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Thames Path West - The Cotswolds (6 Days & 5 Nights)

6 Days & 5 Nights 4.2 Read 9 reviews
  • Walk the Thames Path West through the Cotswolds into the city of Oxford
  • Tranquil landscapes of meadows, fields, woodlands and river banks
  • Follow the Thames as it turns from a stream to a wide river
  • Finish your walk in Oxford, one of the world’s most famous university cities
  • Walk through the Cotswolds an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
Walk England’s Thames Path West through the Cotswolds, where it originates, into one of the world’s most historic university cities, Oxford. On this stretch of the Thames Path, a National Trail, you will experience classically British rural landscapes; meadows, woodland and unspoilt villages, some of which display the honey-coloured stone atypical of the Cotswolds. 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 enjoying lunches in cosy pubs.

What To Expect

The Thames Path West, the first section of this National Trail, takes you through pastoral landscapes of the Cotswolds and into the elegant university city of Oxford. If you would like to walk the first part of this easy to moderately rated trail (perhaps walking the other sections another time) then you should definitely book this tour!

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Historical Journeys, National Parks & Trails

Activity Level & 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. However walking the complete Thames Path in one stretch is not easy, as you will be walking fairly long distances everyday, 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. These itineraries are most suitable for those walkers with previous long distance experience and an excellent level of physical fitness.

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.

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 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).

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.

Accommodations

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.

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.

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.

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 Kemble
  • Travel from Oxford
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you wish to skip a stage
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment
Extras
  • Extra nights

When To Go

You can start your Thames Path Complete walk anytime between the end of April and 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.

Getting to the Start

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 which takes approximately 1H15. For further information on train travel please visit either the Trainline or National Rail websites.

Getting from the End

From Oxford it is only a 1H train ride direct to London Paddington. From here you can make your onward journeys to any of the London Airports. See the weblinks above to look up schedules and prices.

Luggage 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

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.

Travel Insurance

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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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Kemble & overnight Day 2 Kemble to Cricklade 12 miles / 20 km Day 3 Cricklade to Lechlade 11 miles / 18 km Day 4 Lechlade to Newbridge 16 miles / 26 km Day 5 Newbridge to Oxford 13 miles / 22 km Day 6 Onward Travel

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