Instructions, routes & news

About Thames Explorer Challenges

There are several Thames Explorer Challenges planned. The project aims to get people outdoors, engaging with the Thames, getting fitter and talking to each other. The first route, the City Circular Route is available to download below. All of our routes are free to download and complete in your own time. You do not have to complete the entire route in one go, you can do it over several visits. Don’t forget to save your username and password as you will need them to Log in and submit your answers (and download your certificate).

The route downloads are PDF booklets which should be printed out (local libraries usually have printers and PCs for general public use). We have kept the files under 10 MB so they should download fairly quickly.

Printing and assembly

The downloads are four A4 pages which contain the map and the 10 questions you need to find answers to along the way. They are designed to be printed single-sided, in colour or black and white. Once you have printed all four pages you can fold them in half to make a smaller booklet (you can fold all four pages at once). Remember – the map folds inwards.

Record your answers in this booklet. There are also several blank pages in the booklet for you to record any comments you might want to send to us or to make a note of some of the amazing places you come across and want to visit at another time.

Each walk is designed to be done in around 2 to 3 hours although you might want to take advantage of some of the areas of interest along the way. The entire route should be around 7500 steps.

Public transport

Please look online for the nearest public transport links. It is worth taking a little time to research alternative exit points before you start.

We have tried to make the routes accessible to as many people as possible.

  • Each route has been completed by a wheelchair user who has helped us compile a mobility report. Mobility reports are available to download on each route page.
  • Wherever possible we have tried to make the routes follow the River Thames. This means that there is no need for written description. Where the routes deviate from the Thames we have tried to indicate the roads you need to take.
  • We have designed the clues to be accessible to as many people as possible, and hope to encourage families with younger children  to take part.
  • You don’t need a smart phone to complete the routes, in fact we recommend that you put your smart phone away for the duration of the walk (unless you are taking a picture to upload to our website).
  • We have tried to make the routes as close to as many forms of public transport possible including buses, trains, tubes and river boat services.

Sending in your photos

If you want your photo to be included in our news feed (please just include one image and make sure everyone in the picture is happy to appear) we would love to see it. Photos can be sent to our email address

Improving the routes

If you find something of interest or want to report: a change in a route, an interesting attraction, public toilets etc please drop us an email

A word about safety

The routes take place on the public paths. As with any public area you should take appropriate safety precautions:

  • Make sure children are supervised, especially near roads, in crowded areas and by the riverbank.
  • We recommend you put away your smart phone but if you do use one beware of pickpockets!
  • Some parts of the routes go through crowded areas – make sure your valuables are not on display.
  • If you feel uncomfortable about walking in some of the areas by yourself, revisit the route with additional people another time.


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