Guidance

River Thames: locks and facilities for boaters

Facilities for boaters at Environment Agency lock sites on the non-tidal River Thames and the River Kennet.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic some of our services have been affected, more information is contained within the relevant sections of this page.

If you are planning to boat on the River Thames, you may also find our distances and measurements for boaters page useful.

Using the locks

There will be assisted passage at some lock sites during lock keeper hours of duty. When assisted passage is not offered, locks will be self service on public power where public power is available.

Teddington Lock also has special arrangements in place. You can find more detail on our River Thames restrictions and closures page.

Lock keepers work at Environment Agency locks to help boaters through the lock. You can also operate the lock yourself when a lock keeper is not there.

Full details of the service lock keepers offer on the River Thames are in the River Thames Customer Charter.

Lock keeper hours of duty

Month Morning Afternoon
January 9:15am to 1pm 2pm to 4pm
February 9:15am to 1pm 2pm to 4pm
March 9:15am to 1pm 2pm to 4pm
April 9am to 1pm 2pm to 5pm
May 9am to 1pm 2pm to 6pm
June 9am to 1pm 2pm to 6pm
July 9am to 1pm 2pm to 6:30pm
August 9am to 1pm 2pm to 6:30pm
September 9am to 1pm 2pm to 6pm
October 9am to 1pm 2pm to 5pm
November 9:15am to 1pm 2pm to 4pm
December 9:15am to 1pm 2pm to 4pm

Teddington Lock has a 24 hour service all year.

At all other locks, you need to operate the lock yourself when the blue ‘self service’ signs are displayed.

Operating the lock yourself

When lock keepers are not available you may work the lock yourself, at your own risk. Some locks have power, which makes them easier to operate.

Operating instructions are posted at locks. Read the operating instructions before you operate the lock.

If you are operating the lock yourself:

  • stay close to the sluice controls while the sluices are in operation
  • close the lock gates properly before slowly opening the sluices to fill or empty the lock
  • leave the lock empty and shut the gates after use - there is often a public right of way over the gates

In an emergency you should close all sluices before dealing with the situation. Emergency contact details are displayed at each lock.

Camping at lock sites

All our River Thames lock campsites remain closed.

Some Environment Agency lock sites on the River Thames have camping facilities. When planning to camp at an Environment Agency camp site, you will need to check the access routes. Many are only accessible by boat or on foot. Parking is not available at all lock camp sites.

Camping is available at the following sites between the stated dates:

  • Rushey – 1 April to 31 October
  • Shifford – Good Friday to 30 September
  • Pinkhill – 1 April to 30 September
  • Eynsham – all year
  • Days – Good Friday to 30 September
  • Hurley – 1 April to 30 September

To ask about availability, call 03708 506 506 or email WaterwaysThames@environment-agency.gov.uk. State the dates and campsite you are interested in and the number of people and tents you want to book for.

Find out about call charges.

Payment can be made on arrival at site during lock keeper hours of duty. You can pay by cash, cheque or credit or debit card.

Short stay mooring

Unless signs state otherwise, you are allowed to moor for up to 24 hours at Environment Agency short stay moorings.

You may have to pay a fee at some sites, either for mooring at any time, or after an initial free period.

Signs will usually show any applicable conditions and charges payable. By mooring, you are agreeing to them.

Call 03708 506 506 if you have any queries, including if you want to pre-book a short stay mooring. Please note, pre-booking is only available at selected locks.

Additional charges and penalties

Additional charges and penalties may apply if you do not comply with conditions of use. Penalties could include:

  • suspension of your boat registration
  • removal of your boat under court order (at the owner’s expense)

If we have issued warnings for the current river conditions that advise you not to navigate, these penalties will not apply. You should plan to move your boat from the mooring when it is safe to do so.

