Visiting information

Social visits

Social visits can be viewed on the HMP Thameside website:

Booking Information:

Prisoners at HMP Thameside book their own visits using an automated system. The prisoner will call their visitor direct to advise them of the day and time the visit is booked for.

Visitors to HMP Thameside are required to bring 2 forms of ID for their first visit:

List One—1 item required

  • Passport (maximum one year out of date)
  • Valid Photo Driving Licence
  • Photo Senior Citizens Public Transport Pass
  • Annual Public Transport Season Ticket Photo Bearing (must be in date)
  • Employers ID Card which must show; name of visitor, employers’ name, photograph of bearer
  • Photo European ID Card (Must be in date)
  • Foreign Identity or Residence card
  • Birth Certificate (For Under 18s)
  • Young Persons Proof of Age Card (Zip oyster cards accepted)
  • Babies Red Book

List Two—1 item required

The following is the only PROOF OF ADDRESS and must match the details that are booked for the visitor: (must be paper version):

  • Utility Bill – Gas, Electricity, Water, Telephone (Not mobile phones
  • Bank statement (with address that matches visitors details and dated within the last 3 months)
  • Mortgage Statement
  • Current Council Tax Bill
  • House insurance certificate

Visitors Lockers

Visitors have access to lockers to store their valuables during their visit; there is a £1 coin refundable charge for this facility. These lockers are very small and only sufficient to hold a small handbag, so visitors to only bring what is absolute necessary. You will be unable to store any excess belongs.

Unauthorised Items

Please read Prohibited items banner prior to entering the establishment

  • Drugs of any Kind
  • Mobile Phones
  • Food and/or Drink
  • Weapons
  • Sunglasses
  • Metal Hair Slides
  • Lighters/Matches
  • Bluetac
  • Push Chairs
  • Watches
  • Nappies and/or Wipes
  • Chewing Gum
  • Electrical/Electronic Items
  • Bags of Any Kind
  • Cigarettes
  • Any Tools
  • Badges/Pins
  • Hats/Gloves/Scarfs
  • Photographs
  • Liquids of Any Kind

Note: Baby milk is only permitted for children under one years.

Dress Code

All visitors wishing to enter visits must be appropriately dressed at all times. The following restrictions apply to all visits;


No Mini Skirts (unless legs are suitably covered e.g. leggings / tights underneath.)

Shorts must be over knee length

Only one pair of trousers not two

Leggings must not be see-through, rear half covered by top.

No trousers with holes/rips or that exposes the skin.

No See through Leg wear or Skirts.

Jeans need to be pulled up around waist.


Underwear must be worn and covered by clothes at all times.

No Short or cropped tops that reveal naked midriff.

No outdoor coats

No item with hoods

No see-through tops or tops that expose cleavage

No football shirts or sports shirts with team logos

No Halter neck or backless tops

No Vests/string vests


No over the knee boots

No stilettos (mid heels are acceptable)

No steel toe caps

No Flip Flops


No sunglasses

No jewellery that poses a health and safety risk, e.g. bracelets with protruding or sharp edges.

No hats and head wear unless it can be verified by a member of the pastoral team it is for religious purposes

Family & Friends visiting the establishment

The maximum number of adult visitors permitted per visit is 3 plus children.  Visitors are advised to arrive 30 minutes prior to the allocated time in order to be processed in the outside visitor centre.  The search procedure involves rub down, x ray, metal detectors, drug dogs and ion scan drug detection testing.

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.

Both the outside visitor centre and the main visits hall have outdoor play areas for children, as well as indoor play areas.  There is a wide range of toys and activities for children of all ages and all areas are supervised by a team of qualified play workers.

There is a coffee shop in the visits hall which sells a variety of hot and cold refreshments, alternatively there is also a vending machine selling hot drinks. Maximum amount of £20.00 in coins if possible (NO £20.00 NOTES) - to be placed in a valuables bag available from the visitors centre.

New prisoners (receptions & newly convicted)

Reception visits are held on Wednesday mornings and have to be booked by the prisoner within 30 days of the inmate being held at HMP Thameside. These visits will be booked by the inmate via an app to the Visits or Reception departments. Property may be handed in on a Reception visit but if for any reason this is not done within 30 days, you WILL NOT be able to hand in any property on a standard social visit.

Please Note: if under extreme circumstances you are not able to book or hand in any property within 30 days, Reception and Visits staff will have to be contacted by the inmate and an exception may be made.

Property / Clothing being handed-In (new prisoners only)

Clothing Allowance


Max Qty





Sweatshirts/jumpers (NO HOODS)


Bottoms (NO BLACK),








Flip Flops




Prayer/Robe Suit






Legal / Official Visits

Official visits are booked in 30 minute slots, unfortunately we cannot facilitate block bookings.

HMP Thameside also has the facility to provide video courts and video conferencing suites. All prisoners are eligible to use the video link, with priority for court hearings. The link can also be used for any of the following:

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

Legal and Probation visits can be booked using the following email address:

How to get there:

Transport for London journey planner


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.

Route 244 timetable

Route 380 timetable


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.


If you intend driving through London, we would advise you map read your own route to the above address. However all other routes are advised to 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. (When travelling from the North, Some Satellite Navigation devices may try and take you through London to the Woolwich Ferry crossing, it is advised you avoid this route.


Car parking is available, but spaces are limited.

Her Majesty's Prison & Probation Service


Get email alerts
Find a form
Find a court form