Guidance

River Thames: restrictions and closures

Navigation on the River Thames may be restricted or closed in certain areas. Find out where and when these restrictions and closures are.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, some of our services will be restricted until further notice.

You can find more information on what services are affected by our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on our locks and facilities page.

Before boating on the River Thames, you should check the current river conditions.

River closures: updated 1 December 2021

When Where What’s happening
Saturday 4 December 2021 9:30am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:30pm Molesey reach Hampton Small Boats Head 2021: the river will be closed to traffic during the stated times. Please be aware that racing boats will assemble 500 metres downstream of Sunbury Lock half an hour before racing starts.
Saturday 12 February 2022 10am to 4pm Molesey reach Molesey Head Races 2022: the river will be closed to traffic during the stated times. Please be aware that racing boats will assemble downstream of Sunbury Lock half an hour before racing starts.

River restrictions: updated 1 December 2021

When Where What’s happening
Monday 1 November 2021 to Tuesday 19 April 2022 Osney reach, East Street Installation of coffer dam: Installation of coffer dam in river to enable inspection and reconstruction work at the façade of Oxford Old Power Station.
Monday 1 November 2021 to Tuesday 19 April 2022 Osney reach, East Street Installation of coffer dam in situ: Installation of coffer dam in situ in river to enable inspection and reconstruction work at the façade of Oxford Old Power Station.
Monday 1 November 2021 to Tuesday 19 April 2022 Osney reach, East Streeet partial suspension of moorings: Partial suspension of moorings along East Street, Oxford, during inspection and reconstruction work at the façade of Oxford Old Power Station.
Monday 1 November 2021 to Tuesday 19 April 2022 Osney reach, East Streeet removal of coffer dam:removal of coffer dam.
Sun 31 Oct 2021, Sun 28 Nov 2021, Sun 23 Jan 2022, Sun 6 Feb 2022, and Sun 20 Feb 2022 Iffley reach Isis Winter League 2021 to 2022: in between racing divisions a clear navigation channel will be in place along the centre of the river.
Monday 22 November to Friday 3 December 2021 Godstow Lock Godstow Lock shoal management 2021: river traffic will be disrupted to allow shoal management works to progress that will improve the navigable access to Godstow Lock.
Monday 29 November 2021 to Tuesday 5 April 2022 Old Windsor Lock Black Potts Railway Bridge Repairs 2021: a 50 metre section of the river will be restricted to allow overhead works to be completed.
Tuesday 30 November 2021 Caversham Lock Safety improvements to Caversham Lock 2021: traffic will be disrupted at Caversham Lock between 9:30am and 3:30pm.
Saturday 11 December 2021 9am to 4pm Sunbury reach Walton Small Boats Head 2021: the navigation channel will be on the old river and the Middlesex, right hand side of the river.
Saturday 22 January 2022 9:30am to 3pm Sunbury reach Weybridge Winter Head 2022: the navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right hand side of the river and the old river around Desborough Island.
Saturday 12 February 2022 9am to 4pm Henley reach Henley Fours and Eights Head Race 2022: the navigation channel will be along the centre of the river. All non-racing boat traffic should pass on Buckinghamshire, Fawley Court, right side of Temple Island.
Spring 2022 Godstow Lock Godstow Weir B replacement project: passage through Godstow Reach will be restricted at times during Spring 2022. This will be while we build our new weir and remove the old one.

Planned lock closures: updated 10 November 2021

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

The Environment Agency publishes the first issue of the programme in August each year. This is so that river users can plan their winter cruising and boat movements well in advance.

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 river users can keep up to date. To receive this information, sign up to the email update service.

The 2021 to 2022 investment programme lock closures commence in November 2021. Details below:

