Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Windsor Castle in all its glory
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Highlights

  • Follow the Thames Path, a National Trail, from Henley-on-Thames to Windsor
  • Begin in Henley-on-Thames, famous for its world-renowned regatta
  • Reach Marlow, the town where Mary Shelley penned Frankenstein
  • The royal palace of Windsor, where the Queen spends her private weekends
  • The Thames River, a constant source of inspiration for writers and artists

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.

Day 1: Arrive Henley-on-Thames and overnight

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.


Overnight: Henley-on-Thames


Day 2: Henley-on-Thames to Marlow

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.


Overnight: Marlow


Walk: 14km/9m


Day 3: Marlow to Windsor

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.


Overnight: Windsor


Walk: 23km/14m


Day 4: Onward Travel

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.

Accommodation

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.


Additional Nights

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.


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 welcome solo walkers on the Thames Path, although you should of course take extra care in the outdoors when walking alone.


Meals

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.



 

 

 



The Paddock B&B

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.



 

 

 



Kenton House - Marlow

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.



 

 

 



76 Duke St B&B

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.

Availability

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.


Grade & Terrain

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.


Navigation

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.


Baggage Transfer

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.  


Equipment

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.


General Information

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.

Getting to Henley

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.


Getting from Windsor

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.


Included

  • Overnights in B&B’s, guesthouses, inns, hotels & pubs with rooms
  • Breakfasts
  • 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

Excluded

  • Travel to Henley-on-Thames
  • Travel from Windsor
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you wish to skip a stage
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment

Extras

  • Single room supplement
  • Solo Walker Supplement
  • Extra nights

How far in advance do I need to book?

These areas are very popular so it is best to book as far in advance as possible.

How fit do I need to be?

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.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

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.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, bus or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

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