Royal Swan Upping


Windsor, Berkshire
The King's Swan Marker and the accompanying Swan Uppers on the River Thames at Windsor


Swan Upping is the annual census of the swan population on stretches of the Thames in the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire. This historic ceremony dates from the twelfth century, when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans.

The King's Swan Marker and the accompanying Swan Uppers of the Vintners' and Dyers' Livery Companies use six traditional Thames rowing skiffs in their five-day journey upstream to Abingdon.

By tradition, scarlet uniforms are worn by The King's Swan Marker and Swan Uppers, and each boat flies the appropriate flag and pennant.

Swan upping takes place during the third week in July.

Where to watch the Swan Upping ceremony

Swan Upping will begin on Monday 17th July; the observation points for the annual census and health check of swans and cygnets on the River Thames are listed below.

  • Monday 17th July 2023
    Sunbury Lock Cut 09.00 - Departure point
    Shepperton Lock 10.15
    Penton Hook Lock 12.30
    Romney Lock 17.30
  • Tuesday 18th July 2023
    Eton Bridge 08.30 - Departure point
    Boveney Lock 09.15
    Boulters Lock 12.30
    Cookham Bridge 13.30
    Marlow Lock 17.30
  • Wednesday 19th July 2023
    Marlow Bridge 09.00 - Departure point
    Hurley Lock 10.30
    Hambleden Lock 12.00
    Henley Town 13.15
    Marsh Lock 15.30
    Shiplake Lock 17.00
    Sonning Bridge 18.00
  • Thursday 20th July 2023
    Sonning-on-Thames 09.00 - Departure point
    Caversham Lock 10.15
    Mapledurham Lock 12.30
    Goring Lock 17.00
    Moulsford 18.00
  • Friday 21st July 2023
    Moulsford 09.00 - Departure point
    Benson Lock 10.00
    Clifton Hampden Bridge 13.00
    Culham Lock 16.15
    Abingdon Bridge 17.00

Local schools seeking further information about Swan Upping should contact the Swan Marker’s office on 01628 523030 or email

Book Tickets

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Free admissionFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.


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