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Walking the Thames Path (Oxford to Windsor)

8 days
from
£1,229
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Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 12+
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
W07TO
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking
Min age:
12

Walk between Oxford and Windsor along the Thames Path. The exhilarating walk follows a mature river, with colourful river boats, great loops, and numerous locks and weirs.

Walk between Oxford and Windsor along the Thames Path. The walking is exhilarating as it follows a mature river, with colourful river boats, great loops, and numerous locks and weirs. Walk through a mixture of landscapes of quiet countryside, beech woodlands, small hamlets full of historic interest. The Thames has been a constant source of inspiration for artists and authors due to its many outstanding features.

Some of the natural, architectural and engineering highlights include the famous Christchurch Meadows, Goring Gap between the Chiltern Hills and Berkshire Downs, the Sandford Lasher (weir at Sandford lock), Hambledon Weir, Henley Bridge and the beautiful suspension bridge at Marlow, and of course ending at the impressive Royal Palace, Windsor Castle.

Spot water voles, herons and kingfisher as well as numerous ducks, coots, geese and swans. Enjoy wild flower meadows and woody copses.

Accommodation is in a range of friendly B&Bs, inns and hotels, some of which are of historical interest from a 16th Century coaching inn to a house originally the residence for Queen Victoria's minor government officials.

Highlights

  • Walk the Thames Path from Oxford, city of dreaming spires to Windsor, with it's royal palace
  • Literary connections: Sonning, described in Three Men in a Boat as 'the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river'; Marlow, where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein; Bourne End, home of Enid Blyton
  • Engineering gems: Hambleden Weir, Marlow suspension bridge; Henley bridge
  • Walk through the Chiltern Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in 3, 4 and 5 star hotels
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Countries visited: United Kingdom

What's included

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

What's not included

  • Hotel upgrades
  • Transfers to and from hotels
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request - compulsory supplement)
  • Visas & vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

The Thames Path is made up of well marked paths through riverside towpaths, through meadows, country roads and city streets. There are little to no elevation gains and losses.

Day by day breakdown
Day 2 15.5km/9.75miles
Day 3 21.0km/13.5miles
Day 4 17.0km/11.0miles
Day 5 25.0km/16.0miles
Day 6 13.5km/8.5miles
Day 7 23.0km/14.5miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Oxford
to
Windsor
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Oxford

    Arrive in the city of dreaming spires and discover its wealth of historical highlights.
    Stay overnight at The Oxford Coach and Horses or similar

  • Day 2

    Oxford to Abingdon

    Follow the trail through the Iffley Meadows Nature Reserve to the lock at Sandford, which has the greatest fall of water on the Thames with its weir, known as the Sandford Lasher. Continue to reach Abingdon, one of the most important historic towns on the Thames Path with Iron Age origins.
    Stay overnight at The Coseners House or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Abingdon to Wallingford

    Walk through the pretty village of Culham and with a short detour, Dorchester, with its thatched cottages, before reaching Wallingford, home to the remains of a medieval castle.
    There are two impressive abbeys to enjoy on this stretch: the remains of Abingdon Abbey at the start of the day and the great abbey church in Dorchester built around 1140.
    Stay overnight at the Town Arms or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Wallingford to Pangbourne

    Walk through hamlets, water meadows and woodlands between the Chiltern Hills to the east and the Berkshire Downs to the west before crossing the toll bridge leading to Pangbourne. It is thought that the water voles here inspired author Kenneth Grahame's character Ratty in his book The Wind in the Willows.
    Stay overnight at The Elephant or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Pangbourne to Henley

    Follow the trail towards Sonning, described by Jerome K Jerome in Three Men in a Boat as 'the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river'; before reaching Henley-on-Thames, known for its annual rowing regatta. The award-winning River and Rowing Museum is on the banks of the river as you enter the town.
    Stay overnight at The Row Barge or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Henely to Marlow

    Leave Henley and follow the length of the regatta course to Temple Island, the starting point of the race. Continue along the river to Hambleden Lock with its picturesque view of the lock, a series of weirs across which you can walk and Hambleden Mill. Walk through open meadowland to Marlow with its fine suspension bridge.
    Stay overnight at The Macdonald Compleat Angler or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Marlow to Windsor

