52.5 miles - Culham lock

The Culham Science Centre, part of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and home to the Joint European Torus (JET) is just north of the river.  JET is a hole in the ground containing a special particle accelerator (a Tokomak) designed to create the conditions for fusion to occur safely.  Fusion power is good.  It is clean, releases no greenhouse gases and the fuel source, water, is plentiful.  So why is the government involved?

JET was set up in 1978 on the assumption that fusion power would take 30 years to develop, and that the private sector was unlikely to make the necessary investment.  25 years of state funding later, usable fusion power is still 30 years away!   It is too soon to know if the millions of pounds (billions in today's money) spent at Culham were well spent.   If they dissuaded the private sector from investing in fusion research, by signaling that the government was doing the work already, they may be among the worst investments ever made.   Personally I doubt if global warming will do too much harm, but if it does the years of waste at Culham should take some of the blame.

52.5 miles - Sutton bridge 1811

bridge over culham cut.jpg (17859 bytes)

Sutton Courtney is half a mile down the road right.  

George Orwell (1903-1950) anti-collectivist and author of Nineteen Eighty Four, Burmese Days, The Road to Wigan Pier, Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Homage to Catalonia, Coming Up for Air, Inside the Whale and Down and out in Paris and London, is buried in All Saints churchyard under his real name Eric Blair.   The Liberal Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith is buried in the same churchyard. 

53.6 miles - Appleford railway bridge 1929

 

54.75 miles - Clifton cut footbridge

 

55 miles - Clifton Lock

Paddle back up the weir stream about half a mile to the Plough Inn at Long Wittenham.

The Pendon Museum (click here) of model railways and countryside scenes from the 1930's is located at the upstream end of the village.  Exactly how a museum should be - built and run by volunteers, and paid for by donations and admission charges.  

55.5 miles - Clifton Hampden Bridge, 1867.  

clifton hampden bridge.jpg (16083 bytes)

Designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott (1811-1878), who also designed the Albert Memorial and the General Infirmary at Leeds where I used to work, and built in 1867 by Richard Casey using local bricks.

Land just below the bridge on the right.   

Camping at Bridge House Caravan Site, Bridge House, Clifton Hampden, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 3EH Tel: 01865 407725.  The famous Barley Mow pub, mentioned by Jerome K Jerome, is just down the road. 

 

The cooling towers of Didcot power station dominate the long bend to Day's lock and provide a healthy reminder that no-one would be able to enjoy this idyllic river without the benefit of clean energy.  The two gas-powered stations provide 4000MW electricity capacity, available when demand is highest.   For comparison the largest wind farm in the UK at Carno in Powys has 56 wind turbines and a total capacity of 34MW when the wind blows.  In practice, like most wind farms, Carno operates at about 30% capacity because the wind does not blow at the right time.  All 83 UK wind farms connected to the national grid have a combined capacity of about 530MW from about 850 wind turbines (click here for details).    

58 miles - Day’s Lock

Camping here on the island.   Little Wittenham, Abingdon, Oxon, OX14 4RD Tel: 01865 407768

 

58.1 miles - Little Wittenham (Day’s) footbridge 1870

The blind corner just below the bridge is another good spot to see cruiser drivers in nautical hats shout at their wives and mistresses.  

58.9 miles - The river Thame joins left.   

Above this point the river is often called the Isis.  From here on everyone agrees that we are canoeing the Thames.  It is a fairly easy paddle 1/2 mile upstream to Dorchester bridge and the Roman town of Dorchester and its ruined 7th century Abbey.  Dorchester was once the cathedral city of Wessex and later of Mercia.

60.5 miles - Shillingford Bridge, 1827

61.75 miles - Benson Waterfront Camping left bank. Benson, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 6SJ  Tel 01491 838304.  Friendly, clean, cheap site.  Perfect. 

 

62 miles - Benson Lock

63.25 miles - Riverside Caravan and camping 1/4 mile above Wallingford Bridge on R bank.  Tel 01491 838304

 

Howberry Park left.   Home of Jethro Tull (1674-1741), inventor of the seed drill and author of The New Horse-Hoeing Husbandry (1731).  Now home to the Institute of Hydrology. 

 

Tull was a key figure in the agricultural revolution.  By increasing productivity a larger population was fed, and agricultural labourers were freed  to work in the new cities of the industrial revolution and eventually create our present day standard of living.  Although Tull faced considerable opposition in his lifetime, his techniques spread rapidly.  Many people alive today owe their very lives to the developments he and his colleagues pioneered.   

 

His immediate successors developed new chemical pesticides and seed varieties by selective breeding, and today's researchers are improving seeds yet further by genetic modification.  Sadly they also face opposition.  

Camping Riverside Park, The Street.  Wallingford Tel 01491 835232

63.5 miles - Wallingford Bridge c1750

Bridge Villa Caravan and Camping International.  The Street, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxon OX10 8HB.   Tel: 01491 836860

 

64 miles - Winterbrook bridge 1993

64.5 miles - Carmel College left.  

This Jewish independent school founded by rabbi Kopul Rosen (1913 -1962) and his wife, stands in the grounds of Mongewell Park. 

