As the race grows, the pressure on some of the narrow lanes, back roads and villages can cause long delays which can threaten the future of our race.
The course is going to be extremely busy over the Easter weekend, so if you are not directly supporting a crew but wish to view the race, please only visit our spectator friendly sites listed below. These have facilities and space, and enable us to to keep the portage areas free for emergency vehicles and support staff
Please park carefully and considerately, and ensure you do not block any roads, driveways or private car parks
Devizes Westminster Spectator Locations
Points to note
All these locations offer reasonable viewing points for spectators.
(a) Please follow the instructions of race officials at all times, especially in regards to parking and vehicular access to portages.
(b) Please always park considerately, don’t block residents in or do anything that may adversely affect the good name of the race.
(c) Nothing in this guide exempts you from any local authority and other parking restrictions that may still apply over the Easter weekend.
(d) Much of the race can be followed by cycling on the towpath but please do not obstruct paddlers and support crew at portages. Your presence at out-of-bounds portages may cause problems for crews you follow (see point (e) below). Please always be considerate towards pedestrians you may encounter.
(e) If you are following a particular crew/organisation, the race organisers may treat you as supporters rather than simply spectators and your actions will be covered by the rules. If in any doubt as to the implications of this, please consult the DW website and rule book for guidance.
Devizes to Newbury
Bridges between Devizes and Wootton Rivers ("the pound"): Horton, Allington, All Cannings, Stanton St Bernard, Honeystreet, Wilcot, Bristow Bridge, Pewsey. Then New Mill, Burbage Wharf, Bedwyn, (Avoid Little Bedwyn altogether, it is out of bounds to race traffic), Hungerford town, Enborne (10 minute walk)
Newbury to Marlow
Ham Bridge (1.5/2 miles after start), After Woolhampton (B road between A4 and A340 passes over canal, no lock there), Ufton Bridge (after Aldermaston), Dreadnought Reach (a must, tons of room), Henley (not Marsh...you can see the river, huge car park too by the Rowing Museum, or Henley downstream of bridge, plenty of space to view), Mill End (A4155 at Hambledon), you can see river, Marlow Bridge (not lock). DW 2016 – Spectator Locations – www.dwrace.org.uk
Marlow to Ham/Teddington
Cookham Village (park and walk, a good view of river just before it divides and paddlers head to lock – there is a pub but please don’t park in its car park during opening hours if you’re not eating or buying a drink there), Maidenhead (anywhere along that road down to the bridge but NOT by Boulters Island, car parking for support vehicles is very busy), Eton/Windsor (plenty of viewing places in central Windsor or park in/near Eton and walk over bridge...above the island/weir), Datchet (great views, road runs by river), Albert Bridge (before Old Windsor, also great views), Runnymede Gardens (anywhere, great views here, especially National Trust car park below Brunel University boathouse), Chertsey (on road well before portage, stop well before motorway flyover and cheer from there. Do not go up to the lock as it's also double yellow lines everywhere. There is a pub by the bridge but don’t use its car park during opening hours unless you’re a pub customer.), Elmbridge Canoe Club (below Shepperton Lock, free parking, great views). At Walton bridge open space (you can buy ice creams from the van here too). Downstream at Sunbury lock you can buy a drink at the Weir public house and watch from the beer garden, but your car will be blocked in if the landlord thinks it’s a DW support crew vehicle. Best is to park at Walton leisure centre and walk about 5-10 minutes to the river. Plentiful parking and good river access is possible at Molesey Rowing Club, Hampton Court Bridge, on the towpath between Hampton Court and Kingston, which can easily be cycled, Kingston bridge, Albany Park sailing club (below Kingston Rowing Club).
It is possible to follow competitors on numerous bridges over the Thames and on open land bordering the river. Parking is very tricky and traffic can be heavy. Competitors in the stages race and those who catch the outgoing tide well on the non-stop race will be travelling far more quickly than you may expect. Keep this in mind when planning which bridges to drive to. Please note that all bridges are covered by CCTV and you may be penalised by local authorities for parking infringements. At Westminster, parking is available in the St Thomas’s Hospital car park but it is not free.