Filming and photography on the Thames
The Thames provides a fantastic backdrop for film and TV programme makers and has featured in many iconic moments in movies, from Harry Potter films through to James Bond's 'The World is not Enough'.
The tidal Thames - which stretches some 95 miles from the sea through the heart of the capital and as far west as Teddington - gives location managers a rich diversity of possible locations. This includes the marshes and wide expanses of sea in the Thames Estuary; iconic and historic buildings and a busy river in central London; and on to the more tranquil river and towpaths of west London. Most days of the year there is a tv drama, documentary, film, advert or commercial video being filmed somewhere on the tidal Thames.
At the PLA we can help guide you through securing the necessary PLA licence for filming on the Thames and also offer other advice as you develop your plans for filming on the river. The licence, and supporting advice, help ensure that filming on the river is conducted safely and does not interfere with operations on this busy tidal highway for passenger, tourist, freight and leisure movements. The standard charge for a tidal Thames filming licence is set out in the PLA's Charges Schedule.
All filming activity (and all commercial still photography) on the tidal Thames requires a filming licence. This includes ALL filming involving boats and vessels and filming on piers and other structures in the River. We can also advise on the possibilities for safe filming activity on the Thames foreshore (ie the part of the river exposed at low tide).
For more information about filming on the tidal Thames please contact Martin Garside on 01474 562366, or email.
Filming at Richmond Lock and Weir
The Port of London Authority (PLA) owns and operates Richmond Footbridge, Lock and Weir, situated between Teddington and Richmond, which offers a wonderful location for any type of film and television productions as well as still photography.
The structure was officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of York in 1894 and is a listed Victorian structure. The PLA completed a major, £4 million refurbishment of the lock and weir in the early 1990's to take it back to its former glory.
The weir comprises three vertical steel sluice gates suspended from a footbridge. For around two hours each side of high tide, the sluice gates are raised into the footbridge structure above, allowing ships and boats to pass through the barrage.
For the rest of the day the sluice gates are closed and passing river traffic must use the lock alongside the barrage. The sluice gates ensure that the water level between Richmond Lock and Teddington Lock is maintained at or above half-tide level. For brief periods of time the weirs can be manipulated to produce truly thunderous white water effects.
This footbridge is open for general public use between 0630-1930 in the winter months and 0630-2130 in the summer months. However if you required the bridge to be closed while filming took place then this could be arranged. This is the only bridge over the river Thames where a complete closure to the general public can be arranged with minimum cost implications.
The footbridge offers a tranquil setting for any type of scenic shots of the river Thames in this beautiful area.
It should be noted that permission to film on or by the Thames requires a filming license issued by the PLA’s Corporate Affairs department.
If you're interested in using Richmond Footbridge, the Lock & Weir (or part of it) as a location, for more information or to arrange a site visit, please contact Jim Deeney (Richmond Lock Foreman) on 0208 940 0634.
Click here to see the Terms and Conditions for filming at Richmond Lock and Weir.