Everything you ever wanted to know about the River Thames

Facts about River Thames

The longest river entirely in England and flowing through the bustling English capital of London, the River Thames is one of the most famous waterways in the whole world and offers some interesting facts to back up this claim to fame.

Here we look at those quirky facts and figures that visitors to London will want to know when it comes to exploring the rich history of the River Thames and its impact on the local area and the country as a whole.

  • The River Thames runs for more than 210 miles from the Cotswolds to the North Sea, passing through some of England’s most popular towns and cities along the way, including Oxford, Reading, Windsor, Kingston-on-Thames and, of course, London.
  • When it comes to walking, the River Thames footpath runs for a staggering 184 miles consecutively along the course of the River Thames – making this the longest riverside walking route in the whole of Europe.
  • In total, there are 45 locks along the full length of the River Thames.
  • Henley-on-Thames is famed for its annual regatta, which first took place in 1839 and has since gone on to become one of the most popular and visited annual regattas in the whole world.
  • More than 25 species of coarse fish call the River Thames their home, meaning the river is also a popular destination for individuals keen to test their angling skills during a visit to the area.
  • An important source of inspiration for authors and artists alike, the River Thames has  featured in countless works across the years, from playing a central role in the Diary of Samuel Pepys to providing the basis for Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, written in 1908.
  • The River Thames has played a crucial role in commerce for both the capital and the south-east of England for centuries, with millions of tonnes of goods being transported along its length since the time of the Romans.
  • The famed Oxford versus Cambridge boat race first took place on the River Thames in 1829 and has since gone on to become a global spectacle, with visitors flocking to the annual event from around the world.

With all these interesting facts to find out more about, a visit to London could be just the tonic for anyone keen to experience the majesty that is the River Thames themselves, up close and in person.