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Thread: River Thames

  1. #1

    Default River Thames

    The Thames is 215 miles long with 47 locks. Officially navigable for 126 miles from Inglesham Round-house to the sea (tidal section starts at Teddington Lock), the river is actually navigable for canoes up to Cricklade (a further 10.5 miles). Above Inglesham can be shallow and weedy and is best done in the Spring.

    A Thames licence is required for canoes (and the lock keepers will ask to see it if it's not displayed) but this is covered within the BCU membership - make sure you display the sticker on the canoe - don't just use the card in your wallet. All 47 locks are manned and the lock keepers are happy for canoes to use the locks under their instruction so the need for portaging is minimal.




    Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

    A table of distances for locks and campsites is attached as Thames distances.pdf

    The Environment Agency have an excellent booklet Go Camping on the River Thames. In addition there is now camping at Mapledurham House,

    Mapledurham Trust (SU 669 766)
    The Estate Office, Mapledurham, Reading, Berks, RG4 7TR
    Tel: 0118 9723350 or 07721 094 862
    Email: enquiries@mapledurham.co.uk
    Web: www.mapledurham.co.uk
    Season: All year

    iGreens.org.uk have an excellent mile by mile guide. (If you experience difficulty try this alternative)
    Last edited by KeithD; 1st-March-2012 at 10:53 PM.
    Keith

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Oxfordshire
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    Default

    May I suggest another excellent guide.
    http://thames.me.uk/index.htm
    the fella that created has punted most of the river.

    Mike
    To every opinion there is always an equal and opposite opinion.
    (Newtons fourth law)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Bracknell, Berkshire.
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    Default

    Thanks for the link, Mike. That is an excellent guide, I have enjoyed looking through some of the site tonight.

    Richard.
    You don't stop playing because you are old, you get old because you stop playing.

  4. #4

    Default how long?

    Hi guys. Just wondering how long do you think it would take to get from Lechlade to tower bridge? How many miles do you think would be a reasonable amount to assume we could do per day? Canoeing 10 hours a day and not hanging about?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Lancashire
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    Default

    Last time I did the any paddling on the Thames we broke it down to something like the following:

    Cricklade to Lechlade
    Lechlade to Somewhere (I've forgotten where, all I can remember is there is a backwater river right around the lock)
    Somewhere to Riverside Centre Oxford
    Riverside to Wallingford
    Wallingford to Pangbourne

    5 days paddling for about 1/2 the length above Teddington, so a decent chunk

  6. #6

    Default Another info source

    I followed the guide http://www.igreens.org.uk/canoeing_t...dal_thames.htm in the summer of 2006. From Marston Meysey to Bablock Hythe in 3 days with children camping at Rushey Lock one night which was very good.

    It seems that igreens have moved thier site but not the page I refernce so perhaps we shoudl grab the info from them before it's lost. I'll ask.

  7. #7

    Default Current River Conditions

    This link was suggested by Chunk. It shows the river flow rate as measured at Maidenhead Rowing Club (downstream from Maidenhead bridge).

    Oxford University Rowing Club also provides an indication of river conditions (at Oxford) here.
    Keith

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Bracknell, Berkshire.
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    Default

    Thanks for posting that information, Keith, and thanks Chunk for providing it.

    I have guessed that the river conditions would not be favourable at the moment with all the rain we have had, but this will give me a more accurate idea, as I tend to paddle these area's a lot.

    Richard
    You don't stop playing because you are old, you get old because you stop playing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    New Forest
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marker View Post
    Thanks for posting that information, Keith, and thanks Chunk for providing it.

    I have guessed that the river conditions would not be favourable at the moment with all the rain we have had, but this will give me a more accurate idea, as I tend to paddle these area's a lot.

    Richard
    I spoke to the lock keeper at Rushey who said the red boards are out at the moment. It may be worth phoning one of the lock keepers for advice before setting out during the winter.
    If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
    Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away" --Henry David Thoreau

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by nigelp View Post
    It may be worth phoning one of the lock keepers for advice before setting out ....
    Here are the phone numbers:-

    • St Johns: Phone: 01367 252309
    • Buscot : Phone: 01367 252434
    • Grafton : Phone: 01367 810251
    • Radcot : Phone: 01367 240676
    • Rushey : Phone: 01367 870218
    • Shifford : Phone: 01367 870247
    • Northmoor : Phone: 01865 862923
    • Pinkhill : Phone: 01865 881452
    • Eynsham : Phone: 01865 881324
    • King's : Phone: 01865 553403
    • Godstow : Phone: 01865 554784
    • Osney : Phone: 01865 247050
    • Iffley : Phone: 01865 777277
    • Sandford : Phone: 01865 775889
    • Abingdon : Phone: 01235 523044
    • Culham : Phone: 01235 522061
    • Clifton : Phone: 01865 407821
    • Day's : Phone: 01865 407768
    • Benson : Phone: 01491 835255
    • Cleeve : Phone: 01491 872608
    • Goring : Phone: 01491 872687
    • Whitchurch : Phone: 0118 984 2448
    • Mapledurham : Phone: 0118 941 7776
    • Caversham : Phone: 0118 957 5764
    • Blake's : Phone: 0118 957 2251
    • Sonning : Phone: 0118 969 3992
    • Shiplake : Phone: 0118 940 3350
    • Marsh : Phone: 01491 572992
    • Hambleden : Phone: 01491 571269
    • Hurley : Phone: 01628 824334
    • Temple : Phone: 01628 824333
    • Marlow : Phone: 01628 482867
    • Cookham : Phone: 01628 520752
    • Boulter's : Phone: 01628 624205
    • Bray: Phone: 01628 621650
    • Boveney : Phone: 01753 862764
    • Romney : Phone: 01753 860296
    • Old Windsor: Phone: 01753 861822
    • Bell Weir: Phone: 01784 432333
    • Penton Hook: Phone: 01784 452657
    • Chertsey : Phone: 01932 562208
    • Shepperton : Phone: 01932 221840
    • Sunbury : Phone: 01932 782089
    • Molesey : Phone: 020 8979 4482
    • Teddington : Phone: 020 8940 8723
    Keith

