Walking / Cycling
Explore our blue spaces on foot or by bike. Enjoy being by the water.
Walking improves fitness, supports a health lifestyle and can help improve mood.
Whether a short stroll down to the riverside or a longer walk to see one of London’s four UNESCO-listed world heritage sites, the Thames Path National Trail provides a wealth of opportunities to explore the upper tidal Thames, central London or the wider estuary’s wildlife.
Here are some suggested walks that will help you discover the Thames:
Transport for London
- Hampton Court to Albert Bridge
- Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge
- Tower Bridge to Greenwich
- Greenwich to East India Docks
- Teddington Lock to Battersea Park
- Albert Bridge to Tower Bridge
- Tower Bridge to Thames Barrier
- Thames Barrier to River Darent
Long Distance Walkers Association
- The Saxon Shore Way begins in Gravesend, Kent and travels along the Thames Estuary before turning west to Hastings on the South Coast.
- The Thames Estuary path explores the south Essex marshes from Tilbury to Leigh-on-Sea.
Saturday Walkers Club
- Rainham to Grays: A unique walk full of surprises, mainly along the banks of the Thames.
Cycling along and near to the Thames opens up a broad range of fitness and cultural activities.
Whether a short ride along sections of the Thames Path open to cycling or part of a longer tour, there’s a wealth of opportunities to explore the explore the upper tidal Thames, central London or the wider estuary’s wildlife.
Here are some suggested cycling routes that will help you discover the Thames:
National Cycle Network
- The Thames Valley route takes you out of Central London and on to Oxford via Windsor and Reading. It’s a lovely way to explore some of the nicest landscapes in southern England. On your way, you’ll cycle through rolling green hills and parks.
- West London Thames ride begins at Kingston station, from which you follow the signs to Hampton Court. Then you are away from the traffic, following a riverside path through the grounds of one of Britain’s great historic palaces.
- Tower Bridge to Greenwich: Starting from the iconic Tower Bridge, this section of National Route 4 weaves around the River Thames through various parks to the Cutty Sark at Greenwich.
- Thamesmead to Greenwich:
This section of National Route 1 is largely traffic-free, along the Thames riverside and passing some of the tidal Thames’ key landmarks including the Thames Barrier, the O2, the Royal Naval College and the Cutty Sark in maritime Greenwich.
- Thames Cultural Cycling Tour: The 27km (16.8 mile) Thames Cultural bike tour begins at the South Bank and follows the Thames through Rotherhithe to the World Heritage Site of maritime Greenwich. The cycle route then heads north, under the Thames, to Canary Wharf before heading west through Limehouse and Wapping, over Tower Bridge and back to the South Bank.
Whatever part of the river you visit, it’s important to remember that the Thames should be respected.
If you go on the foreshore:
- Keep an eye on the tides — the river rises and falls seven metres. Download our app for live tidal information.
- Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. We suggest What Three Words for accurate location information.
- Wear sturdy shoes and be aware that the foreshore can be muddy and expose you to sewage and water-borne illness. There’s more important safety information on our foreshore permits page.
- If you see an emergency on the river, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard. Never go into the water yourself.
The Active Thames and Boating on the Thames websites are run and administered by the Port of London Authority (PLA) and have been designed to provide support to members of the public who are interested in watersports and activities. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to ensure that information provided on our website is accurate and up to date, we make no representations or guarantees, whether express or implied, as to the accuracy of the content. Therefore, users should ensure that they make their own enquiries of the information provided including coaches, their qualifications (and whether the same are up to date) and contact details as listed on the Active Thames and Boating on the Thames websites. The information and links provided by Active Thames and Boating on the Thames are for convenience only. The directory of coaches and links provided on our website may lead to external sites and any information or statements on these sites are not sponsored or endorsed by the PLA. The PLA cannot be held liable for the availability (or lack thereof) of individuals listed on or content located within any external websites.