When Where What’s happening
10 January 2022 to 6 March 2022 Rushey Lock Reconstruction of chamber stairwells to incorporate a recessed egress ladder, replacement of some lock chamber fenders and undertaking partial lock side resurfacing.
4 January 2022 to 31 March 2022 Cookham Lock Replacing the lock chamber vertical rubbing timbers.
6 January 2022 to 1 March 2022 Bray Lock Replacement of lock chamber rubbing fenders, undertaking partial lock side resurfacing and improving the lock gate anchor system.
3 February to 31 March 2022 Penton Hook Lock Reconstruction of lock gate anchor points, undertaking partial lock side resurfacing and improving the emergency access to the upstream breakwater structure.
4 February 2022 to 7 April 2022 Blakes Lock Resurfacing the existing head landing path. Reconstruction of the existing canoe portages at the upstream end of the head landing as well as refurbishing the lock head bullnoses and lock gate walkways.
17 February 2022 to 21 April 2022 Goring Lock Reconstruction of access steps to tail of Lock Island, replacement head landing timber fenders and reconstruction of short stay mooring path (Thames Path).
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Romney Lock The replacement of Romney Lock chamber fenders which have exceeded their design life and require renewing. Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Hambledon Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete. Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Cookham Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete.Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Boulters Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete. Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Bray Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete. Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Boveney Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete. Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Old Windsor Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete.Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.
1 December 2021 to 31 March 2022 TBC Teddington Lock Lock hydraulic upgrade to lock site operating system to improve resilience. More site specific detail to follow after our tendering process is complete. Dates not yet available. Specific dates will be published at least 10 days before works commence.

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

Please say whether you want to subscribe to or unsubscribe from: - 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 1 December 2021 + show all updates
  1. New river restriction notice for Black Potts Railway Bridge (Mon 29 Nov 2021 - Tues 5 April 2022). Out of date notices removed.

  2. Event cancelled - Burway Rowing Club Small Boats Head 2021 (27 Nov 2021 notice removed.

  3. New notice for safety improvements at Caversham Lock (Tues 30 Nov 2021). Out of date notices removed.

  4. New restriction notice added for Weybridge Winter Head 2022 (Sat 22 Jan 2022) and closure notice for Molesey Head Races 2022 (Sat 12 Feb 2022).

  5. River closure notice added for Wallingford Head of the River (Sun 28 Nov 2021) and lock restriction notice for Godstow Lock shoal management (Mon 22 Nov to Fri 3 Dec 2021).

  6. New notices for Nephthys Regatta 2021 (Fri 19 Nov and Sat 20 Nov 2021) and Christ Church Regatta 2021 (Wed 24 to Fri 26 Nov and Sat 27 Nov 2021).

  7. Under Planned Lock Closures the last day of closure at Goring lock correct to 21 April 2022

  8. New notice added for Walton Small Boats Head 2021 (Sat 11 Dec 2021).

  9. New notice for Eynsham Lock shoal management (Mon 8 Nov - Fri 19 Nov 2021).

  10. Under Planned lock closures, start date at Cookham lock changed to 4 Jan 2022, start date at Rushey Lock postponed to 10 January 2022 until 6 March 2022 and tentative start dates at Hambledon Lock, Cookham Lock, Boulters Lock, Old Windsor Lock, Bray Lock, Boveney Lock and Teddington Lock changed tentatively to 1 Dec 2021,

  11. From 1 November 2021 Installation and later removal of coffer dam at Osney reach, East Street, Oxford - also suspension of mooring during inspection work at Oxford Old Power Station.

  12. New notices for Isis Winter League 2021 to 2022 (31 Oct 2021, 28 Nov 2021, 23 Jan 2022, 6 Feb 2022, and 20 Feb 2022), Autumn Fours 2021 (7 Nov 2021), and Burway Rowing Club Small Boats Head 2021 (27 Nov 2022).

  13. Sunbury lock repaired and emergency closure information removed.

  14. Updated Sunbury Lock closure with details on where to find assisted passage information.

  15. Notice removed - Emergency lock closure for Temple Lock.

  16. New notice for Hampton Small Boats Head 2021 (Sat 4 Oct 2021).

  17. New notice for Repairs of Maidenhead Gauging Station (Thurs 21 Oct and Fri 22 Oct 2021).

  18. New notice for Windsor Railway Bridge survey works (Tues 12 Oct - Thurs 14 Oct 2021).

  19. Emergency closure notice for Sunbury Lock added for 4 October 20221 until further notice.

  20. New notices added for Reading Small Boats Head (Sat 9 Oct 2021), Upper Thames Autumn Head (Sun 31 Oct 2021), Henley Sculls Head Race (Sat 6 Nov 2021), and Henley Fours and Eights Head Race (12 Feb 2022).

  21. Under "Planned lock closures" closure start dates amended for Rushey, Cookham, Bray and Penton Hook Lock.

  22. New notices added for Royal Outrigger Canoe Club Hampton Court Challenge (Sun 31 Oct), Kingston Small Boats Head (Sat 6 Nov), Teddington Head (Sat 20 Nov), and RCC 10@10 (Sun 28 Nov).

