Thames Path Complete (17 Days & 16 Nights)
- Follow the Thames Path from its Cotswolds source into the heart of London
- Iconic sights such as Windsor Castle, Runnymede & Hampton Court Palace
- Contrasting landscapes from tranquil meadows to the bustling city
- Admire London’s skyline from the South Bank including Westminster Palace
- Walk through the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Cirencester & overnight
The attractive market town of Cirencester is about 4 miles from the source of the River Thames and has plenty of facilities, so is the best place to have your first overnight stay. There is no train station in Cirencester so we recommend taking a taxi from nearby Kemble (10min) which is easily accessible and only a 1h 15min train ride from central London. The following morning you will be taken by taxi to the start of the walk at the source of the Thames. Take a wander round the "capital of the Cotswolds" when you arrive before enjoying dinner in one of the many local restaurants.
The Cotswold Hare, formerly The Old Bungalow Guest House, offers bed and breakfast accommodation in Cirencester, situated just a few minutes walk from the centre of this historic market town. Kathleen offers a warm welcome, relaxing atmosphere and comfortable bed and breakfast accommodation in our 7 en-suite rooms (3 of which are located on the ground floor).
Built in 1870, The Ivy House is a warm and welcoming bed and breakfast located in the centre of Cirencester. You will be sure of a warm welcome from Paul and Sue.
The Old Brewhouse in Cirencester is a delightful 17th Century town house bed and breakfast full of charm and character, sympathetically restored and refurbished offering high quality bed and breakfast accommodation.
Walk through the serene Cotswolds as you pass through the hamlet of Ewen. At first there is no water to be seen but you soon pass the Lyd Well, the spring from where the Thames first shows itself. Ashton Keynes offers a good spot for lunch, before the trail wanders through more meadows until reaching Cricklade, passing from Gloucestershire into Wiltshire. Cricklade is the first town you reach on the Thames Path and a great place to break up the first section. Here Alfred the Great fortified the town against the Danes.
The White Hart is located in the centre of Crickdale and offers 14 newly refurbished en-suite rooms, along with home-cooked food in their warm and friendly bar.
The Red Lion Inn is situated just off the Thames path as it passes through historic Cricklade. The pub dates back to the early 1600s and has 5 newly decorated en-suite bedrooms. You can eat dinner here or in the town where there is plenty of options.
The Old Bear Inn is a traditional country inn located in the centre of Cricklade. The accommodation is located in a converted barn and has all the amenities you require for a comfortable overnight stay. For breakfast, you can have a traditional English, continental or vegetarian breakfast upon request. All breakfasts come with handcrafted artisan bread. There is a courtyard where you will be able sit and enjoy the weather during the summer months.
This stage strays away from the river but you will still be walking through meadows and along country lanes. Arriving into Lechlade, an overnight stop, you will see many boats on the river as it used to be a bustling port, Nowadays it is a pretty market town with lots of facilities.
The Swan Inn is a family run, traditional 16th Century pub with rooms in Lechlade. Debbie, Stuart and all the team offer a very warm welcome to all who visit this area with all its country charm and atmosphere. Located above the pub, the rooms at The Swan Inn have all the facilities required for a relaxing stay. Each room is en-suite with a shower and comes complete with a TV and tea and coffee making facilities. Food is served every day. The menu is varied with all dishes home made on the premises with locally sourced ingredients where available. As the food is freshly made then any changes or allergies can be accommodated where possible.
The New Inn Hotel is ideally situated on the banks of the River Thames in the market town of Lechlade-on-Thames. It has a traditional bar where you can relax by the log fire. The hotel also boasts an A la Carte restaurant which serves a wide variety of sumptuous dishes. Each of their thirty bedrooms are furnished with Sky TV, wireless internet, tea and coffee making facilities, access to an ironing board and en-suite bath or shower room.
Situated in Burford, Gateway to the Cotswolds, the Highway is steeped in history and offers the warm welcome of a traditional English pub with today’s comfortable modern touches. This 15th century coaching Inn is run by a team who are passionate about good food and good service and it is open every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks. The bedrooms are individually decorated in a modern English country house style with a mixture of designer fabrics and traditional wallpapers.
