Guidance

River Thames conditions, closures, restrictions and lock closures

River closures, restrictions and lock closures affecting boaters on the River Thames.

River conditions

Find out the latest river conditions and strong stream warnings by:

River closures: updated 19 October 2018

When Where What’s happening
Saturday 17 November 2018 from 10am to 12pm and 1:30pm to 3:30pm Teddington reach Teddington Head: the River Thames between Hampton Court Bridge and the head of Trowlock Island will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats.
Saturday 24 November 2018 from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm Molesey reach Hampton Small Boats Head: the River Thames between 500 meters downstream of Sunbury Lock to 500 meters downstream of Platt’s Eyot will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats.
Friday 30 November 2018 from 9am to 5pm Kings Lock Kings Lock: lock gate beams replacement: Kings Lock will be closed to all boats due to the lock gate beams being replaced.
Saturday 2 February 2019 from 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm Molesey reach Hampton Small Boats Head: the River Thames between 500 meters downstream of Sunbury Lock to 500 meters downstream of Platt’s Eyot will be closed to all traffic other than authorised boats.

River restrictions: updated 12 November 2018

When Where What’s happening
Wednesday 17 October 2018 until further notice Windsor reach Fallen tree 50 metres upstream of Windsor and Eton footbridge: passage is still possible through the centre arch of Windsor and Eton Footbridge with extreme care and caution.
Monday 29 October 2018 until Sunday 31 March 2019 Culham reach Culham Lock tail layby refurbishment works: the navigation layby downstream of Culham Lock, below the road bridge, is being refurbished. The lock will remain open during these works but river users please be aware of construction plant, for example barges, next to the tail layby downstream of the road bridge and proceed with caution when approaching or leaving the lock.
Friday 16 November 2018 from 1pm to 4:30pm and Saturday 17 November 2018 from 9:30am to 4:30pm Iffley reach Nephthys Regatta: in between races a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.
Wednesday 21 to Friday 23 November 2018 from midday to 4:30pm and Saturday 24 November 2018 from 11am to 4:30pm Iffley reach: Folly Bridge to Iffley Lock Christ Church regatta 2018: Regatta boards will mark the upstream and downstream extent of the course. In between races a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.
Sunday 25 November 2018, from 1pm to 5pm Iffley reach Isis Winter League: in between racing divisions a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.
Sunday 20 January 2019, from 1pm to 5pm Iffley reach Isis Winter League: in between racing divisions a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.
Sunday 3 February 2019, from 1pm to 5pm Iffley reach Isis Winter League: in between racing divisions a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.
Saturday 16 February 2019 from 9am to 4pm Henley reach Henley Fours and Eights Head Race: the navigation channel will be established along the centre of the river.
Sunday 17 February 2019, from 1pm to 5pm Iffley reach Isis Winter League: in between racing divisions a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.

Planned lock closures: updated 16 November 2018

The Environment Agency carries out a programme of works on the River Thames every year between October and Easter. This often results in the closure of a number of locks for relatively long periods.

So that river users can plan their winter cruising and boat movements well in advance, the Environment Agency publishes the first issue of their programme of works in August each year.

This programme of work is subject to change, due to weather and other circumstances. Revised issues of the programme of works are published throughout the winter, so customers can keep up to date. To receive this information, sign up to the email update service by emailing riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk.

Listed below are the locks that will be closed during the 2018 to 2019 investment programme. The locks will be closed from the first date listed and re-open on the day after the final date:

When Where What’s happening
29 October 2018 to 1 March 2019 Molesey Lock Replacing the timber sheeting on the face of each lock gate.
29 October 2018 to 15 March 2019 Teddington Lock (Launch) Refurbishing the lock chamber concrete walls and replacing the lock side rubbing timbers and bollards. River users will still be able to navigate through the Barge Lock.
1 December 2018 to 1 March 2019 Rushey Lock Replacing the timber sheeting on the face of each lock gate.
7 January 2019 to 10 February 2019 Cookham Lock Refurbishing the concrete sill of the tail lock gates.
7 January 2019 to 15 March 2019 Caversham Lock Refurbishing the lock chamber concrete walls and timber edging. Replacing the wet boat shed roller shutter doors upstream of the lock.

