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HMP THAMESIDE Visiting Information

Griffin Manor Way,
SE28 0FJ

Local public transport information is given below under Additional Information.

You can also access our page on General Public Transport Information for links to Rail, Buses etc.

For information about getting help with the cost of visiting (Assisted Prison Visits Scheme) we have prepared a factsheet with all the information you need. If you need a PDF reader, you can download adobe pdf reader for free.

View the HMP THAMESIDE Regime Info page.

Get Route Planning Directions

City/Postcode of departure
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SATNAV users can download POI files (Point of Interest) pre-loaded with all prison locations for TomTom and Garmin.

Online Library documents for HMP THAMESIDE

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Navigate this page: Visiting Information | Visitors' Centre | Visit Room | Visit Times | Visiting frequency | Official Visits | Local Information | Additional Information & Travel


Booking Procedure

Prisoner books visit

Booking Phone No.

020 8317 9777 (Information only)

Booking Opening Time

09:00-11:45 & 13:45-15:30

Minimum Booking Notice

24 hours

Booking Email Address

Not available

Min Age Unaccompanied


Search Procedure

Rub down, Metal Detector, Ion Scan, Passive Drugs Dogs

Visitors 1st Visit ID

Photo ID and proof of address

Subsequent Visit ID

None (Biometric system)

Visitor Adult Age


Child Visitor ID

Birth Certificate, Passport or Red Book

Disabled Facilities

Full access ground level, disabled parking, toilets


Yes with disabled parking outside Visitors' Centre

Hand In Money on Visit


Hand In Other Items

Mon-Sat afternoons only on a booked visit

Book next visit on Visit

Not applicable

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Opening Times



Vending machines


Yes with disabled and baby changing facilities

Disabled Facilities

Full access (All visits are ground floor)

Child Facilities

Supervised Indoor & outdoor play areas

Refundable Locker Deposit


The Visitor Centre is located outside the prison and is an ideal place to recover from your journey and rest with a cup of tea before your visit.

Direct Number: 020 8317 9777


Facilities on offer in the Visitors' Centre:

  • Information on prison rules
  • Visiting procedures
  • Prison Assisted Visits Scheme
  • Information leaflets
  • Vending machines
  • Iinside and outside children’s play areas



Booking the Visit

Prisoners at Thameside book their own visits internally using an electronic system. They then advise their visitors of when the visit is booked.

For information about booked visits you can telephone the Visit Centre directly.

A maximum of three visitors plus children is allowed.

Click Here to download Prison Service Instruction on visit booking services.

Arriving at Thameside

You should arrive at least 30 minutes before your visit and book in at the Visitors' Centre which is outside the prison. Make sure you go to Thameside; Belmarsh prison is nearby but both establishments are separate and have their own Visitors' Centre.

Visitors have access to lockers to store their valuables during their visit, there is a £1 coin refundable charge for this facility.

You will not be allowed into your visit if you arrive half an hour after your visit time.


Moving to Visits

When it is time for your visit you will be sent to the main prison for the visit.



All visitors are required to take photographic ID (Passport or Driving Licence) plus proof of address (Current utility bills are acceptable (originals - not copied or printed from computer) for their first visit  subsequent visits are managed using our biometric system.

Children may be identified by ID such as a Birth Certificate.

Visitors are photographed for the biometric system (but children under 10 are not photographed). If you object to being photographed you should speak to staff.

Click Here to download Prison Service Instruction on Acceptable Identification for visitors.


All visitors are subject to searching before their visit. This is very similar to the searching done at domestic airports and consists of a 'rub-down' search and metal detector and drugs checks.

Visitors are normally searched by staff of the same gender but male visitors may be searched by female staff unless they object.

If children are searched this is done in a friendly way by female staff. Babies are not normally searched unless intelligence suggests they should be.

Religious headwear is checked with a metal detector; if this shows positive visitors may be asked to remove headwear. If this is the case you will be asked to remove it in private with only staff of the same gener present; and then given ample time to replace it.

Passive Drugs Dogs are used. They do not jump up or bark but iIf your child is scared of dogs please discuss this with staff.

Click Here for HMPS pictorial guides to searching


Children are welcome to visite Thameside and there are facilities for them in both the Visitors' Centre and the Visit Room where a playworker provides supervision.

Parents are responsible for their children's behaviour at all times and children must not be allowed to run about or disrupt others' visits.

Prams and buggies are not allowed into the Visit Room and must be left at the Visitors' Centre. A bottle of milk is permitted. There are baby changing facilities, including in the Visit Room, but you are not allowed to take spare nappies - the prison supplies them if required.

If you are a nursing mother and wish to breast feed you should speak to staff but provision is made in the toilet areas for feeding. You may not breast feed in the Visit Room.

Click Here to download: KIDS VIP "Children Visiting Prison Good Practice" (2005 – updated 2011).


Disabled Visitors

There is full access for disabled visitors including designated parking by the outside visitors centre and toilets both at the visitor centre and within the visits hall. The visits hall is designed so that chairs may be moved as required. All visit facilities are at ground level with no steps and there is a special table in the Visit Room to accommodate a wheelchair.

Visitors may remain in their own wheelchair but this will be subject to search.

Any visitor requiring to be in possession of medication should speak to staff.

It is a good idea, if a person with disabilities or special needs is visiting, to contact the Visitors' Centre and advise them prior to your visit. This will allow the prison to be aware and make any special arrangements.


