Cruises on The Thames normally sail from April to October. Summers are generally warm and sometimes hot with the average being a comfortable 21°C (70°F). The centre of London can be up to 4°C warmer. Spring and Autumn are mixed seasons and can be pleasant. Rain is fairly well spread throughout the year, with late winter/spring (February to March) the driest period and autumn/winter (October to January) the wettest but recently July and August have been quite wet.
The River Thames is 215 miles long (345km) and rises near Cirencester in Gloucestershire and flows eastward through Oxford, Reading, Windsor, London and enters the North Sea via the Thames Estuary. It is navigable by small boats from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to Teddington Lock where it becomes tidal for 68 miles to the sea. It passes Hampton Court, Kingston, Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kew before flowing through central London and then on to Greenwich and Tilbury before entering the sea.  
Upper Thames

The Upper Thames is navigable by small boats from Lechlade in Gloucestershire to Teddington Lock for 123 miles This non-tidal section is divided into reaches by 45 locks. The source is at Thames Head, about a mile north of the village of Kemble in southern Gloucestershire in the Cotswolds. The Thames flows through or alongside Ashton Keynes, Cricklade, Lechlade, Oxford, Abingdon, Wallingford, Goring-on-Thames, Reading, Henley-on-Thames, Marlow, Maidenhead, Windsor, Eton, Staines, Sunbury, Weybridge and Thames Ditton before entering the Greater London area.

Greater London

After Teddington it becomes tidal for 68 miles to the sea but is only navigable to large ocean-going ships as far upstream as the Pool of London and London Bridge. From the outskirts of Greater London, the river passes Hampton Court, Kingston, Teddington, Twickenham, Richmond, Kew before flowing through central London. Past central London, the river passes between Greenwich and the Isle of Dogs, before flowing through the Thames Barrier, and then passing Dartford, Tilbury and Gravesend before entering the Thames Estuary near Southend-on-Sea.

Thames Estuary

The head of Sea Reach, near Canvey Island on the Essex shore is probably the western boundary of the Thames Estuary. The eastern boundary is a line drawn from North Foreland in Kent via the Kentish Knock lighthouse to Harwich in Essex. The estuary is characterised by the presence of salt marshes, mudflats and open beaches: in particular the North Kent Marshes and the Essex Marshes. Man-made embankments are backed by reclaimed wetland grazing areas; there are many smaller estuaries, including the Rivers Colne, Blackwater and Crouch; and there are small villages concerned with a coastal economy (fishing, boat-building, and yachting). The Isle of Sheppey, Foulness Island and Mersea Island are part of the coastline. There are some larger settlements, such as Clacton-on-Sea in Essex, Herne Bay in Kent, and Southend-on-Sea at the narrower part of the estuary.

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