Where you can find Environment Agency short stay moorings

You can find short stay moorings at:

  • Lechlade - Riverside Pub
  • St John’s Lock - downstream
  • Buscot Lock - upstream
  • Shifford Lock - upstream
  • Northmoor Lock - upstream
  • Eynsham Lock - upstream
  • Eynsham Lock - downstream
  • Kings Lock - upstream
  • Kings Lock - downstream
  • Oxford - East Street
  • Iffley Lock - upstream
  • Iffley Lock - downstream
  • Sandford Lock - upstream
  • Sandford Lock - downstream
  • Abingdon Lock - upstream
  • Culham Lock - upstream
  • Clifton Lock - upstream
  • Days Lock - upstream
  • Benson Lock - upstream
  • Cleeve Lock - downstream
  • Goring Lock - upstream
  • Goring Lock - downstream
  • Goring - downstream of Goring Bridge
  • Reading - Scours Lane (moor with care - water depth variable)
  • Sonning - for 950 metres upstream of Sonning Lock (moor with care - water depth variable)
  • Shiplake Lock - upstream
  • Wargrave - opposite Lashbrook
  • Hurley Lock - downstream
  • Temple Lock - upstream
  • Marlow - downstream of Marlow Lock
  • Cookham Lock - downstream
  • Boveney - opposite Maidenhead Road
  • Boveney - downstream of Eton boathouse
  • Boveney Lock - downstream
  • Egham - towpath 620 metres upstream of Bell Weir Lock
  • Bell Weir Lock - downstream
  • Laleham - towpath between Blacksmiths Lane and Vicarage Lane
  • Weybridge - opposite Shepperton Lock Island (Weybridge Point)
  • Desborough - downstream end of Desborough Island on old river
  • Walton - towpath opposite Shepperton Marina
  • Walton - opposite Beasley’s Ait (Gridley Miskin)
  • Sunbury - Weir Hotel
  • Molesey - Hurst Park
  • Molesey Lock - upstream
  • Kingston - Railway Wharf
  • Teddington Lock - upstream

Base mooring at lock sites

If you keep, or mainly use, your boat on the River Thames you must have a proper base mooring. This is somewhere to put your boat when you are not cruising, such as a marina berth.

If you live on your boat as your only place of residence, you need to have an approved residential mooring.

The Environment Agency offers base mooring at some lock sites. None of these sites allow residential mooring.

Where you can find Environment Agency base moorings

You can find base moorings at:

  • St John’s Lock
  • Buscot Lock
  • Radcot Lock
  • Shifford Lock
  • Pinkhill Lock
  • Eynsham Lock
  • Kings Lock
  • Godstow Lock
  • Iffley Lock
  • Abingdon Lock
  • Days Lock
  • Benson Lock
  • Cleeve Lock
  • Goring Lock
  • Mapledurham Lock
  • Blakes Lock
  • Sonning Lock
  • Shiplake Lock
  • Marsh Lock
  • Hambleden Lock
  • Hurley Lock
  • Temple Lock
  • Cookham Lock
  • Bray Lock
  • Boveney Lock
  • Old Windsor Lock
  • Bell Weir Lock
  • Penton Hook Lock
  • Chertsey Lock
  • Shepperton Lock
  • Sunbury Lock
  • Molesey Lock

Apply for an Environment Agency base mooring

To apply for an Environment Agency base mooring:

Send your completed application to WaterwaysThames@environment-agency.gov.uk with ‘Thames Lock Mooring Application’ in the subject field or post to:

Thames Lock Mooring Applications
Lock Island
Shepperton
TW17 9LW

If we do not have a mooring available, we will add your details to our waiting list.

Enquiries about Environment Agency base moorings

Email WaterwaysThames@environment-agency.gov.uk for all enquiries about Environment Agency base moorings on the River Thames.

You can also telephone the Environment Agency about moorings. Call 03708 506 506 and ask to speak to the Thames Waterways team.

Find out about call charges.

Lock locations and other facilities

We have extended the cleaning contract of our public toilets until the end of May, so that they can remain open. For any sites that are not included in this contract, the public toilets will remain closed.

All showers at River Thames lock sites remain closed.

Many River Thames lock sites have additional facilities such as toilets, drinking water or waste disposal points. This list gives a guide of what is usually available. Some facilities may not be available at all times.

St John’s

Postcode: GL7 3HA

National grid reference: SU 22216 99042

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • electric charging point
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out
  • recycling facilities
  • refuse disposal

Buscot

Postcode: SN7 8DA

National grid reference: SU 23016 98092

  • toilet
  • shower

Grafton

Postcode: OX18 2RY

National grid reference: SU 27146 99233

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • shower
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)

Radcot

Postcode: SN7 8JT

National grid reference: SP 29649 00199

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)

Rushey

Buckland Marsh, Faringdon, Oxfordshire

Postcode: SN7 8RF

National grid reference: SP 32301 00075

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • shower
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out (currently unavailable)
  • recycling facilities
  • refuse disposal

