So You Want To Swim The Thames?
You don't have to be David Walliams. Yes, the Thames is a mighty river. It's 245km from the source to the end of the non-tidal section at Teddington Lock. But we are swimming it in smallish chunks, usually between 3 and 5km, and so can you. We have been swimming more or less fortnightly since May 2011 and this blog explains how we have done it. But don't go it alone, come join us; we still have a while to go!!
If you still want to strike out on your own, first of all get yourself a copy of Michael Worthington’s book I ♥ the Thames from here.
We are using it as a guide but we divert from its doctrine sometimes after we have recce’d the lay of the land. You can see the how we did the swims in posts labelled Guides. There's also OS Maps and GPS Tracks with the detail of the routes. Most of the guidance assumes that there is a large group turning up in multiple cars but it's easily modified to a smaller group.
Then get a copy of the National Trail Thames Path guide. It's handy as the whole river (more or less) is set out at OS Explorer scale.
Also get yourself a long-suffering significant other who half fancies traipsing the Thames Path with a rucksack of cakes and hot drinks. Apart from the safety aspect of having a support team you will definitely appreciate them when you are struggling with the cold half way through a swim.
Safety is important. Do NOT swim on your own! It is up to you to conduct your own risk assessment before you swim. Nobody else is going to do it for you. You can find some guidance here. If you choose join us for a swim you must be a member of the Outdoor Swimming Society and you must have read and agreed to the OSS Swim Responsibility Statement. All swimmers swim at their own risk.