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 17 July 2018

There are currently no River Thames closures.

River restrictions: updated 16 July 2018

When Where What’s happening
Monday 16 July 2018 to Friday 27 July 2018 Henley reach Deconstruction of the Henley Royal Regatta course: All boats travelling downstream must navigate within the regatta course booms from the regatta finish to the barrier. All boats travelling upstream must navigate on the right or Buckinghamshire/Fawley side of the regatta course. From Friday 20 July 2018 to Sunday 22 July 2018 the navigation channel for boats travelling both up and downstream will be along the regatta course on the left or Berks/Remenham side of the river.
Saturday 21 July 2018 from 6:45pm to 9pm Henley reach Club to pub swim: the navigation channel will be established on the Wargrave Road, left side of Bird Island and Rod Eyot.
Saturday 21 July 2018 from 9am to 3:30pm Teddington reach Hampton Court and Dittions regatta: the navigation channel will be established on the Hampton Court, right/north side of the river.
Saturday 21 July 2018 to Sunday 22 July 2018 Molesey reach Molesey Amateur regatta: the navigation channel will be established on the right, north/non-towpath side of the river.
Saturday 22 July 2018 from 0930am to 4:30pm Teddington Reach Kingston Rotary Club dragon boat event: the navigation channel will be established on the Middlesex bank, right hand side of the river.
Saturday 28 July 2018 from 6am to 6:30pm Shepperton reach Chertsey and Shepperton Regatta: the navigation channel will be established on the left, Surrey/non-towpath side of the river.
Saturday 28 July 2018 from 9am to 6:30pm Penton Hook reach Staines Amateur Regatta: The navigation channel willl be established on the left, Surrey side of the river.
Sunday 29 July 2018 from 6:30am to 8:15am Marlow Reach Marlow river swim and Marlow half iron distance triathlon: the navigation channel shall be established on the left, Bisham side of the river.
Friday 3 August 2018 from 8:30am to 4:30pm Sunbury Reach Weybridge Community Regatta: the navigation channel will be established on the old river channel at Shepperton.
Sunday 5 August 2018 from 7am to 3:30pm Henley reach Thames marathon swim: all river users are asked to keep a good look out for the swimmers, navigate slowly and with particular caution when in their vicinity and give them a wide berth.
Sunday 12 August 2018 from 10am to 5pm Bray reach Thames punting club championships: the navigation channel will be established on the Maidenhead, left side of the river.
Saturday 12 August 2018 from 9am to 6pm Molesey reach Sunbury Amateur regatta: the navigation channel will be established on the left, Surrey side of the river.
Saturday 18 August 2018 from 9am to 5pm Sunbury Reach Walton Reach Regatta: the navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right-hand side of the river.
Saturday 1 September 2018 from 10am to 4pm Henley Reach Regatta for the disabled Henley: the navigation channel will be established on the Remenham, left side of the river.
Sunday 9 September 2018 from 9am to 5pm Sunbury reach SRA Inter Club Skiff Regatta: the navigation channel will be established on the Middlesex, right hand side of the river.
Friday 20 July 2019 from 7pm to 8pm Teddington reach South London swimming club swim: the navigation channel will be established on the left, Kingston side of the river.

Planned lock closures: updated 15 May 2018

The Environment Agency carries out a programme of works on the River Thames every year between November 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 early 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.

