Thames Path Short Break: Henley to Windsor4 Days & 3 Nights 4.2 Read 9 reviews
- 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
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
Inn to Inn Walking | A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night
This trip is suitable for:
Solo Travelers, First Timers
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).
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.
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.
- 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 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
- 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
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 the End
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.
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.
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.
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.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive Henley-on-Thames & 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.
There are 4 well furnished rooms including single, double and family rooms, most fully en suite, and a comfortable lounge. Wireless internet is available throughout the house and all rooms have satellite television. They aim to provide the very best English bed and breakfast experience. Located in this beautiful riverside town, famous for its Royal Regatta, The Paddock is just a few minute walk from the river, the railway station and the town centre. While close to the heart of Henley, it is set in a mature English garden with a large and private sunny patio.
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.
Linda and Richard would like to welcome you to their comfortable family home, in historic Henley on Thames, home to the Henley Royal Regatta. The Gables bed and breakfast is conveniently situated within a mile of Henley town centre, which has a wide selection of restaurants, interesting shops and local attractions. All their bedrooms are well appointed, with comfortable king size beds, hair dryers and welcome trays with tea, coffee and biscuits. A delicious full english or continental breakfast will be provided to start your day. They also offer a snug area with open fire place and TV for relaxing, complimentary high-speed internet access and a drying room for your use after muddy walks.
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.
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.
Herons Nest is located in the village of Marlow, close to the River Thames and surrounded by woodland. This charming property offers pretty, en-suite rooms. The 2-Michelin starred restaurant, The Hand and Flowers, is just a 10-minute walk away from the B&B. Each room at Herons Nest has pleasant décor with modern design and floral fabrics. All rooms include free WiFi, tea and coffee-making facilities and an en-suite bathroom. During the week, guests will receive a breakfast hamper. On weekends, guest are offered a full English breakfast made from locally sourced produce. A full English breakfast on a weekday can be arranged for an extra cost, if booked in advance.
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.
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 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. Also pass Eton, famed for its public school and a quieter option to stay in than Windsor.
The Crown and Cushion has been an inn since 1753! 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 and lots of the floorboards are creaky – but that is what makes it charming!
Langton House bed and breakfast located in the centre of Royal Windsor which is home to the Queen of England. Langton House has been providing great accommodation since 1979 and is family run and owned. Situated in a quiet leafy street only 5 minutes’ walk from the town centre,.the owners provide the warmest of welcomes and all that you would wish for to a comfortable stay in the finest bed and breakfast tradition. All rooms are large with high ceilings. Further all rooms have large TV’s with Freeview channels, central heating, hair dryers, access to a small kitchen area with fridge, toaster, microwave and tea and coffee making facilities with complimentary biscuits. Langton House is only a short 10 minutes’ walk from the castle, walking through the main local shopping area which retains the Victorian charm and architecture, on the way toward the Castle entrance. Langton House is also close to the Trinity church, built in the mid 1800’s with money from Queen Victoria as a garrison church for the troops guarding the Royal Windsor castle.
Located opposite Windsor Castle, The Harte and Garter Hotel is perfectly placed in the centre of Windsor. Built in the 14th century, the hotel and spa offers old world charm and historic character, with modern amenities such as free WiFi throughout. Each of the rooms is beautifully decorated and include period features to enhance the historic ambiance. The view across to Windsor Castle are simply splendid also! Originally two inns, the hotel is made up of the main building which overlooks the Castle and Goswell House.
After breakfast your walking holiday will come to an end. See the Travel Info section for some useful details for your onward travel.
The Macs Way
- Custom-made Adventures
- Book with Confidence
- Positive Impact
- Flexible itineraries built around you
- Knowledgeable and helpful specialist trip planners
- Customize your trip to suit your interests
- Start on any date that suits you
- Choose your ideal trip length and difficulty
- Range of accommodation comfort levels
- Choice of trip styles
- Choose your own travel companions
- Walk, cycle and explore at your own pace
- Make your own decisions
- Choose your own path
- Indulge your passions
- 14,000+ unbiased trip & service reviews
- Feefo Gold Award 2019
- 25,000+ travelers trust us each year
- As featured in the Guardian, Times, Nat Geo Traveler
- Founder owned & operated since 2003
- 100+ passionate team members across the US, UK & Europe
- Carefully planned adventures
- Quality, hand-picked accommodations
- Seamless and reliable arrangements
- Comprehensive trip information & insider tips
- Detailed maps, route notes and mobile GPS app
- Helpful 24/7 support should you need it
- Travel responsibly
- Explore off the beaten track
- Support locally owned businesses
- Engage with local communities
- Minimize your impact
- Maximize the benefit of your travel
- Challenge yourself & grow