66 miles – The Ridgeway path joins the left bank here and with minor detours follows the tow path until it crosses and leaves the river at Goring. 

 

66.5 miles – Moulsford Railway Bridge.  Brunel 1839. 

Twisted brick arches.  One of the wonders of the Thames.

67 miles – Beetle and Wedge pub right.  

Site of old ferry.  

68 miles - Leather Bottle pub left.

 

68.5 miles - Cleeve Lock

From here the valley narrows as the river approaches the Goring Gap.  This divides the Chiltern Hills from the Berkshire Downs.

69 miles - Goring Lock and Goring and Streatley bridge (1923) just downstream.

   

Streatley Youth hostel, Hill House, Reading Road Streatley. RG8 9JJ. Tel 01491 872278.  Right bank 1/4 mile from river but no facilities for camping. 

70.25 miles – Gatehampton Railway Bridge Brunel 1839

   

71.5 Child Beale Wildlife Park right.

 

72 miles - Coombe Park left.

73 miles - Whitchurch Lock

Pangbourne right.

 

73.25 miles – Whitchurch Toll Bridge J 1902. Cars 10p

whitchurch toll bridge.jpg (79104 bytes)   Whitchurch toll bridge2.jpg (41033 bytes)   Painting by Doug Myers. Click here for more.

A wooden bridge was built here in about 1792. The present latticed iron bridge designed by Joseph Morris was built by the Cleveland Bridge and Engineering Company Ltd in 1902. Click here for the bridge company website

Land right in the meadow after the bridge.  Public car park.

 

75.5 miles - Mapledurham Lock

Purley right.

77 miles - Poplar island followed by Appletree Eyot.

77.9 miles - St Mary's Island.  River usually busy with rowing boats from here to Caversham bridge.

Reading rowing club is 150 yards above Caversham bridge on the right.  Landing and public car park.

 

79 miles Caversham Bridge 1926

79.25 miles - Fry’s island.

 

79.5 miles Reading bridge 1923

80 miles - Caversham Lock

80.5 miles - Junction with Kennet river right.  Access to Kennet and Avon canal.

 

82.25 miles - Sonning Lock

 

82.5 miles – Sonning Bridge c1775

The Great House hotel is on the right bank.

   

84 miles - St Patrick's stream leaves the river right, initially cutting sharply backwards.  

This is canoeable, although at low water you may have to lift over the entrance sill.   After 1.5 miles it joins the river Loddon on the right.   Another mile leads back to the Thames just below Shiplake Lock.

85.5 miles - Shiplake Lock

 

85.75 miles - Shiplake Railway Bridge 1897

   

86 miles - River bends left followed by island.  Main channel left.  

Take right channel to enter Hennerton backwater which is canoeable. It re-enters the main river after just over a mile. 

88 miles - Marsh Lock

 

89 miles - Henley Bridge 1786

Swiss Farm International Camping. 400 yards from river on left bank.  All facilities.  Henley on Thames, Oxon RG9 2HY  Tel: 01491 573419 Click here

The next mile is the Henley regatta course.

91 miles - Hambledon Lock

 

91.5 miles – Site of disused ferry.   

Land right and walk ¼ mile to the Flowerpot at Aston. 

92 miles - Culham Court right.

92.5 miles.   Islands.  Main channel left but better canoeing right.

 

93.25 miles - Land left for Medmenham village, just before Medmenham Abbey.  Site of disused ferry.  0.5 mile to Dog and Badger.  

Medmenham Abbey was founded by Cistercian monks in 1145.  In the late 18th century it was owned by Sir Francis Dashwood who decorated it in pornographic style, built an erotic garden, and hosted parties for his friends, the “Hell Fire Club”.   It's now a geographic research station.

93.5 miles - Islands.  Main channel left but better canoeing right.

 

94 miles - Land at slipway right for Hurley Caravan and Camping Park Estate Office, Hurley Farm, Hurley, Berks SL6 5NE.  Tel: 01628 823501   A big site.   Rather over regulated for most canoeists tastes but good facilities.  They like you to book. 

   

94.8 Hurley weir left.  

The experts say this is the best.  Click here for The Thames Weir Project.  Info on all canoeable Thames weirs.  

94.9 miles - Hurley upper lock cut footbridge

 

95 miles - Hurley Lock

Camping on the island.  Mill Lane, Hurley, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 5ND Tel: 01628 824334.

 

Hurley lower lock cut footbridge

Peter Freebody (click here), one of the most famous traditional wooden boat builders on the Thames has his boatyard on the right.  

95.4 miles – Temple Footbridge 1989

 

95.5 miles - Temple Lock

 

97.25 miles - - Marlow Bridge 1832

This lovely iron suspension bridge was built in 1832 by William Tierny Clark, who also designed the suspension bridge over the Danube in Budapest.

97.5 miles - Marlow Lock

 

97.75 miles – Marlow by pass bridge A404 1972

98 miles - Camping at Longridge Scout Boating Centre, Quarry Wood Road, Marlow, Bucks, SL7 1RE  Tel: 01628 483252.  Scout and youth groups only and booking essential. 