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 17 July 2018 + show all updates
  1. Clifton Lock river closure notice removed.
  2. Removed Walton towpath 24 hour mooring suspension and out of date notices. Added Staines Amateur Regatta 26 July 2018.
  3. River closure notice for Clifton Lock updated with extended work completion date. River restrictions notices - past events removed.
  4. New notice added.
  5. Royal Canoe Club Regatta date changed from 18 August to 14 July 2018
  6. Egham Regatta river restriction notice added for Sunday 1 July The Boulter's to Bray Swim river restriction notice added for Saturday 7 July
  7. River restriction added for National Sea Scout Regatta, Chertsey and Shepperton Regatta and SRA Inter Club Skiff Regatta
  8. Restriction notice added for: Thames Valley Park Regatta and Reading Town Regatta
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. River closures notice added: 100 year flood event exercise
  12. 1 out of date event deleted and 5 new added
  13. Notice added: Marlow Town Regatta
  14. Oriel Regatta 2018 river restriction notice added
  15. 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
  16. Added new river restriction notice
  17. River restriction notice added for Phyllis Court spring time trial and river restriction removed for City of Oxford bumps which has now taken place.
  18. River restriction added: The Royal Wedding
  19. River restrictions added: Henley Royal Regatta course construction City of Oxford Bumps River restriction removed: Abingdon head of the river
  20. New notice added.
  21. Cancelled events removed.
  22. Updated with issue 4 of the River Thames lock closure programme
  23. Old notices removed.
  24. New notices added.
  25. New notices added.
  26. New notices added.
  27. New notice added.
  28. New notice added.
  29. New notices added.
  30. Issue 3 notice added.
  31. Updated October 2017.
  32. Changed date for 'Repair works to Clifton Lock Cut Bridge' notice.
  33. New notice added.
  34. New notices added.
  35. New notices added.
  36. New notices added.
  37. Added new notices.
  38. New notices added.
  39. River restrictions table has been updated
  40. river restriction table has been updated
  41. River closures section for winter cruising has been updated.
  42. river restrictions table has been updated
  43. New notices of restrictions added.
  44. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  45. New notices added.
  46. New notices added.
  47. Updated 'keep up to date' section
  48. River restrictions table updated.
  49. New notices added.
  50. river restrictions table has been updated
  51. River restrictions table updated.
  52. New notices added.
  53. River restrictions have been updated
  54. Updates section on planned lock closures.
  55. New notice added,
  56. New notices added.
  57. New notices added and issue 9 of planned lock closure programme.
  58. River restrictions have been updated
  59. New notices added.
  60. River restrictions table updated.
  61. Added issue 8 of the lock programme.
  62. River restrictions table updated.
  63. Issue 7 planned lock closures added.
  64. Planned Lock Closures updated
  65. New notices added.
  66. Issue 5 investment programme added.
  67. River closures updated.
  68. Planned lock closures: updated 10 November 2016.
  69. New notices added.
  70. Issue 3 lock investment added.
  71. New notices added.
  72. The river closure table has been updated.
  73. New notices added.
  74. Issue 2 added.
  75. River restrictions table updated.
  76. New notices added.
  77. River restrictions table updated.
  78. New notices added.
  79. River restrictions table updated.
  80. Planned lock closures: updated 17 August 2016
  81. New notices added.
  82. River restrictions and closures tables have been updated.
  83. New notices added.
  84. River closures updated.
  85. River restrictions table has been updated.
  86. New notices added.
  87. River notices table has been updated.
  88. River restrictions added for 15 July 2016 onwards.
  89. Notices added for river restrictions on 2,3 and 9 July 2016.
  90. Notices for Egham Regatta 26 June and Shiplake lock closure added.
  91. River restrictions due to Egham regatta
  92. River restrictions in place - Sunday 26 June, Egham Regatta.
  93. On Monday 27 June, boats will be unable to travel through Shiplake Lock between 7:30am and 10am.
  94. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  95. The river restrictions table has been updated.
  96. River restrictions table updated.
  97. Restrictions added for June and July 2016, including restrictions for the Royal Henley regatta.
  98. New notices added.
  99. Removed Cookham Lock power fault notice.