A pleasant walk from Lechlade to Newbridge along the most isolated and serene part of the path. On the first stage of this section of the Thames Path the river widens and becomes a lot bigger but is also the most isolated part of the trail. Your only companions here are the swans on the river which makes for very tranquil walking. From Lechlade the river becomes navigable so you will see quite a number of locks en route. Pass through the charming village of Buscot and at Radcot see the oldest bridge on the Thames with its Gothic arches. Go through Tadpole Bridge and Shifford Loch before reaching Newbridge which has the second oldest bridge and originally built by monks to carry Cotswolds wool over the river.
Located right next to the river, this accommodation has nicely decorated and comfortable rooms. There are 7 rooms, free Wifi and a cooked breakfast. Two of the rooms have a river view. You will be warmly welcomed.
The Ferryman Inn has 6 bedrooms to offer, all with access to a large balcony area with seating overlooking the river Thames. All the bedrooms have been recently refurbished and each room has an en suite shower, tea/coffee facilities and TV as well as free Wi-fi.
Steeped in history yet with a thoroughly contemporary twist, The Trout Inn is a 17th century pub that provides a truly special setting to stay, dine and drink. With its stylish interiors, distinctive features, and links to literacy and historic greats such as Lewis Carroll, Colin Dexter’s Inspector Morse, Rosamund the Fair, and King Henry II, this inn will open your eyes to a world of fascinating history and culture. Eat in their lovely restaurant this evening. Free Wifi and full breakfast.
Leaving Newbridge the path continues to follow the river closely. At Bablock Hythe (once an important crossing point between Oxford and the West Country), the path now diverts away from the river next to Wytham Woods. Pass nearby Godstow Abbey, built in 1133, the outer walls and the remains of the abbess’s chapel are the only parts still standing. Pass a few more locks with magnificent city of Oxford now in the distance.
Oxford is one of the world’s most famous university cities, the oldest colleges dating back to 1300. The university buildings are scattered throughout the city, generally honey-coloured and very elegant. This evening explore its narrow cobbled streets and tranquil courtyards. Restaurants and pubs are plentiful and this evening you can enjoy their ambience.
Situated in a quiet neighbourhood, yet walking distance to the city centre, Ethos Hotel has the largest guest rooms in Oxford. Their restaurant, Caffè Ethos, serves full English breakfast, weekend brunch, lunch, dinner, and afternoon high tea. Their fully licensed bar and wine sommelier curates the best of Oxford Wine Company wines and local real ales. Espresso drinks brewed to perfection and complimentary snacks for hotel guests make us a favorite among locals and visitors.
Newton House is conveniently located, just a short walk from Oxford's historic and vibrant centre. Newton House is a three-star Victorian townhouse which has been recently refurbished, each room with its own contemporary colour scheme and furnishings.
A true Oxford experience. Stay at Keble College, the University of Oxford, for a unique stay where a cooked breakfast is served in their magnificent neo-Gothic dining hall. Keble College was founded in 1870 and is one of Oxford's architectural landmarks located in the heart of the City. You'll get to venture behind the famous college walls and stay as a guest. Although rooms are a little more basic, they are comfortable and come with your usual B&B facilities; nice linen, towels, toiletries, free Wi-Fi and tea & coffee making facilities. A stay here is all about the experience, staying on the spectacular college grounds and dining in Oxford's longest hall. It's only available during the summer months, and we recommend booking early should you wish to secure a unique stay here.
Leaving Oxford behind, embark on today's walk which will provide you with a sense of solitude. Pass the Iffley Meadows Nature Reserve, Sandford-on-Thames and the famous “Lasher” weir. This section of the river has fast and deadly undercurrents. Ironically one of the Lasher’s victims was the adopted son of JM Barrie and the inspiration for Peter Pan. Pass a couple more locks before arriving in Abingdon, a pretty and historic town with Iron Age, Roman and Saxon origins.
