River Thames conditions - advice for boaters

Page Last Updated: 1 December 2022 09:26   

Thames Map Thumbnail

Welcome to the Environment Agency's online River Thames conditions update service which displays our current advice to river users. We display warning boards at our locks to inform river users of conditions that may make navigating difficult and dangerous.

This page shows our current advice for each reach of the river between Cricklade and Teddington. We will update this information regularly when warning boards are being displayed at locks and as river conditions change.


Lechlade to Oxford Back to Map

ReachCurrent conditions
Upstream of St John's LockCaution stream increasing
St John's Lock to Buscot LockCaution stream decreasing
Buscot Lock to Grafton LockCaution stream decreasing
Grafton Lock to Radcot LockCaution strong stream
Radcot Lock to Rushey LockCaution strong stream
Rushey Lock to Shifford LockCaution stream decreasing
Shifford Lock to Northmoor LockCaution strong stream
Northmoor Lock to Pinkhill LockCaution stream decreasing
Pinkhill Lock to Eynsham LockCaution stream decreasing
Eynsham Lock to King's LockCaution stream decreasing
King's Lock to Godstow LockCaution stream decreasing
Godstow Lock to Osney LockCaution strong stream
Osney Lock to Iffley LockCaution strong stream

Oxford to Henley Back to Map

ReachCurrent conditions
Iffley Lock to Sandford LockCaution stream decreasing
Sandford Lock to Abingdon LockCaution stream decreasing
Abingdon Lock to Culham LockCaution stream decreasing
Culham Lock to Clifton LockCaution strong stream
Clifton Lock to Day's LockCaution stream decreasing
Day's Lock to Benson LockCaution stream decreasing
Benson Lock to Cleeve LockCaution stream decreasing
Cleeve Lock to Goring LockCaution strong stream
Goring Lock to Whitchurch LockCaution strong stream
Whitchurch Lock to Mapledurham LockCaution strong stream
Mapledurham Lock to Caversham LockCaution stream increasing
Upstream of Blake's LockCaution stream increasing
Caversham Lock to Sonning LockCaution strong stream
Sonning Lock to Shiplake LockCaution strong stream
Shiplake Lock to Marsh LockCaution stream decreasing
Marsh Lock to Hambleden LockCaution stream decreasing

Henley to Teddington Back to Map

ReachCurrent conditions
Hambleden Lock to Hurley LockCaution stream decreasing
Hurley Lock to Temple LockCaution stream decreasing
Temple Lock to Marlow LockCaution strong stream
Marlow Lock to Cookham LockCaution stream increasing
Cookham Lock to Boulters LockCaution stream increasing
Boulters Lock to Bray LockCaution stream increasing
Bray Lock to Boveney LockCaution stream decreasing
Boveney Lock to Romney LockNo Stream Warnings
Romney Lock to Old Windsor LockNo Stream Warnings
Old Windsor Lock to Bell Weir LockNo Stream Warnings
Bell Weir Lock to Penton Hook LockCaution stream increasing
Penton Hook Lock to Chertsey LockCaution stream increasing
Chertsey Lock to Shepperton LockCaution stream increasing
Shepperton Lock to Sunbury LockCaution stream increasing
Sunbury Lock to Molesey LockNo Stream Warnings
Molesey Lock to Teddington LockNo Stream Warnings

Information for boaters

Service updates at 09:25 on 28th November 2022 

Benson Lock - The public walkway over Benson Weir will be closed for the forseeable future due to public safety.

Shiplake Lock - The pump-out is out of service until further notice. 

Sunbury Lock - The head gate on the towpath side does not fully open and care must be taken when entering and exiting the lock. 

Hurley Lock - The public toilet facilities are unavailable.

Mapledurham Lock - The pump-out facilities are available during lock keepers hours. Tokens available from Whitchurch, Mapledurham and Caversham Locks.

Boulters Lock - The gates on the pedestal side open the majority of the way. Please be cautious when entering and exiting the lock.

Boveney Lock - The pump-out and Elsan facilities are out of service until further notice.

Marsh Head Horse Bridge The towpath bridge upstream of Marsh Lock will be closed until further notice due to safety concerns. Our operational teams and framework specialists will be inspecting the bridge to determine necessary actions to safeguard bridge users. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes.

Lock keepers’ hours of duty

We aim to offer assisted passage to our boating customers during the boating season from 1 April to 30 September. We will also provide assisted passage during the Easter bank holiday weekend and spring and autumn half terms where these fall outside the season. Each lock will be manned by a resident, relief or seasonal Lock Keeper and/or volunteers, as appropriate and, wherever possible, to provide cover for staff breaks, weir work and maintenance. There may be occasions when we are unable to achieve this due to circumstances outside of our control such as staff illness.

Out of season between the 1 October and 31 March assisted passage may be available but cannot be guaranteed.

Our Lock Service Rota can be found here: River Thames: lock keeper service.

  • July and August: 9am to 6:30pm
  • May, June and September: 9am to 6pm
  • April and October: 9am to 5pm
  • November to March: 9:15am to 4pm

One hour lunch break taken between 1pm and 2pm when cover is unavailable.

Public power is provided at locks except Teddington Lock and the beam locks upstream of Oxford. 

The levels of service will be reviewed regularly. Our staffing levels are currently reduced as a result of long term sickness absence.

Navigation markers

  • When travelling upstream keep red obstruction marker buoys on your left and green buoys on your right.
  • When travelling downstream, keep red buoys on your right and green buoys on your left.
  • Single yellow marker buoys can be passed on either side.

In all cases, pass well clear of marker buoys and take care. You should also be careful in the margins of the river and around bends where river and weather conditions have resulted in shoals and tree debris collecting and some shallows forming. 

24hr and Lock Moorings

Transient moorings are now managed by Environment Agency Lock and Weir Keepers. Notices are posted on sites and boaters should report to lock keeper on arrival to report their stay. 

Related Links

River Thames: restrictions and closures - Information about any closures and restrictions on the non-tidal River Thames.

River Thames: locks and facilities for boaters - Information about facilities for boaters at Environment Agency lock sites on the non-tidal River Thames and the River Kennet.

River and sea levels - Environment Agency service displaying the latest river and sea level data from around the country.

GaugeMap - An interactive map with flow rates, groundwater levels and other information on British and Irish rivers.

Environment Agency - River Thames boating pages including boat registration guidance and general river information.

Visit Thames - All you need to know about making more of the River Thames.

Port of London Authority (PLA) - Guidance for leisure and commercial craft wishing to navigate the tidal River Thames. Includes up to date tide information and navigation notices issued for the Port of London.

Canal and River Trust - Plan your canal cruising with the Canal and River Trust's regularly updated site.

River Wey Navigation - A tranquil waterway that runs for nearly 20 miles through the heart of Surrey and flows into the Thames near Shepperton.

River Wey Conditions - River Wey river conditions information.

Key

Caution strong stream
We advise users of all boats not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous.
Caution stream increasing
We advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to find a safe mooring. This is because river flows are likely to strengthen and red boards could be displayed very soon and without warning.
Caution stream decreasing
We advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to navigate with caution.

Floodline

This information is also available on Floodline. Call 0345 988 1188 and select option 1 for river information for boaters.

Contacts

  • Contact Name: The Environment Agency

    Tel. 03708 506 506 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm)

    E-mail: enquiries@environment-agency.gov.uk

  • Contact Name: Incident Hotline

    Tel. 0800 80 70 60 (24 hour service)

Related Links

Thames Locks MapThames Locks Map Names OverlayClick here to view current conditions for:
Lechlade to OxfordOxford to HenleyHenley to Teddington