Accommodation: Our walking holiday on the Thames includes a 5 star hotel in London opposite the London Eye, four 4 star hotels and two 3 star hotels all in the heart of each location. Dinner is not included.
Walking mileage: 5 days of walking 7 - 14 miles (11 - 22 km) per day with 2 days of optional walking.
Walking terrain: More or less flat.
Grade out of 5 based on distance and elevation: 1
The lower Thames from Henley to central London and Greenwich embraces many landscapes from rural meadows with kissing gates to royal palaces and castles, from tiny hamlets to the historic towns and cities of Windsor and London and from backwaters and weirs to old dockyards. With our knowledge of the Thames we have created an itinerary designed to give you time to enjoy all the delights this great river has to offer.
Threading its course through history and royalty, the Thames provides such a great way to discover the sights and smells of quintessential England . Take in Windsor Castle and the palaces at Hampton Court and Kew, the unsung but very English details that line the river banks, the charming towns of Henley and Marlow and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. Walk through the heart of London and sleepy rural villages, enjoy the wildlife and discover an England most tourists rarely see.
Additional nights in Windsor and London
Follow the entire river to London by adding our Walk the Lower Thames tour. 13 nights in total, costing £2,445 per person for Luxury tour and £1595.00 per person for classic tour
Day 1: Arrive Henley.
Arrive in Henley on Monday and check into your hotel located in the heart of the town.. Enjoy a stroll around this elegant town with its River museum, waterside cafes, weirs and boats galore. Your host will meet you in the evening to run through the tour itinerary and to give you some local tips.
Day 2: Henley to Marlow, 8 miles (13 km).
The shortish walk today allows you time to explore both Henley and your destination town of Marlow. Both are bursting with character and history. The Thames Path takes you beside the course of the Henley rowing regatta, past several islands and the old mill and weir at Hambledon to the charms of Hurley village. With great views of the Chiltern hills and plenty of wildlife to enjoy, your hotel in Marlow adjacent to the old suspension bridge and weir will all too soon come into view.
Day 3: Marlow to Windsor, 14 miles (23 km).
What a day! From willow lined meadows with boat houses and endless islands to grand houses, the joys of Cookham village and the intriging backdrop of the royal castle at Windsor, your route is packed with interest. The gallery in Cookham celebrates Stanley Spencer's life there; Boulter's Lock at Maidenhead is a reminder of Edwardian pastimes on the river and there are stunning views at Cliveden of the Thames and its grand past. Approaching Windsor from the meadows of Eton, you cross the river here and stay overnight in the heart of this royal town.
Day 4: Windsor to Runnymede, 8 miles (14 km).
Today's shorter walk has been designed to give you a full morning in which to enjoy Windsor. Still inhabited by the Queen, Windsor Castle is the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. You also are lucky enough to walk through the royal estate following the Thames downstream. And not far beyond lie the historic meadows of Runnymede where the 13th Century charter was signed by King John with your overnight stay not far away adjacent to the river.
Day 5: Runnymede to Hampton Court, 12 miles (20 km).
Still very rural, the Thames runs through meadows with kissing gates, past holiday cottages and cosy inns and descends locks and weirs abundant with wildlife. You will cross the river on the only ferry crossing of the tour and continue on to Hampton Court where you will stay adjacent to the vast palace attributed to Henry VIII.
Day 6: Hampton Court to Richmond, 7 miles (12 km).
At Hampton Court Palace there is 500 years of stunning royal history for you to discover from the Tudor kitchens to the maze, and the astronomical clock to the state apartments of William III. The itinerary offers you time to enjoy the palace and have a gentle stroll along the historic stretch of the river to Richmond where royalty built their houses and gardens over the centuries. Richmond where you will stay overnight is a charming riverside village with a green and remnants of a former grand palace.
Day 7: Richmond to Central London, up to 15 miles (24 km).
Just 3 miles downstream from Richmond, lie the world renowned Royal Botanic Gardnes at Kew and wonderful Kew Palace. And beyond, the fascinating tidal riverscape is dotted with old wharves, historic pubs, and numerous famous bridges for you to walk under. There are surprises and intrigues around almost every turn of the river and views of London most tourists rarely see. You have an enviable choice of how to spend the day. for you can walk all the way, or take the river boat from Richmond all the way or walk to Kew and take the afternoon boat into London. Whatever your choice, you will spend the night adjacent to the river path near the London Eye and just across the Thames from Westminster and from the boat pier
Day 8: Central London to Greenwich and the Thames Barrier and back. Depart. Optional 11 miles (17 km).
On the final day of your tour before you depart, you have the choice of a further walk downstream to Greenwich if you wish. This is a truly fascinating route taking in Tower Bridge, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre and the former warehouses and dockyards of east London now converted into flats, marinas and the new banking zone of Canary Wharf. Arriving in Greenwich, there is much to explore with its naval tradition and association with time. And now is your chance to reward yourself with a final boat hop back to central London taking in the Thames Barrier if you wish. What an adventure !
Classic Walk The Lower Thames £920.00
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