Ascent: 5m / Descent: 15m
With a history dating back to 1605, The Crown & Thistle on Bridge Street re-opened its doors in 2013, following a restoration. This Grade II listed coaching inn comprises three individual buildings clustered around a cobbled courtyard, framed by 200-year-old wisteria. Having been sympathetically designed, many of the buildings’ original features, such as timber beams, open brickwork, and window frames that aren’t square, remain throughout the restaurant, extensive bar area, elegant function rooms and 18 boutique-style bedrooms.
Comfortable, attractive central Abingdon bed and breakfast accommodation in an historic house in East St Helen Street, described in Pevsner's Architectural Guide as one of the most interesting streets in England. The house and bedrooms have character and charm and the atmosphere is informal and friendly.
The Cosener’s House occupies a picturesque Thames-side position in the grounds of the medieval Abbey of Abingdon, just 8 miles from Oxford. It takes its name from the Cuisinier or Kitchener (the official responsible for providing food for the Abbey). The oldest part of the present building is the central portion which dates from the mid-eighteenth century.
The next section to Wallingford passes some smaller settlements of interest including Dorchester-on-Thames and Benson. From Dorchester you can see the Sinodun Hills across the river and next to Benson peaceful meadows. Until 1652 this was the site of Wallngford Castle, one of the most intimidating fortifications in pre-Civil War England.
Wallingford is a Saxon fortified town and one of the finest examples in England. If you want to explore here there is a museum. William the Conqueror lead his victorious army over the river at this very spot.
Ascent: 5m / Descent: 15m
This unique building, one of the oldest in town, has been a pub for nearly two centuries. Today, it has 3 ensuite bedrooms which are all simply furnished but have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay. The pub serves real ales, lagers, ciders and wine and you can enjoy a rest in their beer garden on a nice evening. They also have another building directly opposite, The Royal, offering more rooms. The Coachmakers Arms have three circular walks all starting and ending at the Inn, as part of The Brakspear Pub Trails. Please ask for more information at the Inn.
This recently refurbished building has 4 ensuite bedrooms which are all simply furnished but have all the amenities you require for a lovely overnight stay. The restaurant/pub serves real ales, lagers, ciders and wine. They also have another building directly opposite, Coachmakers Armsl, offering more rooms.
You are assured the warmest of welcomes at the George Hotel, a splendid 16th-century coaching inn located in the heart of Wallingford town. All bedrooms are en suite, and offer complimentary tea and coffee making facilities, TVs with Sky and radio channels, free broadband internet and WiFi, and hair dryers. The George has many stories to tell. Dick Turpin, the famous highwayman, is believed to have escaped the law on many occasions from his room above the courtyard.
Today's walk to Pangbourne takes you through the Goring Gap, between the Chiltern Hills and the Berkshire Downs. In the Ice Age the river’s way was blocked by glaciers but it found a weak spot in the chalk, permanently changing the river’s course. Also passing through Streatley (twinned with Goring) is an area of importance to early Britons; these towns are certainly worth a stop.
Pangbourne is next, famous as the place where Kenneth Grahame, author of Wind in the Willows lived during his formative years. Jimmy Page, guitarist for Led Zeppelin also lived in the village. This is the final destionation for today's walk.
Ascent: 50m / Descent: 50m
The Elephant Hotel in the bustling village of Pangbourne offers a return to the opulence of the Empire. Beautiful handcrafted Indian furniture, delicate fabrics and bedrooms individual in style but identical in attention to detail. Each and every one has all the mod-cons you have come to expect, WiFi, flat-screen TV with over 50 channels, DVD player with a selection of movies available, and not to mention the specialty tea and coffee or the bespoke soaps and bubble bath.
The Miller is a haven of laid back luxury in the idyllic Thames-side village of Goring, overlooking beautiful South Oxfordshire and West Berkshire countryside. All the amenities you require are included in each stylish, individually designed room at the Miller of Mansfield. Overlooking the garden, the informal restaurant serves local produce on its modern British menu. Real ales and fine wines are available in the bar.