  100. Update to river closures table
  101. River restrictions table has been updated.
  102. Added lock closure
  103. Updated on 10 May 2016. Details of Cookham Lock operating times.
  104. Information on restrictions to operation of Cookham Lock under 'River closures'.
  105. New notice added.
  106. Updated time for Cookham power issue.
  107. New notices added.
  108. New notices added.
  109. New notice added.
  110. New notices added.
  111. Completed works updated.
  112. Updated river closures.
  113. Updates to river closures.
  114. New notices added.
  115. Issue 7 investment programme and map added.
  116. New notices added.
  117. Issue 6 added.
  118. The sunken narrowboat has now been removed. Boat passage through the Botley Road Bridge is now possible and the river is open.
  119. Investment programme number 5 added.
  120. New notice added.
  121. New notices added.
  122. New notice added.
  123. Issue 3 of River Thames Lock Investment Programme added.
  124. New notices added and old notices removed.
  125. New notices added.
  126. Planned lock closures section updated.
  127. New notices added.
  128. New notices added.
  129. New notices added.
  130. Notice added for Hampton Court and Dittons Amateur regatta river restriction 19 September.
  131. New notices added.
  132. New notices added.
  133. New investment programme notice and map added.
  134. New notices added.
  135. New notices added.
  136. New notices added.
  137. Notice on water levels added.
  138. Old notices removed.
  139. New notices added.
  140. New notices added.
  141. Reading bridge strengthening work extended until August 2015.
  142. New notices added.
  143. New notices added.
  144. New notice added.
  145. New events for July and August 2015 added.
  146. River restriction for 7 June, F3 Royal windsor swim added.
  147. New river restrictions for June and July 2015 added.
  148. Changes to the Cookham Lock restrictions.
  149. Updated section about Cookham Lock
  150. New notices added.
  151. New notices added.
  152. New notices added.
  153. New notices added.
  154. New notices added.
  155. New notice added.
  156. Updated Kingston Bridge notice to end date of July 2015.
  157. New notices added.
  158. New notices added.
  159. Work on Romney Lock in now complete. Information about closure removed.
  160. Chnged the time of closure because of the problems on the lock.
  161. Romney Lock closed until 2pm on Monday 27 April 2015
  162. New data added 24 April 2015
  163. On Monday 27 April, Romney Lock will be closed from 9am to 11am.
  164. New notice added.
  165. New notices added.
  166. New notices added.
  167. Updated 'planned lock closures' section.
  168. Updated lock closures.
  169. Old notice removed.
  170. New notices added.
  171. New notice and map added to planned lock closures section.
  172. Updated with new dates.
  173. Issue 4 of map and notices added.
  174. New notices added.
  175. New notice added.
  176. New notice added.
  177. New notice added.
  178. New notice added.
  179. New notice added.
  180. Removed old notices and added new notices.
  181. Old notices removed and new notices added.
  182. New notice added.
  183. New notices added.
  184. Updates made to planned lock closures section.
  185. Update on latest closures
  186. Updated lock closures
  187. New notice added.
  188. Old notices removed.
  189. New notices added.
  190. Updates to planned lock closures section.
  191. New notices added.
  192. New notices added.
  193. Two notices amended: Kingston railway bridge works, and Windsor railway bridge works.
  194. Old notices removed.
  195. Old notices removed.
  196. Godstow Bridge river restriction added.
  197. New river closure and river restriction added.
  198. New notice added.
  199. New notices added.
  200. Old notices removed
  201. Old notices removed.
  202. Lock closures updated for 2014 to 2015.
  203. Email address for email updates added and old notices removed.
  204. New notices added.
  205. New notices added.
  206. New notice added.
  207. Latest information on River Thame river closures now available.
  208. Restrictions added for 7 June and 8 June 2014.
  209. New notices added
  210. Updated with new notices.
  211. New notices added on 22 May 2014.
  212. New notices added on 15 May 2014.
  213. New notices added on 13 May 2014.
  214. New notices added on 8 May 2014.
  215. New notice added on 6 May 2014.
  216. New notices added on 2 May 2014.
  217. New river closure added on 23 April 2014.
  218. New information on planned lock closures for Teddington Skiff Lock and Teddington Barge Lock.
  219. New notices added on 11 April 2014.
  220. 9 April 2014: one new closure added and two new restrictions.
  221. First published.