Here is a map showing the above closures.

Keep up to date

Get the latest river information before you go boating. Call the Environment Agency Floodline on 0345 988 1188 and select option 1 for river information for boaters. When prompted enter one of the quick dial numbers below for the area of the river you want to hear about:

Quick dial codes Area Description
415000 Upstream of St John’s Lock to Radcot Lock St John’s to Radcot locks, including Buscot and Grafton locks
415001 Rushey to Godstow Lock Rushey to Godstow locks, including Shifford, Northmoor, Pinkhill, Eynsham and Kings locks
415002 Osney to Iffley Lock Osney to Iffley locks only
415003 Sandford to Clifton Lock Sandford to Clifton locks, including Abingdon, and Culham locks
415004 Day’s to Mapledurham Lock Day’s to Mapledurham locks, including Benson, Cleeve, Goring and Whitchurch locks
415005 Caversham to Shiplake Lock Caversham to Shiplake locks, including Sonning Lock
415006 Marsh to Boveney Lock Marsh to Boveney locks, including Hambleden, Hurley, Temple, Marlow, Cookham, Boulters and Bray locks
415007 Romney to Bell Weir Lock Romney to Bell Weir locks, including Old Windsor Lock
415008 Penton Hook to Chertsey Lock Penton Hook to Chertsey locks only
415009 Shepperton to Teddington Lock Shepperton to Teddington locks, including Sunbury and Molesey locks
415010 River Kennet upstream of Blake’s Lock River Kennet for upstream of Blake’s Lock and down to the confluence with the River Thames

Find out about call charges.

Email

The Environment Agency sends email updates on River Thames closures and restrictions. To subscribe to this service, email riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk with ‘subscribe to harbourmaster’s notices’ in the subject line.

Know your river conditions

Any river activity poses a greater risk when there are strong currents, high river levels or cold weather conditions. River flows can increase even during the summer months – never assume sunny weather means the conditions are not hazardous.

Warning boards may be displayed at locks to inform river users of the conditions. Read the explanations of what these mean for you. Don’t take risks and never underestimate the power of the river.

When these red boards are displayed on lock gates, we advise users of all boats not to navigate because the strong flows make it difficult and dangerous.

People in hire boats arriving at a lock where these boards are displayed should stop immediately and contact their hire boat operator to ask for instructions.

Strong stream warning
Strong stream warning

When these yellow boards are displayed on lock gates, 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 further warning.

Stream increasing warning
Stream increasing warning

When these yellow boards are displayed on lock gates, we advise users of all unpowered boats not to navigate and users of powered boats to navigate with caution.

Stream decreasing warning
Stream decreasing warning

Dealing with changing river conditions

Read this section carefully to find out what to do if you find yourself in conditions where we advise you to stop navigating. Remember, not all conditions will be serious enough to require all the measures suggested below.

  1. Please take the advice to stop. Even the most experienced boater can be caught out, so think about those who could be put in danger if they have to help you.
  2. Moor your boat in a safe place, preferably in a marina or at a recognised mooring. Limited space may be available at some locks. Moor against high banks if you can.
  3. Ensure your mooring lines are fastened to secure fixings such as bollards, rings or even trees; put out extra lines for additional security and allow enough slack for a further rise in river levels; don’t rely on your own mooring pins or stakes, they might not hold.
  4. If possible, put extra fendering (eg scaffold poles or strong timber posts) between your boat and the bank side, to prevent your boat drifting onto the river bank and becoming caught up when levels drop.
  5. Make sure you have a safe exit ashore from your boat. If not, you should consider returning home or finding alternative accommodation until conditions improve.
  6. If you are running low on essential supplies or have other safety concerns and are not able to vacate your boat safely, treat this as an emergency and dial 999 to ask for evacuation.
  7. Those in hire boats: if you are advised to stop navigating, you should stop immediately and contact your hire boat operator and follow their instructions.