  23. New notices for Weybridge Silver Sculls (16 Oct. 2021) and RCC Paddling Challenge (16 Oct. 2021).

  24. Henley Music Festival restriction has been added. Past events have now been removed.

  25. New notices for Isis Sculls Head Race (Saturday 11 September) and Wallingford Distance Long Sculls (Saturday 25 September).

  26. New notice for repair works to Tadpole Bridge - Sunday 12 Sept. to Friday 17 Sept. 2021.

  27. New notices for Conquer the Chilterns (Sun 29 Aug 2021) and Abingdon Dragon Boat Racing (Sun 12 Sept 2021).

  28. Removed notice for The Skiff Club Regatta (4 September 2021) as the event has been cancelled.

  29. Under Planned Lock Closures details given for the 2021 to 2022 investment programme lock closures starting in November 2021.

  30. New notices for the Thames Traditional Boat Festival (Tues 24 Aug to Tues 31 Aug 2021) and a multi agency Water Rescue Exercise (Sun 12 Sept 2021).

  31. New notice for The Skiff Club Regatta - Sat 4 September 2021.

  32. Out of date notices removed.

  33. New notice for Henley Royal Regatta practice (Mon 9 Aug - Wed 11 Aug 2021).

  34. New notice for Swim Oxford 10km Swim (Sun 25 July 2021).

  35. New notice for Henley Royal Regatta - Wed 11 August to Sun 15 August 2021.

  36. New notice for the Maidenhead Lions Club Duck Derby (Sun 19 Sept 2021).

  37. New notices for Goring and Streatley Regatta 2021 (Sat 17 July 2021) and Reading Festival temporary bridge (Thurs 19 August and Mon 6 September 2021). Old notices removed.

  38. New notice for Club to Pub Swim 2021 - Sat 24 July 2021.

  39. New date for Caversham Lock safety improvements - Monday 26 July 2021.

  40. Caversham Lock safety improvements to be rescheduled - new date to be confirmed.

  41. New notice for safety improvements to Caversham Lock - Thursday 22 July 2021.

  42. River restrictions: Godstow Weir B replacement moved to Spring 2022.

  43. River closures: Blakes Lock now reopened.

  44. Emergency closure of Blake's Lock due to pollution incident on the River Kennet (Fri 18 June 2021) - new notice added

  45. New notices for the following: Molesey Amateur Regatta (17 &18 July 2021), Royal Canoe Club Royal Sprint Regatta (24 July 2021), Weybridge Community Regatta (6 August 2021), and Walton Reach Regatta (21 August 2021).

  46. New notice added for Safety improvements to Cookham Lock (Tues 22 - Thurs 24 June 2021).

  47. New notice for restrictions between Old Windsor Lock and Boveney Lock (Sat 12 June and Sun 13 June 2021) and new date for Oriel Regatta (Sat 19 June 2021).

  48. New notices for: Henley Classic Swim (27 June), Henley Women's Regatta (2 July to 4 July), Henley Masters Regatta (9 and 10 July), Henley Town and Visitor's Regatta (31 July).

  49. Updated notices for the refurbishment of Sutton Courtenay, Maidenhead, and Reading Bridge flow gauges.

  50. New notice for Rowing On and Summer Eights (Sat 5 June and Tues 8 - Fri 11 June 2021).

  51. New notices for the following: Single Kayak Marathon (Wed 16 June), Kayak Sprints (Thurs 17 June), K2 Marathon (Fri 18 June), Marlow Town Regatta (Sat 26 June), Fugitive Marathon (Sun 4 July), Maidenhead Rowing Club Regatta (Sat 7 Aug), and Cookham Regatta (Sat 4 Sept).

  52. Notice for Oriel Regatta on Saturday 29 May 2021 removed due to cancellation.

  53. New notice for HRR course construction (Thurs 20 May to Sun 8 August 2021).

  54. New notices added for Reading Water Fest (Wed 16 June - Mon 21 June 2021) and Henley Swim Festival (Sun 11 July 2021).

  55. Under River restrictions, full 24hr service resuming at Teddington lock from 18 May 2021

  56. New notices added for RCC Royal Marathon (Sun 13 June 2021) and Kingston Amateur Regatta (Sat 10 & Sun 11 July 2021).

  57. Edited River Restrictions under Teddington lock to show that Visiting licences are now available at the lock.

  58. New notices added for Isis Spring League (Sun 16 & Sun 30 May 2021) and Oriel Regatta (Sat 29 May 2021).

  59. Under River Thames restrictions, amended to show that passage through Teddington Lock is currently available from 6am to 10pm.