  11. #11

    Default Thanks

    Just wanted to thank you guys for the advice. We managed to complete our trip from Radcot bridge to Tower Bridge in 3 days although this was canoeing for 12/13 hours a day with our only breaks being at the locks!! Would recommend the trip to everyone though.....though maybe plan for 4-5 days. Thanks again.

  12. #12

    Default

    Here is an excellent website that provides information on river conditions on the Thames. Thanks to Quercus for identifying this site.
    Last edited by KeithD; 27th-July-2009 at 03:01 PM. Reason: link
    Keith

  13. Default

    this is brilliant - thanks!

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Surrey
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    Default Access Points

    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  15. #15
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    Default

    Just a quick heads up for those who may have missed the info....The BCU are no longer issueing licence stickers to go on your boat so you must have your memebership card with you and present it when asked.

    Mike_D.

  16. #16
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    The igreens website listed above no longer works unfortunately. There is a cached version here: http://webcache.googleusercontent.co...dal_thames.htm
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  17. #17

    Default

    One of, if not, the best River Thames info sites gone!

    I know somebody who could probably build a better site?

  18. #18

    Default

    that link to 'Thames.me' is no longer valid, sadly

  19. #19

    Default

    The igreens website still works for me: http://www.igreens.org.uk/canoeing_t...dal_thames.htm It's not 100% accurate and shouldn't be relied on alone but is very good. I advise having the OS Explorer map as well.

    Paddled the section from Second Chance Campsite near Castle Eaton to Bablock Hythe over the last couple of days. There were a few trees down in the top section but only one (just after the pub in Castle Eaton) that needed a bit of clambering. Levels were great and I had a really good flow. Lock keepers were brilliant, particularly Alan the 'locum' lock keeper who I met both days and had me thinking I was going around in circles! I camped at Rushey Lock where there's quite a bit of work going on; the sign said it included a fish pass, which hopefully will be like the one at Radcot and allow canoes to go downstream. There are a few photos of the trip on my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6882959&type=3

    Andy

  20. #20

    Default

    Could someone please advise if it would be possible to park near Tadpole Bridge and launch there. I was hoping to paddle from Tadpole Bridge to Rushey Lock, then back to Shifford Lock returning to Tadpole.
    Thanks
    Graham

  21. #21
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    Not launched there personally, but paddled past on several occasions.

    There's a lay-by on the road North of the bridge where people park. There's also the Trout Inn car-park South of the bridge but I've a feeling the pub has gone up-market in recent times so not sure whether they will happily allow parking all day in return for canoeists business. They have moorings at a good height for launching from so you could (with their permission) launch from the pub garden.

    Towpath runs along the North bank and there are places where launching will be easy but not sure they're really close to the bridge. I do remember a small beach area a couple of hundred yards downstream.

  22. #22
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    Likewise, I've not tried launching there, but it might be possible. However, I think you'd have at least a few hundred yards up or down the bank before you could get in, there doesn't look to be anything by the bridge.

    Worth asking the pub, but they haven't proved particularly helpful from memory of a post somewhere, and on a busy day would possibly refuse.

    It may be telling that nobody has added the Trout as a launch point on Paddle Points, just as the pub. http://www.paddlepoints.net?PP=5332
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  23. #23

    Default

    I've launched there.. Opposite the pub. You can park on the road and walk across the field. The put in isn't perfect but ok and parking is minimal but should be ok if you're there early enough.

  24. #24

    Default

    Thank you all for the advice. We parked in the lay by to the North of the bridge last Monday. A beautiful warm summer’s day. We were on our way North from Newbury to East Yorkshire and only intended to paddle for a couple of hours. It was such a lovely spot and great weather, so we stayed out for four hours and eventually arrived home at half past eleven. This is a fantastic web site, without other members advice we would never have found such a wonderful spot. Thanks again to everyone.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Dibden Purlieu
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    Hey

    anyone know of somewhere safe in Wallingford to leave a car for five days?

    thanks
    Nath

  26. #26
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    There's a campsite (Bridge Villa) adjacent to the bridge which might be accommodating if you planned to stay a night or two but likely to charge for the other nights parking as well.

  27. #27
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    Thanks for the tip we'll give them a try on Sunday.

  28. #28
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    Bridge Villa have been pretty approachable about unusual requests when I've stayed there. Very posh showers!!! (handsfree temp control!!)

    I probably wouldn't leave my car in the car park by the bridge over night. Its not a rough area, but that bit will be isolated but visible, and I think the local souped-up Nova/Saxo brigade hang out there. If I had to leave one in a car park, I'd put it in the main car park near the town centre. This would mean walking 10 mins from the bridge get out to fetch the car.
    Covering as many malmiles as possible before being distracted by the pub!

    Paddle Points - where to paddle

  29. #29
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    As always Mal very useful thanks. I must make an effort to blog this trip.

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