Please remember your life is more important than your boat

The Environment Agency does not provide emergency services and is not able to carry out search and rescue, or provide supplies to stranded boats.

Published 1 April 2014
Last updated 21 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Closure notice added for Kings Lock: lock gate beams replacement - Friday 30 November 2018
  2. Planned lock closures list updated regarding Molesey lock closure extension
  3. Blakes lock diving survey: Thames river restriction notice for 14 November 2018
  4. Planned Lock Closures updated with Issue 2 information and map
  5. Culham lock tail layby refurbishment works, starting 29 October 2018, River restriction notice added
  6. River closure notices added for Hampton Small Boats Head, Kingston Small Boats Head and Teddington Head and river restriction notices added for Henley Fours and Eights Head Race and Henley Sculls Head Race
  7. Notices added for Fallen tree in Windsor reach, Weybridge Silver Skulls, Isis Winter League, Autumn Fours and Nephthys Regatta.
  8. Christ Church Regatta river restriction notice at Iffley Reach for 21 to 24 November added
  9. New river restriction notice added for Friday 12 October: The Royal Wedding - Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank.
  10. Date change from 2 October to 3 October for the Marlow Weir car removal restriction.
  11. Fixed faulty link problem.
  12. Marlow reach river restriction notice for 2 October 2018 added. Out of date river closure and river restriction notices removed
  13. New notices added.
  14. New river closure notice for 25 September 2018 at Marlow Reach. Removed out of date river restriction notices
  15. Restriction notice for Isis Sculls head race at Iffley Reach on Saturday 15 September added. Restriction notice for Dittons Skiff and Punting Club Regatta at Teddington reach on Saturday 15 September added. Removed out of date notices.
  16. Skiff Club Regatta on 1 September 2018. The navigation channel will be established on the Lensbury Club and Tamesis Sailing Club on the Teddington, left hand side of the river (changed from right hand side). Also out of date notices removed.
  17. Add details of Issue 1 notice of Lock Closure Investment programme Remove out of date river restriction notices
  18. Notice added: Maidenhead Rowing Club Annual Regatta
  19. Long Reach swim and Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper dragon boat racing added Duplication of Skiff Championship Regatta event removed
  20. Wargrave and Shiplake Regatta and Shiplake Regatta Swim added Oxford City Royal Regatta added Long Reach Swim added Out of date notices removed
  21. Added: Multi Agency Exercise - Emergency river restriction notice - 30 July to 3 August 2018 Wraysbury and Old Windsor Regatta - 4 August 2018. Skiff Club Regatta added - 1 September 2018 Removed: all out of date notices
  22. River restriction information added for Henley Town and Visitor's Regatta, Hurley Regatta, The Skiff Championships Regatta, Cookham Regatta and Phyllis Court Club autumn time trial.
  23. Clifton Lock river closure notice removed.
  24. Removed Walton towpath 24 hour mooring suspension and out of date notices. Added Staines Amateur Regatta 26 July 2018.
  25. River closure notice for Clifton Lock updated with extended work completion date. River restrictions notices - past events removed.
  26. New notice added.
  27. Royal Canoe Club Regatta date changed from 18 August to 14 July 2018
  28. Egham Regatta river restriction notice added for Sunday 1 July The Boulter's to Bray Swim river restriction notice added for Saturday 7 July
  29. River restriction added for National Sea Scout Regatta, Chertsey and Shepperton Regatta and SRA Inter Club Skiff Regatta
  30. Restriction notice added for: Thames Valley Park Regatta and Reading Town Regatta
  31. River restriction added for: London River Yacht Club and Weybridge Mariners Yacht Club Boat Handling Competition, South London Swimming club, Hampton Court and Dittons regatta, Molesey Amateur regatta and Sunbury Amateur regatta.
  32. River closures notices added for Reading Water Fest. River restriction notices added for: Henley Royal regatta practice and Henley Women's regatta, Reading Amateur regatta, Oxford swim, Henley classic swim, Henley Royal Regatta, Henley Music Festival, Henley Masters regatta and the Henley Mile swim, Henley Mile swim, Deconstruction of the Henley Royal regatta course, Club to pub swim, Thames marathon swim, Thames punting club championships.