In picturesque Pangbourne, a short walk from the scenic River Thames, The George Hotel is a traditional hotel offering superior quality, boutique style accommodation. Set in a 17th-century traditional coaching inn, the cosy rooms at The George each have en-suite bathrooms, flat-screen TV with cable channels, tea and coffee making facilities and hairdryers. The Village Bar offers real ales, fine wines and light snacks and is the perfect place to relax in.
Enjoy the peaceful surroundings and as you walk out of Pangbourne where there are constant views of the Chiltern Hills. Pass by some impressive locks and skirt the town of Reading before reaching Sonning, one of the Thames Path’s most striking villages. Henley, an historic market town is a delight and you will be warmly welcomed here by your B&B hosts. The town’s bridge over the river, built in 1786, is its most eye-catching feature and it’s world-renowned yearly Royal Regatta has definitely put it on the map.
Leander Club, located on the River Thames and by the bridge at Henley is world renowned as a rowing club. However, it also provides boutique bed and breakfast in the heart of Henley-on-Thames. Its well-appointed en-suite bedrooms, many of which have stunning views of the famous Henley Royal Regatta course, offer a very unique experience and a most comfortable stay. The rooms have Hypnos beds, TVs, mineral water, tea and coffee facilities and the accommodation also benefits from fast reliable WiFi.
The Row Barge is one of Henley's oldest coaching inns, in a quiet residential area close to the centre of town and the stunning walks along the Thames. This 16th Century traditional pub will satisfy those in search of a good drink, a beautiful beer garden, great home-cooked food and a warm welcome.
We are delighted to offer eight individually designed bedrooms on a bed and breakfast basis. Our accommodation is set within its own beautiful, private walled garden right in the middle of the parkland, but just 100 yards from The Coach House – which offers breakfast, lunch and tea, plus a bar.
As you leave Henley the river sweeps around and you cross into the county of Buckinghamshire and pass Hurley and Temple Locks before arriving in Marlow, a town with literary associations. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was penned here. Marlow is a really splendid riverside town and as this is your overngiht stop for the day, you will have plenty of time to explore it.
You are assured a most comfortable night at The Chequers. The rooms are contemporary, stylish and cosy and are also perfect for resting and rejuvenating for the next stage of the Thames Path! The building itself dates back to the 16th century and while the décor honours the rich history the modern touches and facilities ensure that you are provided with everything required for an enjoyable stay. The Churchill Tap, next door to The Chequers main bar, is Marlow’s only Craft Beer Haven with constantly updated beer menus. This bar dates back to the 16th century where the original beams still remain.
Glade End Guesthouse provides a stylish haven for walkers on the Thames Path. The accommodation has many distinctive touches which mark it out from the ordinary. With 8 luxury en suite bedroom, they all include the facilities to provide you with a most comfortable stay. All bedrooms have as standard; Flat screen digital TV's, tea and coffee making facilities, complimentary water and wireless internet access. Bathrooms are tiled throughout and have a clean modern feel. A large bath and/or quality power shower offers perfect relaxation.
Located just off Marlow's popular high street, a short walk from the Thames.
The next stage has you walking on peaceful river paths and passing some places of historic significance, such as Bourne End, where Enid Blyton lived and Cookham, where the artist Stanley Spencer lived. The Thames River was a constant course of inspiration for artists and many lived by it and continue to do so. You also pass by Maidenhead, a significantly sized town.
As you walk the impressive outline of Windsor Castle gets ever closer. The royal palace of Windsor makes for a very interesting visit and it's open all year. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. Also pass Eton, famed for its public school and a quieter option to stay in than Windsor.
This boutique hotel is located in the heart of Eton High Street, opposite the world famous and architecturally stunning Eton School, and a short walk from the river Thames and Windsor Castle. Eton is located opposit Windsor, and is just a short walk over the bridge. The charming rooms are equiped with flat screen TV, free superfast WIFI internet access, tea/coffee making facilities, hairdryer, and toiletries.
