The River Thames is so much more than meets the (London) eye...
Surrounded by lush countryside and dotted with quaint villages, there's so much to see and do along the riverbanks of the Thames. Join your local leader on a River Thames tour from source to sea to experience England's most iconic river the Intrepid way. Whether it's kayaking along the tranquil waters, cycling through charming villages in the Cotswolds, trying your luck at punting, or enjoying some much-deserved R&R in cosy pubs after your active adventures, this is the English countryside at its best.
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Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
Now that would be telling... only kidding. Thames Head is located in a field near the village of Kemble in Gloucestershire. The springs are seasonal and you have the best chance of seeing them on a wet day or after a big downpour. The location can change slightly depending on water levels but trying to find them is half the fun, right?
Believe it or not, the River Thames is considered one of the cleanest city rivers in the world. The murky colour of the water might make you think otherwise, but the brown colour is because it’s a muddy river with a silt riverbank. The Thames was once declared biologically dead, but after changes to London’s sewage system and big cleanup efforts, it’s thriving once again with many wildlife species returning to the waters.
There are a surprising number of animals that live in the Thames. Along with over 125 species of fish including eel, trout and sole, you might also see porpoises, dolphins and seals. This hasn’t always been the case. It was only after extensive river cleanup and wildlife conservation projects that these species started to return and thrive. Above the water you’ll find mute swans, grey herons, kingfishers and coots – and of course the iconic mallard, AKA “the duck”.
The River Thames runs for 235 miles (354 kilometres) from Kemble in Gloucestershire to the North Sea in Kent. The major towns and cities it passes through include Oxford, Reading, Maidenhead, Windsor, Slough, Windsor and London.
The Thames is a popular wild swimming spot. The swimming conditions and environment generally get nicer the further west you go. Like with any wild swimming (or swimming in general) it’s important to be aware of the risks and hazards, know your limits and follow the latest safety advice. The Port of London Authority (PLA) does not recommend swimming in the tidal Thames unless you are an experienced open-water swimmer due to powerful tides and undercurrents. If you want to swim in the tidal Thames you need to register for a permit.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.
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