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Boat Blog: Thames Tideway Information

Posted by indigodream on 23 August, 2012

Best page to look at is here: and then click through to whatever you need.

This is now quite an old page and not really maintained.

Waterscape used to have a London page under “useful downloads” which contained tide tables, lock opening times and most importantly of all the series of Tideway Handbooks. Unfortunately with the change over to the CRT site this information went awol though some of has subsequently reappeared after a bit of prodding.
At the time of writing, information on tides and lock opening times was available here: – at present they are in the middle of the “notices” box. A kind CART-er gave me the link, it still works! I have managed to find this page from their home page but it is not obvious – click on the right local waterway, eg Regents Canal and then click on the noticeboard link.

I have been unable to find the Tideway Handbooks on the CRT site, so I have uploaded the most recent copies that I have and also found links to versions on the old Waterscape site – I suspect those links will stop working before long.  Do keep checking on the CRT site – more up to date copies may appear there in due course. It’s always wise to chat with Jeremy the lock-keeper at Limehouse before cruising the tideway – he may have more up-to-date links to the guides, as well as live up-to-the-minute information about the river….

In the meantime, in increasing order of fun lunacy (delete as appropriate):

Upstream Edition: tideway-handbook-upstream. Click HERE for a link which may work to the old Waterscape site.

Downstream Edition: tideway-handbook-downstream Click HERE for a link which may work to the old Waterscape site.

Estuary Edition: tideway-handbook-estuary Click HERE for a link which may work to the old Waterscape site.

There are lots of other places you should look:

The PLA web site has more detailed tide tables but be careful they are in real time ie Greenwich Mean Time, not British Summer Time. They have a great video of nb Madam going up the tideway at supersonic speed and they also have their Notices to Mariners – do check if any apply before you set out, don’t expect Limehouse, Teddington or Brentford Lockies to know them. The main site is here:, Notices to Mariners are here: and access to the video and their tide tables is from this page:

The IWA have a concise and very useful Thames Tideway Guide. It will cost you 30p and is available from here:

Wondering about anchors: Then this page is useful: The advice coming out from negotiations between the St Pancras Cruising Club and the PLA is that an anchor should have 15m of chain and 35m of nylon warp.

Finally and most importantly no page about the tidal Thames should fail to mention the St Pancras Cruising Club, they are the experts and they allow non-members to join their convoys on the strict condition that you attend a briefing and laugh at Andrew’s jokes. Their web site is here: In particular look at their events page, time your trip to London to coincide with one of their trips and also have a look at their tideway guide which is worth reading.

Please do leave a comment if any of these links don’t work.

5 Responses to “Boat Blog: Thames Tideway Information”

  1. Kevin said

    Hi Sue/Richard,
    Just a suggestion but if you put a ( target=’_blank’ ), without the () after each of your external links they would then open in a nice new window rather than replacing your page… but apart from that excellent advice and resouce as usual 🙂
    Best wishes,

  2. indigodream said

    That’s very clever!

    Now I have to work out how I get wordpress to accept target=’_blank’ ….

  3. Kevin said

    Hi again Sue/Richard,
    I’m not a WordPress user but I have just lifted this from their support page, hope it helps…

    Target Module
    In the Target module, choose where the link will open when clicked.

    •_blank forces the link to open in a new window or browser tab, depending on how the visitor has configured their browser.
    •_top opens the link in the top frame. doesn’t use frame, so you’d only use this if you were showing your blog inside a frame on another web site. If you don’t know what a frame is, don’t worry about this option.
    •_none loads the link in the current window or browser tab. This is the default option.

    Best wishes,

  4. nbsg said

    Dear Richard – very helpful.

    The only additions I would suggest are:

    a) the code of practice for rowers above Putney, which explains what they are doing on the wrong side of the buoys, and crossing from one side to the other – I think it’s helpful for narrowboaters to know about this! The note also has some quite interesting tidal information (pages 18-20 etc). On the PLA website here:

    Click to access THE_ROWING_CODE.pdf

    b) for those who want a decent chart of the river (also quite helpful for deciphering messages from VTS) the Imrays chart is available to buy here for £18:

    PS on the exchange above about links, one can achieve the same result by ticking the “Open link in a new window/tab” box when addiing a link in WordPress.

  5. indigodream said

    Thanks Folks, that is all very useful. When I found the tick box and tried it I realised that I had been pasting the target=”_blank” bit in the wrong place which is why it did not work!

    My aim with the original post was to park the Thames Tideway Guides somewhere that we could easily find them as the links to waterscape seem a little erratic. Sue turned my writings into english and she has wondered if it needs more development so we can set it up as a tab on the top banner. We do need to catch up on the blog first – we are way behind!

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