• The Thames River, United Kingdom

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    It's our capital's dividing waterway, it's home to famous races and regattas and an abundance of wildlife resides on it’s banks. How could we not add it to the list! There are so many things that make the Thames special but let's start outside of London. The Thames is home to hundreds of beautiful towns and villages many of which are easily accessible by train so you can spend the day walking between places (the Thames has 185miles of walkable trails!) before finally heading home. Towns include Henley-on-Thames, famous for the regatta in the Summer and you can cross the Thames between Windsor and Eton, but the most magical places are the areas up and down the banks that locals would call 'our spot'. These are small oases found up and down the river where rope swings are built, bridges were made for jumping off and friends spend late summer evenings swimming and cooling off in the water. If you swam anywhere near the zoo Beale Park, like I did all through my teenage years, you’d often find yourself swimming alongside terrapins from when the park once flooded! One of the best places to swim here is a village called Pangbourne, not far from Reading, easily accessible by train or car as there is a dedicated carpark. Here you’ll find the brave jumping off the bridge, people using the water activities facility to canoe, others who come to try their hand at fishing a bit further down and tonnes of people splashing in the water or watching the boats and yachts go by from the jetty. Now heading downstream to the capital. The Thames Path walking routes here are not to be missed from the quaint village-esque feel of Barnes all the way to the Wapping, a now largely residential area that still holds it's old dock and factory history within every cobbled street, it makes a perfect alternative day out for anyone heading to London. Getting tired feet doing all that walking? Hop on one of the many river buses or tours that depart between Richmond all the way to the Thames Barrier. Another great way to see the sites of London on one of Britain's most famous waterways.