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 April 2021

There are currently no planned river closures.

River restrictions: updated 7 May 2021

When Where What’s happening
From Tuesday 5 May 2021 Teddington Lock Teddington Lock restriction: Passage through Teddington Lock is available from 6am to 10pm. Tidal transits and general assisted passage will be offered between these times. As the self-service facility is not possible at Teddington lock, transits will not be possible through the night and from 10pm until 6am, the lock will be closed to traffic.Visiting licences are now available at the lock. Please follow social distancing guidance at the site when purchasing. They can also be purchased by phoning the Environment Agency Boat Registration team on 0330 159 1983.
Monday 12 April to Sunday 13 June 2021 Romney reach Queen Elizabeth Road bridge repair works: the navigation will be restricted by a third of the channel width beneath the road bridge for overhead works.
Tuesday 4 May to Friday 7 May and Monday 10 May to Tuesday 11 May 2021 Old Windsor reach Refurbishment of Windsor flow gauge: a 50 metre section of the river will be restricted during the stated times to allow refurbishment of the flow gauge.
Sunday 16 May 2021 1pm to 5pm Iffley reach Isis Spring League 2021: racing will be held in half hourly intervals. Whilst racing is in progress boaters may be asked to moor up and wait for a period of no longer than 15 minutes.
Thursday 20 May to Friday 21 May, Monday 24 May to Friday 28 May, and Tuesday 1 June to Friday 4 June 2021 Sunbury reach Refurbishment of Walton flow gauge: a 50 metre section of the river will be restricted during the stated times to allow refurbishment of the flow gauge.
Saturday 22 May 2021 8am to 6pm Sunbury reach Desborough Dashes 2021: the navigation will be on the old river around Desborough Island.
Saturday 29 May 2021 10:30am to 6:30pm Iffley reach Oriel Regatta 2021: there will be a navigation channel on the right, non-towpath side of the river suitable for small craft. Larger craft will travel along the race course in between races. Boaters may be asked to wait for a period of no longer than 15 minutes.
Sunday 30 May 2021 1pm to 5pm Iffley reach Isis Spring League 2021: racing will be held in half hourly intervals. Whilst racing is in progress boaters may be asked to moor up and wait for a period of no longer than 15 minutes.
June to December 2021 Godstow Lock Godstow Weir B replacement project: passage through Godstow Reach will be restricted at times between June - December 2021. This will be while we build our new weir and remove the old one.
Saturday 12 June 2021 10:30am to 4pm Teddington reach Thames Sailing Club Battle of the Thames SUP 2021: the Surrey, left hand channel of Ravens’ Ait will be closed. The navigation channel will be on the Middlesex, right hand side of the river.
Sunday 13 June 10am to 2pm Teddington reach Royal Canoe Club Royal Marathon 2021: the navigation channel will be on the Surrey, left hand side of the river.
Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July 2021 from 8am to 7pm Teddington reach Kingston Amateur Regatta 2021: the navigation channel will be on the Surrey, left hand side of the river.

Planned lock closures: updated 1 April 2021

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.

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.

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.

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Published 12 February 2020
Last updated 7 May 2021 + show all updates
  1. New notices added for RCC Royal Marathon (Sun 13 June 2021) and Kingston Amateur Regatta (Sat 10 & Sun 11 July 2021).

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

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

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

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

  6. 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).

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

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

  9. Teddington lock service update 6 April 2021.

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

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

  12. Update on Culham Lock emergency closure.

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

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

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

  16. 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.

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

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

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

  20. Flow Gauge maintenance notices temporarily removed to update.

  21. 6 new notices added for flow gauge refurbishments: Old Windsor, Sunbury, Bray, Caversham, Clifton and Pinkhill reaches.

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

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

  24. 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.

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

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

  27. Teddington restriction updated with new tier 4 information

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

  29. Date change to Days Lock closure

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

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

  32. 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.

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

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

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

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

  37. 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).

  38. 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).

  39. 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.

  40. 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).

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

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

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

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

  45. Updated notice for Culham Lock.

  46. 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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

  53. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

  59. 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.

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

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

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

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

  65. New information added for Sunbury lock navigational hazard.

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

  67. 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.

  68. New restriction information for Abingdon and Sunbury Lock.

  69. New information added for Bell Weir Lock restriction.

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

  71. 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.

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

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

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

  75. 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 .

  76. 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.

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

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

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

  80. 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.

  81. First published.