The Crown and Cushion has been an inn since 1753. It is a delightful pub with 8 en-suite rooms and situated in Eton High Street, which is a stone’s throw from Windsor. Full English Breakfast is included. The building is full of character and is very quirky in places. Allegedly built from old ships timbers, some of the floors are wonky but that is what makes it charming!
Julia provides acclaimed accommodation in a beautiful home from the Victorian era, located in a quiet residential area but only a ten minute walk along the River Thames to Windsor Castle.
The next stage takes you firstly on a riverside stroll, which compared to the hustle and bustle of Windsor, is a nice contrast. Soon you switch riverbanks and walk to the village of Datchet, before switching banks again and entering the county of Surrey.
Then encounter Runnymede, the place where the Magna Carta was signed in 1215. This important document was concerned with the English legal system and decreed that everyone in England, irrespective of their wealth of status, had access to courts of law. You can visit Runnymede en route if you wish as it is right next to the Thames Path. Next comes the small town of Chertsey, with its pretty streets. If you have time you might want to visit the Chertsey Museum, which keeps this town’s history nicely alive.
This hotel has 49 very comfortable and stylish bedrooms. It also has a restaurant, bar and outside seating area in which to relax. There is free Wifi.
The Bridge is perfectly situated overlooking the River Thames. Enjoy a comfortable overnight stay in one of the classic hotel bedrooms, and each en suite room comes with slumber worthy Hypnos mattresses, flat screen tv’s with Sky and big fluffy towels. You can escape the ordinary in a home away from home. Facilities include free Wi-Fi and complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.
The next stage is the final one before entering London itself. At this point there is a ferry crossing from Shepperton to Weybridge Landing. You can choose to use the ferry or walk further if you wish to avoid it. Pass through Dumsey Meadow and Shepperton Lock, before reaching the London borough of Richmond and Hampton Court Palace, which is very worthy of exploration. The building of this palace began in 1514 and it is open all year round. Continue on to Hampton Wick which will be your final destination for the day.
This hotel situated right next to the Thames River is friendly and modern. All the 37 rooms are quiet, comfortable and well furnished. Also enjoy home-cooked food and a first choice range of beverages. Free Wifi is available.
Follow the riverside trail out of Kingston to Teddington Lock, at which point the river becomes tidal. From here continue to follow the trail south of the river and all the way to Putney. This is the preferred route as it is not only shorter, but is also more rural than the northern route.
Pass Kew’s Royal Botanical Gardens and the appealing town of Richmond which is recorded in the Domesday Book. From Kew Bridge the river then snakes past Kew and Hammersmith Bridge. The trail here is quiet even though evidence of the city is on your right hand-side.
This modern comfortable hotel is located in London Putney a busy little district in the southwest of the city. Numerous pubs and stores are just around the corner, as well as the bank of the Thames River. The Putney Bridge tube station is only a few walking minutes away. From here, the district line takes you to the heart of London in only 15 minutes. Room comfort without bouquets of flowers and heavy curtains: our rooms are characterized by clear structures and high quality materials. Free WiFi in the whole building: whether for reading at the breakfast table, working on the desk or surfing on the internet before going to bed.
The guestrooms have been carefully designed, offering an upscale level of comfort without compromising a genuinely cool feel. Velvets, brass, Maison Pierre Frey fabrics and bold colours mix with sumptuous beds, crisp white linen and goose down duvets. Graduating from Cosy to Classic, and Superior to Deluxe with a variety of twin-bedded, interlinking and Family rooms; all infuse chic décor with 21st century sensibilities. Bathrooms are in sleek porcelain stocked with rejuvenating products and fluffy white towelling. For extra convenience there is also fast dedicated Wi-Fi connection and an in-house gym.
It is here between Putney Bridge and Mortlake that the Oxford and Cambridge University Boat Race is held on a Saturday near Easter every year on a 4.2 mile (6.8km) stretch of the river. It first began in 1829. Up to 250,000 people watch the boat race from the banks and many more on the TV.
