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Navigating any type of rowing boat on the tidal Thames, or Thames Tideway as it is also known, requires knowledge of the river and how it operates. The Tideway is by far the busiest inland waterway in the UK which, coupled with a fast-flowing tide and many bridges, piers and moorings, creates a challenging waterway on which to navigate. The river can be divided into three distinct areas:


  • The Lower Tideway (Tower Bridge to Thames Barrier

  • Central London (Putney Bridge to Tower Bridge)

  • Upper Tideway (Teddington Lock to Putney Bridge)

Twickenham Rowing Club is located on The Upper Tideway.


Just to confuse things further, The Upper Tideway is further divided into two sections, Teddington Lock to Syon Crossing (where we are based), and Syon Crossing to Putney  Bridge. Both sections are governed by different PLA regulations, and club members need to be fully aware of these before they venture out on the water.

Between Teddington Lock and Syon Crossing, regardless of the tide direction, all vessels should navigate to the starboard (to the right) side of the river, in their direction of travel, at all times. Small boats should aim to be out of the Fairway and in the starboard Inshore Zone, as close to the bank as is safe and practicable.

On 'our' stretch (between Teddington and Richmond) we share the water with the following:


  • Richmond canoe club and EPIC SUP.

  • Richmond Bridge Rowing (skiff) clubs.

  • Twickenham and Richmond Yacht clubs.

  • RNLI Lifeboat station at Teddington Lock.

  • A public boat hire business.

  • Commercial boat yards.

  • Houseboats at Isleworth, Richmond, Marble Hill and Eel Pie Island

  • A commercial ferry crossing

In the vicinity of Richmond bridge/quay the river is narrow and can get very busy, with hired rowing boats, pleasure
cruisers and more recently paddleboarders (SUP), especially at weekends and in the summer. This area above Richmond Bridge is used extensively by racing kayaks and canoes from Richmond Canoe Club for training and racing .

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