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Take a short walking break on England’s Thames Path, a National Trail, from the world-renowned regatta town of Henley-on-Thames to Windsor, home to the royal palace.
As John Elliott Burns (1858-1943) said, “The Thames is liquid history”. It has inspired authors, poets and painters alike and you can contemplate life and relax whilst walking through serene countryside and to areas of great historic significance.
Wander through idyllic English villages, such as Bourne End and Cookham and pause in the local pub for a brew and perhaps a Ploughman’s Lunch with hearty bread, cheeses, pickled onions and cold meats.
Henley-on-Thames is easily accessible from central London by train (1H15) from London Paddington. You will have to change trains in Twyford.
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. Try to arrive early so you can explore this charming town.
As you leave Henley you will be walking along the same stretch of river used in the Henley Regatta races to Temple Island. From here the river sweeps around and you cross into the county of Buckinghamshire. Pass the village of Hurley which has a couple of pubs and a tea shop and the Church of St Mary, beneath which lay the remains of Edward the Confessor’s sister!
Pass Temple Locks and the small village of Bisham before arriving in Marlow, a town with literary associations. Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein was penned here. Marlow is a really splendid riverside town and you should take the time to explore it.
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. Also pass Eton, famed for its public school. (you may even get to stay here!).
The royal palace of Windsor makes for a very interesting visit and its open all year. Founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs. Today The Queen spends most of her private weekends at the castle.
Windsor has direct trains that go into London Waterloo Station. The journey takes 1H. From here you can make your way to other stations or airports, depending on where you are from.
You will experience a variety of accommodations on this tour from small B&B's and guesthouses, to inn's, hotels and 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.
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.
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.
If you require single rooms we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
We 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.
While close to the heart of Henley this B&B is set in a mature English garden with a large and private sunny patio. There are 4 well furnished rooms, a comfortable lounge and free Wifi throughout.
At Kenton House you will be sure of a warm and friendly welcome. Both the twin rooms have en suites fitted to a luxury standard. its location provides peace and quiet yet it is situated in the town centre.
This B&B is proudly owned and operated and provides delightful accommodation in a quiet residential area, only a ten minute walk along the River Thames to Windsor Castle.The bedrooms are beautifully decorated.
You can start your Thames Path Short Break: Henley-on-Thames to Windsor tour anytime between April and October. You cannot walk the Thames Path too early in the year as there is always a risk of flooding on some of the paths as they are next to the river.
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. This itinerary is most suitable for those walkers who have a good level of fitness.
The Thames Path is a walk of contrasting terrain, from countryside trails and small country roads, to towpaths, riverside paths, plus some town streets as well.
Please note that depending on where you spend the night, the distances may be at times more or less that listed every day. So please be prepared for longer or shorter walks than listed at times. 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 and therefore its not an exact science.
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. We also provide detailed maps.
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.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. 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.
The closest airport to the start of the walk is any of the London Airports. You can easily make your way from any of the London Airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted) into the centre of London. From London Paddington Station there is a train to Henley-on-Thames (with a change in Twyford or Reading) which takes approximately 1H15. For further information on train travel please visit either the Trainline or National Rail websites.
From Windsor you can take a train (1H) into London’s centre and specifically London Waterloo Station. From here you can make your onward journeys to any of the London Airports. See the weblinks above to look up schedules and prices.
These areas are very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as possible.
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. These itineraries are most suitable for those walkers with previous long distance experience and a good level of physical fitness.
You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.
Spring, summer and autumn/fall are good times to walk this National Trail. However spring and autumn/fall will be less busy that in July and August.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.
You can use public transport, bus or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.