    Walk through one of the most beautiful stretches of the Thames Valley with the wooded slopes of Winter Hill rising on the opposite bank as you leave Marlow. Follow peaceful river paths passing some places of historic significance, Bourne End, where Enid Blyton lived and Cookham, home to the artist Stanley Spencer who lived here for 49 years and where the chapel is now a memorial gallery to his work. The grand finale of the walk is spotting Windsor Castle towering above the water.
    Stay overnight at Langton House or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Windsor

    Depart Windsor after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Eating and Drinking

Enjoy the local cuisine in quintessentially British pubs, cafes and delicatessens - local delicacies include Cerney Ash or Stinking Bishop cheeses, Crackleberry Farm eggs, Cotswold Cream liqueur and the local ales - try the Yubby beer from the Yubberton Brewery Co. There's also the archetypal English Cream Teas that go down a treat with a nice hot cup of tea!

Weather

The Cotswolds has a temperate maritime climate with warm, rather than hot, summers and cool to cold winters. The hottest month, on average, is July and the coldest is January with rain falling fairly evenly throughout the year. The weather is unpredictable as with the rest of the UK and it is possible to see elements of all four seasons in one day. It is advisable for visitors to check the weather forecast before they arrive in the Cotswolds to get a better idea of the sort of clothing they will need during their trip. Bringing hooded waterproof coats and hats will ensure visitors are prepared for any spells of wind and rain the region may experience.
Spring: The climate is milder in spring making it a good time to visit the Cotswolds. There can be some great sunny days mixed with cooler and wet weather. From March to May the average daytime temperatures are between 9°C and 17°C.
Summer: Most days in summer range from mild to warm with the possibility of some infrequent hotter days, the days are at their longest in the summer. There may be overcast and humid conditions in the summer. From June to August the average daytime temperatures are between 19°C and 22°C.
Autumn: The climate can vary from some pleasantly mild days particularly at the start of September to cooler and colder days in October and November. Autumn is a good time to visit the Cotswolds as it avoids the peak summer season whilst enjoying milder temperatures and longer hours of daylight particularly at the start of September. Visitors can see some wonderful autumn colours. From September to November the average daytime temperatures are between 9°C and 19°C.

Is this trip for you?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 3 (Moderate)
Average daily distance: 20km
No. of days walking: 8
Terrain and route: Walks on this holiday are through a mixture of landscapes including quiet countryside, beech woodlands and small hamlets.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotels are normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

OXFORD COACH AND HORSES, OXFORD 3 Star
Just a 10-minute walk from Oxford City centre, the Oxford Coach & Horses is built on the site of an old coaching inn dating from the 18th Century, said to be the last in Oxford before the road to London. Rooms are modern and comfortable.

THE COSENERS HOUSE, ABINGDON 5 Star
The Cosener’s House is in the grounds of the Abbey in a picturesque Thames-side position. The name comes from the Cuisinier (the official responsible for providing food for the Abbey). The oldest part of the present building is the central portion which dates from the mid-eighteenth century. Rooms are modern and spacious and there is a bar and restaurant available as well as a terrace and large garden. ​

THE TOWN ARMS, WALLINGFORD 4 Star
The Town Arms is located in the historic market town of Wallingford beside the river Thames. There is a bar and restaurant which serve local ales and home-cooked food.

THE ELEPHANT, PANGBOURNE 3 Star
The Elephant Hotel, beside the River Thames, is a boutique hotel with beautiful, hand-crafted Indian furniture, rich rugs and delicate fabrics. A restaurant, The Herd, is available as well as a bar - Babar.

THE ROW BARGE, HENLEY-ON-THAMES 3 Star
The Row Barge is one of Henley's oldest coaching inns, dating to the 16th Century. It is close to the centre of town and offers a beautiful beer garden, great home-cooked food and a warm welcome. ​

MACDONALD COMPLEATE ANGLER, MARLOW 4 Star
The Compleat Angler is a 400 year old country house overlooking Marlow Weir and the River Thames. The elegant rooms have classic décor and are named after fly fishing lures. There are two restaurants and a cocktail bar.

LANGTON HOUSE, WINDSOR 4 Star
Langton House is a Victorian town house set in a quiet leafy tree lined road in the heart of Windsor. Built in around 1890 it was a residence for Queen Victoria’s minor government officials.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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