Lancing through the rolling pastures and highlands of southern England, the mighty Thames River slices through London, ornamenting it with its sparkling waters. Between its origin in the Cotswald Hills to its terminus at the Atlantic coast, the river cuts through numerous landscapes along the way. It is the longest river that is enclosed in its entirety by the boundaries of England, spanning a distance of 346 kilometers (215 miles) from end to end. A defining feature of London's terrain, it is no surprise that the Thames is regarded as a significant natural landmark not just in England, but all over the world. Bathed in the soft light of sunrise and sunset, the Thames takes on a romantic visage that contrasts with its steely appearance on overcast days and its dazzling sparkle in summertime. A source of inspiration for artists, authors and poets, the Thames has been heartily represented in a host of paintings, novels, poems and music. Inextricably tied into the very identity of London, the Thames has come to be an integral element of the city's culture and history as a muse, transportation hub and picturesque attraction.