The next part of today’s walk takes you into the very heart of London, where you can see the famous skylines.
Take a unique mix of stylish design, indulgent comfort and a very warm welcome, and you’re close to what to expect at London Bridge Hotel. You’ll feel instantly at home in this boutique 4* hotel, where service comes first. They are positioned in one of London’s most diverse boroughs and with the bright lights of the city one way and the quirky stalls of the South Bank and Borough Market another, you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do.
A modern hotel offering luxury comforts in the centre of London. Enjoy the abstract murals of Tower Bridge in their welcoming lobby and relax in comfortable rooms featuring mini bars, Nespresso machines and rainforest showers.
Now you will be walking through the heart of London’s docklands. At times you will follow the path next to the river and at times through suburban neighbourhoods. On this section there are interesting plaques with historical information.
Once you arrive in Greenwich, (home to Greenwich Mean Time) you will see the Cutty Sark, an historic British sailing ship built in 1869 for the great China tea races of the day. It is located next to the riverside path and the Christopher Wren-designed Old Royal Naval College. Greenwich is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is full of history. However, you may want to continue the last few kilometres to the Thames Barrier and the end of your walk, as you can explore Greenwich later, because this is where you will be spending your final night. This barrier was completed in 1982 and was built to decrease central London’s vulnerability to flooding with ever-rising tides. On arrival at the Thames Barrier you can check out the Information Centre, before jumping on a local bus back to Greenwich.
With 24 comfortable B&B hotel rooms in Greenwich, Greater London, including family suites, The Mitre (Innkeepers Lodge) will ensure you get a great night's sleep. Furnished to a high standard, the rooms are decorated in a traditional style reflective of the building’s history, with a warm welcoming ambience. They also offer a host of features and amenities including complimentary Wi-Fi, tea and coffee making facilities, en-suite facilities including plenty of towels and a hairdryer. Enjoy a continental buffet breakfast.
The Angerstein Hotel is a small family run Victorian Hotel with a traditional pub. Situated on the edge of Greenwich, near the London 02 arena, It is also a two Minute walk to Westcombe Park Train Station, which reaches London Bridge in 15 minutes. All rooms have a flat screen televisions and tea & coffee making facilities. There are no lifts so access to the rooms is via a staircase.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
Other InformationIs it for me?
If you would like to walk an English National Trail that is rated moderate with virtually flat walking, following trails from the peaceful countryside into the heart of London and passing sights of historical interest as you go, then this is the tour for you. On this trail the strains and stresses of everyday life will slip away as you stroll along the banks of England’s most iconic river. .
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Inn to Inn Walking | Walk from place-to-place changing accommodations each night. Generally staying in B&B’s, inns, and guesthouses.
The Thames Path is a walk of contrasting terrain, from countryside trails and small country roads to towpaths, riverside paths, plus some city streets, the further into London you get. Due to the flat nature of the area, it sometimes can be prone to waterlogged and boggy paths after any prolonged rainfall.
Please note that depending on where you spend the night, the distances may be at times more or less than listed every day. So please be prepared for longer or shorter walks than listed when necessary. Also, the distances listed may not be exactly the same as in the guidebook as different gps units do not measure the distances the same (its not an exact science).
Generally, this is easy walking as you are, for the most part, walking alongside the Thames and therefore the elevation gains and losses are minimal. However, walking the complete Thames Path in one stretch is not easy, as you will be walking long distances every day, especially on the 17-day tour. Therefore the 17-day complete trip is rated moderate, simply due to the daily walking distances. The 21-day itinerary has at times been split into shorter sections and is therefore graded easy to moderate.
You will experience a variety of accommodations on this tour from small B&B's and guesthouses, to inns, hotels and comfortable pubs with rooms. Some will be quite simple depending on where they are located and what is available. However, they all offer warm welcomes and traditional hospitality. In the heart of London, we will be using chain-style hotels. If you request a booking when there is an event on in London, or it is particularly busy, you may be asked to pay a supplement.