  60. Under River Thames restrictions, clarified that passage through Teddington Lock is currently available from 9am to 10pm.

  61. New notices added for Desborough Dashes (Sat 22 May 2021), Godstow Weir B replacement project (June - Dec 2021), and Battle of the Thames SUP (Sat 12 June 2021).

  62. New notice added for restrictions between Old Windsor Lock and Boveney Lock - Mon 12 April to Sun 18 April 2021.

  63. New notice for Queen Elizabeth Road Bridge works - Mon 12 April to Sun 13 June 2021.

  64. Teddington lock service update 6 April 2021.

  65. River closures: There are currently no planned river closures. Planned lock closures: The programme of works for 2020 to 2021 has been completed.

  66. Revised dates for Walton and Windsor flow gauge works.

  67. Update on Culham Lock emergency closure.

  68. New restriction notice for Cookham lock improvements - Mon 29 March to Thurs 1 April 2021.

  69. New notice for Maidenhead Railway Bridge repairs - Wed 17 March to Fri 2 April 2021.

  70. Emergency lock closure notices added - Molesey Lock on Tuesday 23 March 2021.

  71. New notice for Whitchurch Lock maintenance on Friday 26 March 2021. Updated notices for the following flow gauge refurbishment: Maidenhead, Reading Bridge, Sutton Courtenay, Windsor and Walton.

  72. River Closures updated with details of emergency closure of Culham Lock for repair to failed hydraulic system

  73. New river closure notice for recovery of a submerged vehicle in the Molesey reach - Wednesday 10 March.

  74. Under Planned Lock Closures, end dates extended for Cookham, Abingdon and Days Locks.

  75. Flow Gauge maintenance notices temporarily removed to update.

  76. 6 new notices added for flow gauge refurbishments: Old Windsor, Sunbury, Bray, Caversham, Clifton and Pinkhill reaches.

  77. Whitchurch Lock maintenance work delayed due to high river levels - new date Wed 24 Feb 2021.

  78. New notice for Whitchurch Lock maintenance - Mon 8 Feb 2021.

  79. Lock closure end dates at Abingdon, Cookham and Molesey locks extended This is due to necessary additions to the work on site which has delayed contractors. Also work has been impacted by recent high flows red board status on the Thames.

  80. New lock closure notice for Temple Lock drainage works - Thursday 28 January 2021.

  81. Henley Fours and Eights Head Race 2021 cancelled and notice removed - Saturday 13 Feb 2021.

  82. Teddington restriction updated with new tier 4 information

  83. New notice added for essential maintenance at Boveney Lock on January 14 2021.

  84. Date change to Days Lock closure

  85. New notice added for Old Windsor Lock maintenance on Wednesday 2 December 2020. Out of date notices removed.

  86. Refurbishment of Windsor flow gauge and Sutton Courtenay flow gauge postponed due to river conditions - notices removed. Out of date notices removed.

  87. Under Planned Lock Closures, work at Northmoor Lock postponed and Abingdon Lock closure work changed to later dates of 23 November 2020 to 12 February 2021.

  88. Henley Sculls cancelled (7 November 2020) - notice removed. Out of date notices removed.

  89. Kingston Small Boats Head (Nov 7) and Teddington Head (14 Nov) have been cancelled.

  90. Changes to the planned lock closures dates for Days, Abingdon and Cookham locks.

  91. New lock closure notice added for de-silting of Whitchurch Lock gates - Wednesday 4 November 2020. Notice for Culham Lock bridge repairs removed.

  92. New notices added for the refurbishment of Windsor flow gauge (Mon 30 Nov - Mon 14 Dec 2020) and Sutton Courtenay flow gauge (Mon 14 Dec 2020 - Fri 8 Jan 2021).

  93. New notices added for Royal Outrigger Canoe Club Hampton Court Challenge (Sun 25 Oct), Kingston Small Boats Head (Sat 7 Nov), and Teddington Head (Sat 14 Nov).

  94. Teddington Lock restriction notice added for October. Passage through Teddington Lock is currently available from 7am to 9pm. We will only be offering transits between these times. If you are planning a tidal journey that relies on the state of the tide, please make sure you plan your transit between these hours.

  95. Information added about lock closures for engineering surveys (Mon 2 Nov - Tues 24 Nov 2020) Updated notice added for Culham Lock Cut bridge repairs: works extended for 1 week (now finishing on Fri 9 Oct 2020).