  33. River closures notice added: 100 year flood event exercise
  34. 1 out of date event deleted and 5 new added
  35. Notice added: Marlow Town Regatta
  36. Oriel Regatta 2018 river restriction notice added
  37. River restriction notices added for: Kingston Dragon boat event, Marlow river swim and Marlow half iron distance triathlon, Weybridge Community Regatta and Regatta for the disabled Henley
  38. Added new river restriction notice
  39. River restriction notice added for Phyllis Court spring time trial and river restriction removed for City of Oxford bumps which has now taken place.
  40. River restriction added: The Royal Wedding
  41. River restrictions added: Henley Royal Regatta course construction City of Oxford Bumps River restriction removed: Abingdon head of the river
  42. New notice added.
  43. Cancelled events removed.
  44. Updated with issue 4 of the River Thames lock closure programme
  45. Old notices removed.
  46. New notices added.
  47. New notices added.
  48. New notices added.
  49. New notice added.
  50. New notice added.
  51. New notices added.
  52. Issue 3 notice added.
  53. Updated October 2017.
  54. Changed date for 'Repair works to Clifton Lock Cut Bridge' notice.
  55. New notice added.
  56. New notices added.
  57. New notices added.
  58. New notices added.
  59. Added new notices.
  60. New notices added.
  61. River restrictions table has been updated
  62. river restriction table has been updated
  63. River closures section for winter cruising has been updated.
  64. river restrictions table has been updated
  65. New notices of restrictions added.
  66. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  67. New notices added.
  68. New notices added.
  69. Updated 'keep up to date' section
  70. River restrictions table updated.
  71. New notices added.
  72. river restrictions table has been updated
  73. River restrictions table updated.
  74. New notices added.
  75. River restrictions have been updated
  76. Updates section on planned lock closures.
  77. New notice added,
  78. New notices added.
  79. New notices added and issue 9 of planned lock closure programme.
  80. River restrictions have been updated
  81. New notices added.
  82. River restrictions table updated.
  83. Added issue 8 of the lock programme.
  84. River restrictions table updated.
  85. Issue 7 planned lock closures added.
  86. Planned Lock Closures updated
  87. New notices added.
  88. Issue 5 investment programme added.
  89. River closures updated.
  90. Planned lock closures: updated 10 November 2016.
  91. New notices added.
  92. Issue 3 lock investment added.
  93. New notices added.
  94. The river closure table has been updated.
  95. New notices added.
  96. Issue 2 added.
  97. River restrictions table updated.
  98. New notices added.
  99. River restrictions table updated.
  100. New notices added.
  101. River restrictions table updated.
  102. Planned lock closures: updated 17 August 2016
  103. New notices added.
  104. River restrictions and closures tables have been updated.
  105. New notices added.
  106. River closures updated.
  107. River restrictions table has been updated.
  108. New notices added.
  109. River notices table has been updated.
  110. River restrictions added for 15 July 2016 onwards.
  111. Notices added for river restrictions on 2,3 and 9 July 2016.
  112. Notices for Egham Regatta 26 June and Shiplake lock closure added.
  113. River restrictions due to Egham regatta
  114. River restrictions in place - Sunday 26 June, Egham Regatta.
  115. On Monday 27 June, boats will be unable to travel through Shiplake Lock between 7:30am and 10am.
  116. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  117. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  118. River restrictions table updated.
  119. Restrictions added for June and July 2016, including restrictions for the Royal Henley regatta.
  120. New notices added.
  121. Removed Cookham Lock power fault notice.
  122. Update to river closures table
  123. River restrictions table has been updated.
  124. Added lock closure
  125. Updated on 10 May 2016. Details of Cookham Lock operating times.
  126. Information on restrictions to operation of Cookham Lock under 'River closures'.
  127. New notice added.
  128. Updated time for Cookham power issue.