On the Thames Path, accommodation choices can be limited along the trail, so if we cannot secure a reservation for you in a particular place you may have to spend 2 nights in one place and we will include a transfer to or from the beginning/end of the walk, whatever is appropriate.
Single Rooms & Solo Walkers
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable. We also welcome solo walkers on the Thames Path, although you should, of course, take extra care in the outdoors when walking alone.
A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs or restaurants.
If you wish to add additional nights along the trail or at the beginning and end of your itinerary please contact us. You may choose to add some rest days, or extra days where there is plenty of opportunity for sightseeing.
The Thames Path is relatively well-waymarked. We provide a Thames Path guidebook to assist you in finding your way and GPX tracks are accessible on the Macs Smartphone App, so you can simply follow the route on your phone and have a problem-free day.
- Overnights in B&B’s, guesthouses, inns, hotels & pubs with rooms
- Luggage transfers
- Detailed Information Pack, Guidebook and maps
- Access to the GPX tracks via the Macs Smartphone App
- 24/7 telephone support from our UK office
- Travel to Cirencester
- Travel from Greenwich
- Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
- Local ferry
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you wish to skip a stage
- Travel Insurance
- Personal Equipment
- Extra nights
You can start your Thames Path Complete walk anytime between late April and the beginning of October. It is advised not to walk the beginning sections of the Thames Path too early in the year as there is a risk of flooding on some of the paths as they are next to the river. Please note that if you are doing the complete Thames Path walk it is best to book a long way in advance due to potential availability issues in central London.
By nature, the South East of England is prone to varying types of weather throughout the year. Always be prepared for changeable conditions when walking in England. Waterproofs are essential all year round. In the summer months, be prepared for hot weather also - with a lack of shade on the paths (ensure you have sunscreen) and in the shoulder seasons of March or October expect colder temperatures (it’s not a bad idea to pack some gloves or a woolly hat).
Before you set off each day, it is also important that you pay attention to any weather warnings in place. We recommend visiting https://www.metoffice.gov.uk/ (the UK’s official source for weather warnings). Do not attempt to walk any sections if any serious weather warnings are in place.
You can fly into any of the London Airports. and easily make your way from any of them (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted) into the centre of London. From London Paddington Station there is a direct train to Kemble, the closest train station to Cirencester, which takes approximately 1H15. From here we recommend jumping in a taxi to get to Cirencester. Here’s a weblink to a taxi company so that you can call ahead of time. http://www.taxisofkemble.co.uk/ For further information on train travel please visit either the Trainline or National Rail websites.
In Greenwich, there is an overground train station and from here you can make your way to any of the major train stations, generally changing trains at London Bridge and then taking an underground train. To plan your travel in London, visit the Transport for London journey planner.
Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.
At Macs Adventure, we work in partnership with many luggage transfer providers who set a limit on how many bags/suitcases they will transfer per person, and also the weight of the bag/suitcase. Your booking includes transfer of 1 bag per person. It is very important that you read the luggage information specific to your tour before departure. If you do not adhere to these limits, there is a great possibility that you will be charged locally both for extra bags or if they are too heavy. This limitation can be a challenge, especially as airlines generally have limits that are higher. However, our luggage providers have reasons for these limits (usually due to the Health and Safety of their employees), which we must respect.
Flooding and Diversions on the Thames path
The Thames Path is set in a relatively flat location of South east England therefore can be prone to flooding in early spring, during prolonged rainfall or bad weather – this may mean sections of the Thames path (in particular the west section) can become waterlogged or boggy, making progress significantly slower – in extreme cases it may make the path’s impassable. If any section is particularly bad over time, the local authorities will close it off and create a diversion. No matter what year you are due to walk the Thames Path you are likely to find some minor diversions in place (normally this will be a logical path that skirts around the effected section). If there are any major diversions in place, the Macs Adventure team will reach out to you to let you know.
We recommend checking the interactive map on the official trail website that shows the up-to-date trail diversions: https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/en_GB/trails/thames-path/trail-information/
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a daypack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.
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