Shifford

Chimney, Bampton, Oxfordshire

Postcode: OX18 2EJ

National grid reference: SP 37049 01064

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • shower
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • electric charging point

Northmoor

Postcode: OX13 5JP

National grid reference: SP 43143 02137

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • shower
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Pinkhill

Eynsham, Witney, Oxfordshire

Postcode: OX29 4JH

National grid reference: SP 44063 07130

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • shower
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Eynsham

Swinford, Witney, Oxfordshire

Postcode: OX29 4BY

National grid reference: SP 44471 08649

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • shower
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out
  • recycling facilities
  • refuse disposal

Kings

Postcode: OX2 8PY

National grid reference: SP 47901 10267

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Godstow

Postcode: OX2 8PJ

National grid reference: SP 48509 08945

No facilities.

Osney

Postcode: OX2 0AX

National grid reference: SP 50359 05861

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Iffley

Postcode: OX4 4EJ

National grid reference: SP 52574 03667

No facilities.

Sandford

Postcode: OX4 4YD

National grid reference: SP 53105 01336

Facilities include:

  • electric charging point

Abingdon

Postcode: OX14 3NW

National grid reference: SU 50646 97113

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out
  • refuse disposal

Culham

Postcode: OX14 4NE

National grid reference: SU 50767 94872

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Clifton

Postcode: OX14 3EH

National grid reference: SU 54699 94720

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Days

Little Wittenham, Abingdon, Oxfordshire

Postcode: OX14 4RB

National grid reference: SU 56882 93586

Facilities include:

  • chemical toilet disposal
  • refuse disposal

Benson

Postcode: OX10 6SL

National grid reference: SU 61303 91263

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • electric charging point

Cleeve

Postcode: RG8 0JY

National grid reference: SU 60064 81820

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)

Goring

Postcode: RG8 9AE

National grid reference: SU 59679 80876

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • electric charging point
  • recycling facilities
  • refuse disposal

Whitchurch

Postcode: RG8 7DJ

National grid reference: SU 63438 76828

No facilities.

Mapledurham

Postcode: RG8 8BE

National grid reference: SU 66759 76806

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out (currently unavailable)
  • recycling facilities
  • refuse disposal

Caversham

Postcode: RG1 8BP

National grid reference: SU 72063 74033

No facilities.

Blakes (River Kennet)

Postcode: RG1 3DS

National grid reference: SU 72735 73533

No facilities.

Sonning

Postcode: RG4 6UR

National grid reference: SU 75242 75443

Facilities include:

  • toilet

Shiplake

Postcode: RG9 3NA

National grid reference: SU 77647 78675

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • electric charging point
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out
  • refuse disposal

Marsh

Postcode: RG9 4HB

National grid reference: SU 77408 81668

No facilities.

Hambleden

Postcode: RG9 3AZ

National grid reference: SU 78206 85157

Facilities include:

  • recycling facilities (glass only)
  • refuse disposal

Hurley

Mill Lane, Hurley, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Postcode: SL6 5ND

National grid reference: SU 82692 84267

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • shower (available for overnight moorers and campers only)
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • refuse disposal

Temple

Postcode: SL7 2FL

National grid reference: SU 83717 84374

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Marlow

Postcode: SL7 1QE

National grid reference: SU 85432 86093

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Cookham

Odney Lane, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire

Postcode: SL6 9SR

National grid reference: SU 90550 85516

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • shower
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • electric charging point (currently unavailable)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • refuse disposal

Boulters

Postcode: SL6 8PE

National grid reference: SU 90285 82391

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Bray

Postcode: SL6 0EE

National grid reference: SU 91007 79769

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)

Boveney

Postcode: SL4 6QQ

National grid reference: SU 94456 77767

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • shower
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out
  • refuse disposal

Romney

Postcode: SL4 6HU

National grid reference: SU 97002 77872

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Old Windsor

Postcode: SL4 2JZ

National grid reference: SU 99494 74819

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • electric charging point

Bell Weir

Postcode: TW20 0AA

National grid reference: TQ 01727 72060

Facilities include:

  • toilet

Penton Hook

Postcode: TW18 2JA

National grid reference: TQ 04390 69487

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • refuse disposal

Chertsey

Postcode: KT16 8LD

National grid reference: TQ 05427 66839

Facilities include:

  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)

