the river thames

Enjoy it from our beautiful riverside hotel and spa

When you're sipping your cappuccino and admiring the gorgeous views from our Thames river hotel, you may not be aware of the richness of the history flowing past you…

This watery wonderland, the most important river in England, has inspired many world famous artists and writers… Turner, Whistler and Constable… Charles Dickens, Kenneth Grahame and many more. Without the Thames, there would be no Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows and The Water Babies.

Daniel Defoe described it as 'the silver Thames' - a liquid coin running down through the heart of London. Always a source of commerce and power, the Thames became the river of pleasure in the Edwardian period when it became the fashion for everyone from Earls to Cockneys to mess around on the river… and you can continue that tradition today when you hire a riverboat. As a true hotel on the Thames, you can set off from our private mooring, complete with picnic hamper!

Thames facts

Age: the River Thames has been flowing for over 10,000 years and was nudged southwards by glaciation in the last Ice Age. 

Etymology: 'Thames' is the most ancient name recorded in England (joint first with 'Kent'). It comes from the Celtic word Tam meaning smooth or wide spreading.  

Source: the Thames rises in a field known as Trewsbury Mead, near Cirencester, guarded by an ancient ash tree. 

Length: 215 miles and it's navigable for 191 miles. It's the longest river in England but not the UK - the Severn beats it by 5 miles! The Amazon and Mississippi cover almost 4,000 miles each - yet The Thames is just as famous! 

A border and defence: the Thames runs along the border of 9 English counties. It divides Wiltshire from Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire from Berkshire, Surrey from Middlesex, Kent from Essex and borders Buckinghamshire, too. 

Bridges and locks: 134 bridges and 44 locks (The Bell Weir Lock is beside the runnymede). 

Volume: roughly 2,000 cubic feet flow past per second. 

Boat races: the first Henley Regatta was in 1829 - the first university boat race between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. 

Wildlife: it's home to more than 25 species of fish and boasts more than three areas of outstanding natural beauty. 

National Trail: Admire every inch of it from source to sea… it's the only river in Europe to feature a walk down its entire length!

For more ideas about activities on the River please click here
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