"The Thames was sinking low"
The River Thames flowing through Central London
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe River Thames flowing through Central London - Credit: David Iliff


Punting on the River Thames in Oxford
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePunting on the River Thames in Oxford - Credit: Zxb
The River Thames, flowing through southern England, is the longest river in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom. Its name is thought to derive from the Celtic name Tamesas, meaning 'dark'. Beginning at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, it flows over 215 miles (346km) to the Thames Estuary where it runs into the North Sea. It is most famous for flowing through central London and has become an iconic image of the city, but it also flows through Oxford, Windsor and Henley-on-Thames, amongst other towns and cities. With over 80 islands along its course, the river is home to an abundance of flora and fauna and has been used by humans as a fresh water source, transport route, economic industry and leisure facility. The Thames is the home of competitive rowing in the United Kingdom, with over 800 clubs along its length and some of the country’s most famous races, including the Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race and the Henley Royal Regatta.