 

100 miles - Bourne End Railway (1895) and Footbridge (1998). Adjacent.

 

101.25 miles – Cookham Bridge 1867

This wrought iron bridge, which replaced an earlier wooden bridge built in c.1840, was originally a toll bridge. Although tolls were abolished in 1947, the toll house remains on the northern bank.

101.4 miles - Cookham lock cut footbridge

 

101.5 miles - Cookham Lock

Cliveden House (1862) and Park left bank.  

Home to the Astor’s, and location of many political intrigues and scandals including the meeting of John Profumo and Christine Keeler.  Now owned by the National Trust and leased out as a hotel. 

103.5 miles - Boulter’s Lock

Access - Land right 50 yards above the lock.  Car park across the road. 

 

104.5 miles - Maidenhead Bridge 1777

This 13-arch stone bridge was designed by Sir Robert Taylor(1714-1788) who also designed part of the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street in London.   It replaced the original wooden bridge dating from 1298. 

104.6 miles – Maidenhead Railway Bridge 1839, Brunel.   

The two arches, each 123 ft long are the largest brickwork spans in the world.

Waterside Inn right.  Three star Michelin restaurant run by celebrity chef Michel Roux.  

Would you swap your cheese and pickle sandwich for their haute cuisine?

105.5 miles - Bray Lock

 

106 miles - M4 Bridge 1961

Is it any wonder that people prefer the car to the train when roads like this are provided free?

Amerden Caravan and Camping Site.  Old Marsh Lane, Dorney Reach, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 0EE Tel: 01628 627461.  Left bank

 

106.25 miles - Monkey island and Monkey Island hotel.

 

106.5 miles - Island.

Summerleaze footbridge 1992.

 

108.1 miles - Sharp left bend followed by entrance to the Race Course yacht basin on right.  

 

109 miles - Boveney Lock

Windsor race course right.

 

110 miles- Windsor bypass A332 1966

 

110.25 miles – Windsor Railway Bridge 1849

The castle comes in view on the right bank.   Land right above Windsor bridge.

 

Windsor Youth Hostel, Mill Lane, Windsor, SL4 5JE.  Tel. 01753 861710.  1/4 mile from river and no camping facilities.

110.5 miles - Windsor Bridge 1824

Closed to cars J.   

 

111 miles - Romney Lock.  

Eton college left.

 

111.25 miles - Black Pott's Railway Bridge 1892

 

112 miles - Victoria Bridge 1928

Windsor Home Park right.  No landing between Victoria and Albert bridges.

 

113.5 miles- Albert Bridge 1967

 

113.75 miles - Old Windsor Lock Cut (Ham) Bridge

 

114 miles - Old Windsor lock

115 miles - Bells of Ousely pub right.

115.5 miles - Magna Carta island.  Runnymede right.   

Owned by the National Trust.  Site of Commonwealth Air Forces, Magna Carta and Kennedy memorials.   

117 miles - Bell Weir (Egham) Lock

 

117.5 miles – Runnymede (A30 & M25) Bridges (side by side) 1961 & 1983

 

118 miles - Staines Bridge 1832

 

120 miles - Penton Hook Lock

120.5 miles - Laleham village left.  Mathew Arnold is buried in the 18th century church. 

121 miles - Laleham Camping Club Left bank.  Laleham Park, Staines, Middlesex, TW18 1SS.   Tel: 01932 564149

 

121.75 miles – M3 bridge 1971

 

122 miles - Chertsey Lock

 

122.25 miles - Chertsey bridge 1785

Chertsey Camping and Caravanning Club Site.  Right bank.  Bridge Road, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8JX    Tel: 01932 562405.

 

124 miles - Shepperton Lock

Confluence with river Wey right.   Weybridge right with Brooklands car racing museum and race track  behind.  

124.25 miles - Desborough cut right.  Better and longer canoeing down the old river course left. 

 

126 miles – Walton “Temporary” bridge 1954 and Walton Bridge 19th century adjacent

The "temporary" is one of the ugliest bridges on the Thames.  Taxpayer funded of course.  Compare it with any of the privately built toll bridges or Brunel's railway bridges built by the private Great Western Railway company.

127.25 miles - Sunbury lock cut bridge.

 

127.5 miles - Sunbury Lock

 

129 miles - Platt's Eyot

129.2 miles - Westel-Thames canoe club and Bell Inn left.  George Kenton's ferry.

 

130.5 miles - Molesey Lock

 

130.75 miles Hampton Court Bridge 1933

131 miles- Hampton Court Palace left, and the maze where Harris, one of the Three Men in a Boat, got hopelessly lost along with 20 followers and a keeper.  River Mole enters right.

131.5 miles Thames Ditton island.  Old Swan Hotel right.

 

133.5 miles - Kingston Bridge 1828. Widened 1914 & 2001

 

133.75 miles – Kingston Railway Bridge 1863

 

135.4 miles - Teddington lock cut bridge

 

135.5 miles - Teddington Lock

Tidal limit.  Griff Rhys-Jones bumped into some social workers. Click here.

 

Thanks to Tim O'Connor and Paul Jordan for updating information.

 

 

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Last modified: September 26, 2006