Visits Room

The Visit Room has free standing furniture. You may only take your locker key and up to £15 in cash for refreshments.

You are allowed to embrace at the beginning and end of the visit but the prisoner must remain in his seat throughout the visit. Visitors can buy refreshments from the tea bar, there is also a vending machine. Prisoners are not allowed to take anything away from the Visit Room so all snacks must be consumed there (or taken away by the visitor).


After the Visit

When the visit time is over you will be informed by staff. You are asked to finish your visit promply so as not to delay subsequent visits. The visitors leave first and when they are accounted for the prisoners leave.


It is a criminal offence to be in possession of a mobile phone inside a prison. Do not forget to leave your phone in your car or in the locker provided for your property.


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Fixed seating. prisoner sits on the yellow chair


Hot & cold refreshments from tea bar


Yes with disabled and baby changing facilities

Child Facilities

Supervised Indoor & outdoor play areas

Cash Allowed In Room

£20 - any form but not £20 note

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13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15-17:15


13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15-17:15


13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15-17:15


13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15-17:15


13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15-17:15


09:15-10:15, 10:45-11:45, 13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15- 17:15


09:15-10:15, 10:45-11:45, 13:15-14:15, 14:45 -15:45 & 16:15- 17:15

Family Visits

These take place once a month. During the family day visits prisoners and their families are free to move around the hall to take part in a variety of activities.

Toddler Time

These take place once a month. During these events prisoners are free to move around the hall and interact freely with their pre-school children

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Remand Basic

2 x 60 minute per week

Remand Standard

3 x 60 minute per week

Remand Enhanced

4 x 60 minute per week

Convicted Basic

2 x 60 minute per month

Convicted Standard

2 x 60 minute per month

Convicted Enhanced

4 x 60 minute per month

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Booking Number

Book by Email

Visiting Time

8:45-11:45 Monday to Friday

Hand Items To prisoner


Receive Items From Prisoner


Email Booking


Staff will respond by telephone or by Email.


Visit Times

Weekdays, as Social Visits

60 minute slots - no block booking



Photographic ID will be required along with confirmation of visitor's name on company headed paper. (This must include the name of the prisoner who they are visiting). The name on the letter must match the name and correct spelling on the visitor's ID.


Acceptable Identification
Click Here to download Prison Service Instruction on Acceptable Identification for visitors.


Good Practice Guide
Click Here to download NOMS ‘Legal Visits – Good Practice Guide’

Video Link

Booked by Email, as above

  • This can be used for:
  • Adjudication Hearings
  • Bail Applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • Drug Intervention Programme (DIP) Reports
  • Inter-prison visits (subject to a criteria)
  • Parole Hearings
  • Pre-case Management Hearings
  • Pre-sentence Reports
  • Sentencing
  • UKBA immigration interviews

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Data Cars
17 Anglesea Road, Woolwich SE18 6EG
020 8854 0000

11 Greens End, Woolwich SE18 6HX
020 8854 7777

JS Minicabs‎
25-27 Herbert Road, Woolwich SE18 3TB
020 8317 2000

The Old Rectory
80 Maryon Road, London SE7 8DL
020 8317 9694

Blackheath Bed and Breakfast
41 Eastcombe Avenue, Charlton, SE7 7JD
020 8305 0621

One Six Two
162 Westcombe Hill, Greenwich SE3 7DH
020 8465 5444

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Travel Information

From London Victoria

Take the London Underground (District or Circle Line) to Cannon Street Station then the over-ground rail to Plumstead Station, this journey will take approximately 50 minutes. On arrival at Plumstead the prison is a 7 minute walk.


From Kings Cross/St Pancras

Take the London Underground (Northern Line) to Bank then the DLR (Docklands Light Railway) to Woolwich Arsenal, this journey will take approximately 40 minutes. On arrival at Woolwich Arsenal you can take a taxi (approximate cost £6) or the prison is a 15 minute walk away.


Woolwich Arsenal has good disabled access Plumstead does not.
Click Here for Network Rail information

From Woolwich Arsenal Station catch the 244/380 bus to the prison. The bus stops are situated directly outside the exit from the railway station.

Click Here for Route 244 timetable use HMP Belmarsh and follow directions

Click Here for Route 380 timetable use HMP Belmarsh and follow directions

Click here for bus and coach information


From north of the River Thames go to the Queen Elizabeth II crossing at Dartford and follow the A206 south of the river North towards Erith/London.

Follow the A206 until you get to the A2016. Continue along the A2016 on the Bronze Age Way, Eastern Way and then Western Way turning off at the side road at Griffin Manor Way turning left and then the prison is directly in front of you.

Download SatNav POI file for all UK prisons

Use the directions for Belmarsh then follow local signposting.

Information about visits has been kindly supplied by the prison with additional information from the Ministry of Justice and, where applicable, from the organisation who runs the Visitors’ Centre.

Information is given in good faith but is subject to change. It is a good idea to check visiting and travel arrangements before organising your visit.

If you find any information has changed or have any comments or suggestions that may assist other visitors please let us know. You can use the contact button below,


Updated: August 2014

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Information supplied by InsideTime - the national newspaper for prisoners, and a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Bridge Foundation, a charity founded in 1956. Charity Reg No:1103511.

Inside Time Limited provide the details of taxi companies and accommodation without recommendation. These are merely businesses within easy distance. Visitors are strongly advised to contact the business well in advance to check availability and pricing.


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Issue : December 2014

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December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
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> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
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> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
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