  129. New notices added.
  130. New notices added.
  131. New notice added.
  132. New notices added.
  133. Completed works updated.
  134. Updated river closures.
  135. Updates to river closures.
  136. New notices added.
  137. Issue 7 investment programme and map added.
  138. New notices added.
  139. Issue 6 added.
  140. The sunken narrowboat has now been removed. Boat passage through the Botley Road Bridge is now possible and the river is open.
  141. Investment programme number 5 added.
  142. New notice added.
  143. New notices added.
  144. New notice added.
  145. Issue 3 of River Thames Lock Investment Programme added.
  146. New notices added and old notices removed.
  147. New notices added.
  148. Planned lock closures section updated.
  149. New notices added.
  150. New notices added.
  151. New notices added.
  152. Notice added for Hampton Court and Dittons Amateur regatta river restriction 19 September.
  153. New notices added.
  154. New notices added.
  155. New investment programme notice and map added.
  156. New notices added.
  157. New notices added.
  158. New notices added.
  159. Notice on water levels added.
  160. Old notices removed.
  161. New notices added.
  162. New notices added.
  163. Reading bridge strengthening work extended until August 2015.
  164. New notices added.
  165. New notices added.
  166. New notice added.
  167. New events for July and August 2015 added.
  168. River restriction for 7 June, F3 Royal windsor swim added.
  169. New river restrictions for June and July 2015 added.
  170. Changes to the Cookham Lock restrictions.
  171. Updated section about Cookham Lock
  172. New notices added.
  173. New notices added.
  174. New notices added.
  175. New notices added.
  176. New notices added.
  177. New notice added.
  178. Updated Kingston Bridge notice to end date of July 2015.
  179. New notices added.
  180. New notices added.
  181. Work on Romney Lock in now complete. Information about closure removed.
  182. Chnged the time of closure because of the problems on the lock.
  183. Romney Lock closed until 2pm on Monday 27 April 2015
  184. New data added 24 April 2015
  185. On Monday 27 April, Romney Lock will be closed from 9am to 11am.
  186. New notice added.
  187. New notices added.
  188. New notices added.
  189. Updated 'planned lock closures' section.
  190. Updated lock closures.
  191. Old notice removed.
  192. New notices added.
  193. New notice and map added to planned lock closures section.
  194. Updated with new dates.
  195. Issue 4 of map and notices added.
  196. New notices added.
  197. New notice added.
  198. New notice added.
  199. New notice added.
  200. New notice added.
  201. New notice added.
  202. Removed old notices and added new notices.
  203. Old notices removed and new notices added.
  204. New notice added.
  205. New notices added.
  206. Updates made to planned lock closures section.
  207. Update on latest closures
  208. Updated lock closures
  209. New notice added.
  210. Old notices removed.
  211. New notices added.
  212. Updates to planned lock closures section.
  213. New notices added.
  214. New notices added.
  215. Two notices amended: Kingston railway bridge works, and Windsor railway bridge works.
  216. Old notices removed.
  217. Old notices removed.
  218. Godstow Bridge river restriction added.
  219. New river closure and river restriction added.
  220. New notice added.
  221. New notices added.
  222. Old notices removed
  223. Old notices removed.
  224. Lock closures updated for 2014 to 2015.
  225. Email address for email updates added and old notices removed.
  226. New notices added.
  227. New notices added.
  228. New notice added.
  229. Latest information on River Thame river closures now available.
  230. Restrictions added for 7 June and 8 June 2014.
  231. New notices added
  232. Updated with new notices.
  233. New notices added on 22 May 2014.
  234. New notices added on 15 May 2014.
  235. New notices added on 13 May 2014.
  236. New notices added on 8 May 2014.
  237. New notice added on 6 May 2014.
  238. New notices added on 2 May 2014.
  239. New river closure added on 23 April 2014.
  240. New information on planned lock closures for Teddington Skiff Lock and Teddington Barge Lock.
  241. New notices added on 11 April 2014.
  242. 9 April 2014: one new closure added and two new restrictions.
  243. First published.