  96. New notice for Weybrigde Silver Sculls (17 Oct. 2020).

  97. Planned lock closures: amended dates of closure of Abingdon and Molesey locks. Added closure of Northmoor Lock.

  98. New notice for Royal Canoe Club Paddling Challenge 2020 (Sat 17 Oct).

  99. Passage through Teddington Lock is available from 7am to 9pm. Tidal transits only possible between these times until 30 September.

  100. Updated notice for Culham Lock.

  101. Under Planned Lock Closures - Details of the first issue of the planned winter Thames lock closures for 2020 to 2021 starting 2 November 2020. Also clarification at top of page that some of our services will be restricted until further notice due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

  102. New notice for Culham Lock Cut bridge repairs - Tues 1 September to Fri 2 October (Mon - Fri only).

  103. New urgent river closure for Saturday 8 August - Port Meadow, Oxford.

  104. New notice for Conquer the Chilterns (Sat 19 to Sun 20 Sept. 2020).

  105. Updated information on assisted passage: Assisted passage is now offered, subject to staff availability, at all locks except Boulters Lock in Maidenhead.

  106. New restriction notices for Teddington Lock for August 2020 and Henley Swim 2020 (Fri 28 and Sat 29 August).

  107. New notice for Teddington Lock (Wed 1 July - Fri 31 July 2020).

  108. We have started to offer assisted passage at some locks where it is safe to do so. A link has been added to the page for the list of locks where assisted passage may be offered.

  109. New notice for Sonning reach (Mon 8 June) and updated information regarding Teddington Lock restrictions (Mon 8 June).

  110. New notice for Sunbury Lock closure - Sat 6 June 2020.

  111. River closure notice added for Sonning reach from Thursday 4 June until further notice.

  112. New notices added for Molesey Lock chamber assessment works - Mon 22 to Tues 23 June 2020.

  113. Boating by all types of vessel can resume on the non-tidal River Thames. Information on restrictions updated.

  114. Dates of closure in Boveney reach changed to Fri 29 May to Mon 1 June 2020 and Fri 5 June to Mon 8 June 2020.

  115. Latest information regarding lock and reach restrictions due to coronavirus.

  116. Coronavirus summary updated. No update to the detailed notice at this time.

  117. Latest information on lock and river restrictions: fallen tree blocking Marsh Lock has now been removed. Debris blocking Bell Weir has been removed but passage still currently by arrangement only - see notice for more info.

  118. Latest information on lock and river restrictions: Osney, Sandford and Abingdon Locks now back on handwind. Fallen tree at Temple Lock - navigate with care. Bell Weir Lock is closed due to jammed debris.

  119. Update on Sunbury Lock hazard and new info for Osney Lock mechanical failure.

  120. New information added for Sunbury lock navigational hazard.

  121. New info added for Iffley reach obstruction and Sandford Lock.

  122. New closure notices added for the M4 Smart Motorway construction - Sat 30 May to Sun 31 May 2020, Sat 6 June to Sun 7 June 2020 and contingency dates on Sat 13 June to Sun 14 June 2020.

  123. New restriction information for Abingdon and Sunbury Lock.

  124. New information added for Bell Weir Lock restriction.

  125. New restriction notice in line with Government restrictions due to Coronavirus.

  126. Coronavirus (COVID-19) information added: hazards in the river may not be marked. The Environment Agency is unable to mark or remove hazards until further notice.

  127. Emergency lock closure notice added for Sunbury Lock (Fri 6 March 2020 until further notice).

  128. Teddington lock closure notice removed - Teddington Lock is now open.

  129. New lock closure notice for Teddington Lock (Wed 26 Feb until further notice).

  130. Under River closures, Reading University Head of the River Race due to take place on Saturday 29 March has been cancelled due to river conditions and details withdrawn .

  131. River restriction for Burway Rowing Club Head (Saturday 22 February 2020) removed due to cancellation of the event. River closure for Kingston Head of the River race (Saturday 29 February 2020) changed due to change of time.

  132. New notices added for Phyllis Court Club Spring Time Trial (Sun 5 April 2020) and Cookham Regatta (Sat 5 Sept 2020).

  133. New emergency closure notice for Marsh Lock from Tuesday 18 February 2020 until further notice.

  134. New closure notice for Reading University Head of the River Race on Saturday 29 February 2020.

  135. Hambledon and Rushey lock closure end date extended to 31 March 2020 due to bad weather conditions delaying the contractor work. Sandford, Shifford and Whitchurch lock work completed at end of January so removed from list.

  136. First published.