The Thames is 215 miles long. Its source is at Thames Head, about a mile north of the village of Kemble in southern Gloucestershire, near the town of Cirencester, in the Cotswolds. Seven Springs near Cheltenham, where the river Churn rises, is also sometimes quoted as the Thames’ source, as this location is furthest from the mouth, and adds some 14 miles to the length.
The springs at Seven Springs also flow throughout the year, while those at Thames Head are only seasonal. The Thames is the longest river entirely in England, but the River Severn, which is partly in Wales, is the longest river in the United Kingdom.
The Thames flows through or alongside Ashton Keynes, Cricklade, Lechlade, Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford, Goring-on-Thames, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Marlow, Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton, Staines, Sunbury, Weybridge and Thames Ditton before entering the Greater London area. The present course is the result of several minor redirections of the main channel around Oxford, Abingdon and Maidenhead and more recently the creation of specific cuts to ease navigation. All of these places are available to start and finish a canoe and kayak trip.
We offer trips between Faringdon to London as this is where the river is suitable for canoeing and kayaking on the River Thames. Why not take a look at our Suggested Routes, look at Routes by Locks or Discover London.