Shepperton

Postcode: TW17 9LJ

National grid reference: TQ 07364 65908

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • chemical toilet disposal

Sunbury

Postcode: KT12 2JD

National grid reference (new lock): TQ 10964 68544

National grid reference (old lock): TQ 10960 68559

Facilities include:

  • toilet (accessible)
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • chemical toilet disposal

Molesey

Postcode: KT8 9AW

National grid reference: TQ 15146 68606

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)
  • water hose (for bulk supplies)
  • electric charging point
  • chemical toilet disposal
  • sewage pump-out
  • refuse disposal

Teddington

Postcode: TW11 9NG

National grid reference (barge lock): TQ 16579 71652

National grid reference (launch lock): TQ 16624 71588

National grid reference (skiff lock): TQ 16630 71576

Facilities include:

  • toilet
  • drinking water tap (for portable containers only)

Email updates and newsletter

You can subscribe to newsletters about navigation on the River Thames and email updates on River Thames closures and restrictions.

To subscribe to this service, email riverthames@environment-agency.gov.uk with ‘subscribe’ in the subject line.

Say whether you want to subscribe to:

  • closures and restrictions emails
  • newsletter emails
  • both

We will use your personal information in line with our privacy notice.

Published 12 February 2020
Last updated 19 April 2021 + show all updates
  1. You can now buy short term boat registrations at locks. Some locks will now offer assisted passage. The cleaning contract for some toilets has been extended to the end of May. We have resumed charging for short stay moorings, sewage pump-outs and electric charging points.

  2. Facilities at Teddington Lock: Water hose (for bulk supplies) removed as this service is not available.

  3. Camping at Cookham Lock removed, facility no longer available at this site.

  4. Updates to COVID-19 information

  5. Short stay moorings: updated wording about conditions, additional charges and penalties.

  6. Short stay mooring: Information added to clarify that if you stay longer than you are allowed at an EA short stay mooring because we have issued river condition warnings that advise you not to navigate, a penalty will not apply. You should plan to move your boat from the mooring when it is safe to do so.

  7. St John's lock sewage pump out now available again

  8. Registering your boat at a lock: 7 additional lock sites will now provide this facility. Lock locations and other facilities: You can now pay for electric charging and sewage pump-out facilities at some lock sites, subject to staff availability. Toilets have been reopened at some lock sites.

  9. Removed: 'Please note that Benson Lock charging point is currently unavailable' as it has now been fixed.

  10. 5 new lock sites added where you can buy short period launch registrations and unpowered registrations when a lock keeper is on duty.

  11. The public power at Hurley Lock is now working again.

  12. Coronavirus (COVID-19) information updated as we are now offering assisted passage at all locks.

  13. Information regarding Hurley Lock on hand wind until Wed 12 August added to 'Using the locks' section.

  14. We are now able to offer assisted passage at all locks except Boulters Lock in Maidenhead, subject to staff availability. Short period and unpowered boat registrations can now be purchased at Caversham, Sonning and Teddington Locks. Information on sewage pump-out availability has been updated.

  15. Update on using the locks: Boulters and Bray locks will not offer assisted passage. All other locks have measures in place to offer assisted passage, subject to staff availability.

  16. Clarification that Visitor licences can currently be bought from Teddington Lock only. Also minor change to Camping at locksites to remove reference to 4 July which has passed.

  17. Coronavirus updates to the using the locks and lock locations and other facilities sections

  18. Assisted passage information updated: More locks may now offer assisted passage. Camping information updated: River Thames campsites will not reopen on Saturday 4 July 2020.

  19. We have started to offer assisted passage at some locks where it is safe to do so. A list of locks where assisted passage may be offered has been added to the page. This list will be updated as needed.

  20. As of 1 June 2020, normal time restrictions are in place on Environment Agency short stay moorings.

  21. Updated information about using the locks - public power has been restored at the locks that have it installed.

  22. Information about using the locks updated. Powered operation will be available at some locks. Information added about short stay moorings. Time restrictions on short stay moorings will resume from 1 June 2020.

  23. Coronavirus (COVID-19) information added: some sewage pump-outs closed. Information on how to access pump-out facilities added.

  24. Coronavirus (COVID-19) information added: some services will be restricted until further notice. We will not provide assisted passage or powered operation at locks. If you need to go through a lock, you will need to hand wind it.

  25. Corrections to list of short stay mooring sites. Added Kings Lock (downstream) and extra detail to Egham and Desborough.

  26. First published.