Tide & Stream

Twickenham is the last rowing club situated on the tidal Thames. The tidal rise and fall can be as much as 7m and the flow
can reach 4 knots (more around bridge, piers, moorings etc.). Members need to pay attention to both the direction and the strength of the tide and the stream. Rowers need to be especially aware of the tide direction with regard to launching and landing boats and safe navigation.

What is ‘the stream’?

The visible flow on the surface of the river is referred to as ‘the stream’ . Although they almost always flow in the same direction, the stream’s direction can occasionally differ from that of the tide:

A less common effect, known as swelling, happens during periods of prolonged, heavy rainfall when there is a visible outbound flow even though there is an inbound/flood tide . Swelling usually occurs during the winter months and steers people should always navigate according to the visible stream direction and not the predicted tide .


Knowing the tide direction is critical and current tables of predicted tide times are available on this site under the 'River Conditions' section.

Apart from tide tables, which only give predicted tide times, there are several practical ways to check the tidal stream direction, although you must always allow for the strength and direction of the wind:

• Look at boats moored only at one end, they
will hang downstream from their mooring.

• See what direction floating objects drift in.

• Look at which direction the water is flowing when you cross the footbridge to Eel Pie Island, observe the bridge buttress or vertical mooring piles.