Thames trips

Kayakers should have a good mix of skills, experience and fitness. Paddling regularly on the Thames is a good way to acquire this. We paddle all year round. We are currently running sessions with groups of a leader & 5 paddlers most days. Beginners need to contact us for daylight sessions with available shore. 

How do I start kayaking?

Pool sessions are currently suspended. We are however carrying out vetting sessions on the Thames for those with prior experience.
For those without prior experience we are soon to organise introductory sessions on local sheltered water. Please contact us for more details

Book your slot 
Weekly Thames trips are organised via the Club's membership system emails. Join a paddle by replying to the weekly email. We must know in advance that you are attending in order to organise sufficient leaders. You will be turned away if you arrive unannounced.
For provisional members, please pay the £5 Thames cash paddling fee to the organiser.

Your responsibilities!
Even if you are out with experienced paddlers and trip leader, everyone in the group on the river is responsible for their own safety and has a duty of care to all other rivers users.
Read the PLA Thames Tideway Paddling Code; the river's 'Highway Code' on how to behave and what to look out for on the Thames.

Cold Water Safety
Always wear a Buoyancy Aid and appropriate clothing. Avoid cotton T-shirt and shorts which will chill you. Dress for the water temperature with polyester fleeces etc. Look at our information on what to wear, click here. 

Safety on the water
Take as much care to avoid collisions or causing a collision. Learn to control your kayak. Look around and be aware of other users. If you see other river users approaching, warn other paddlers.

Safety continued. We do not use safety boats. It is staying as a group that ensures our safety. We are only a group if everyone is within close range and ready to help. This means being within sight and hearing distance. On a windy day this is less than 20m. Look around frequently to check on others, especially if you are at the front.

Choice of boats
We have a range of different kayaks, we will help you choose a suitable one.

Night time lighting
If you intend to keep paddling with us in the winter, and in the dark you must have 2 white lights which are clearly visible front and back, to comply with the Port of London Authority (PLA) regulations.

The lights are to be seen by other river users, not to see with. Attach them high up on your buoyancy aid front and back. 
A DIY solution; made with a diving torch shining into a translucent plastic top or milk bottle 

Thames trip information

Tides 4 Fishermen - coefficients
120 - max Springs, 
95 - Springs 
70 - Average value
45 - Neaps
20 - Lowest Neap tide - local tide info

River flow rates in benign conditions are between 20 to 100 cumecs. However in spate the river can reach 400 cumecs, i.e. 400 tons per second and only suitable for advanced paddlers

Hammersmith – BBC tides

Putney weather - check for the wind

Lower Thames warnings – red flags
Upper Thames warnings - red boards

PLA and Thames Rules

Please take time to read the River Thames regulations. It is the busiest river in the UK, and like driving on the roads; not knowing the rules is no excuse for breaking them.

Thames Tideway Code 2019

There are many important rules which need to be understood. 

Boating on the thames
PLA website for leisure users

Notice to Mariners NTM. Current Rules in operation

Thames events calendar

Please check other events if you are organising your own

A Club Trip to Tower Bridge in winter and summer. It can be done in all seasons as long as you are dressed properly

Richard Bate,
23 Dec 2020, 02:21