Classic & Luxury itinerary day-by-day
1. Day one
Arrive in the village of Ewen close to Cirencester where a warm welcome awaits you at your accommodation. Take a short walk along the trickling waterway if you wish, to the source of the Thames River and its headstone for a photo call to mark the start of your adventure.
Optional 6 miles (10 km)
2. Day two
Ewen to Cricklade
Your host for the tour will meet you this morning and run through your itinerary before moving your luggage to Cricklade where you will be tonight. Your walk there along the Thames Path begins with the fledging waterway as a mere trickle. The route includes several lakes, idyllic meadows and some very pretty villages and willow lined paths. Cricklade - described as the first town on the Thames, dates from the 9th Century and your overnight stay is in an ancient inn in the heart of the town.
9 miles (14 km)
3. Day three
Cricklade to Kelmscott
This section of the river is often remote, very quiet and immensely beautiful with some gentle folds in the landscape and the occassional village. The market town of Lechlade breaks the silence. It marks the upstream limit of navigation today and is a characterful place known for its antique shops. Just beyond lies the lovely hamlet of Kelmscott where you will stay the night. William Morris spent many summers here in the manor house as it's such an idyllic spot.
12 miles (19 km)
4. Day four
Kelmscott to Oxford
This morning we will transfer you to Eynsham, a typical Cotswold village not far from Oxford. From here you will have the pleasure of walking towards the dreaming spires of Oxford through the extensive wild meadows which lead virtually into the heart of this historic city and to your hotel. Spend the afternoon exploring the splendid university colleges and take in a museum or two and some of the charming Oxford lanes and alleyways.
7 miles (11 km) walking and a transfer of 40 minutes by road
5. Day five
Oxford to Dorchester
Enjoy the luxury of a short 2 hour river boat trip first thing in the morning to the market town of Abingdon where you disembark. Take time to explore this ancient town before meandering on along the peaceful river bank, fragrant with the scent of meadow sweet in the summer. There are the two very pretty villages of Culham and Sutton Courtenay to enjoy before you reach Dorchester on Thames with its half timbered houses and thatched cottages. Once the capital of Wessex - until the end of the 11th Century, this delightful town has a wonderful abbey where home made teas are served. Your overnight stay is in an old coaching inn in the town.
7 miles (11 km) walking with a boat ride of 2 hours
6. Day six
Dorchester to Pangbourne
After breakfast, we will transfer you to Wallingford, the neighbouring market town downstream of Dorchester. This is another charming country town well worth exploring before you ramble on. The river scene is very rural counting tiny ancient hamlets, water meadows and splendid weirs along the way. As you approach the villages of Goring and Streatley, stradded either side of the river and home to several notable novelists, the scene shifts for here the Thames starts to cut dramatically down through the beech clad slopes of the Chiltern hills. Walking through the woods you have fine views of the river from the cliff before crossing the tollbridge and reaching Pangbourne for a well earned rest.
11 miles (18 km) walking with a 20 minutes transfer by road
7. Day seven
Pangbourne to Henley
Today's walk is full of variety. Following a riverside bridleway you will pass a vineyard and idyllic Mapledurham House nestled at the foot of the Chilterns. This is such a beautiful reach that leads on to the wide meadows through Reading and to Sonning - described by some as the prettiest village on the Thames. The final stretch into elegant Henley takes in weirs, locks and the River Museum. Famed for its annual rowing regatta, Henley is a fitting finale for todays walk and your overnight stay is in the heart of the town.
15 miles (24 km)
8. Day eight
Henley to Marlow
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 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.
8 miles (13 km)
9. Day nine
Marlow to Windsor
What a day! Willow trees are dotted about meadows with boat houses, mini islands rise out of the water and grand houses loom into view. Discover the quirky village of Cookham and marvel at the majestic Windsor Castle in the distance. Visit the gallery in Cookham which celebrates Stanley Spencer's life; relive Edwardian history at Boulter's Lock at Maidenhead; delight at the stunning views at Cliveden House with its (in)famous political past. Approaching Windsor from the meadows of Eton, you cross the river here and stay overnight in the heart of this royal town.
14 miles (23 km)
10. Day ten
Windsor to Runnymede
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 river path. And not far beyond lies Runnymede and its old meadows. This town is where the historic charter was signed by King John. Your hotel here is a lovely boutique one that lies adjacent to the river.
8 miles (14 km)
11. Day eleven
Runnymede to Hampton Court
Still very rural, the Thames runs through meadows with kissing gates, past holiday cottages and cosy inns and down a river 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 in a boutique hotel adjacent to the vast palace attributed to Henry VIII.
12 miles (20 km)
12. Day twelve
Hampton Court to Richmond
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. Stay in this charming riverside village with a green overnight at our hand-picked boutique hotel.
7 miles (12 km)
13. Day thirteen
Richmond to Central London
Just 3 miles downstream from Richmond lie the world renowned Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and wonderful Kew Palace. Continue along the Thames Path to encounter ancient wharves, historic pubs, and renowned bridges. This really is hidden gem walking, with a new surprise around every corner 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. You will spend the night at a hotel in the heart of London, a short walk from the river path and from the boat pier at Westminster.
Up to 15 miles (24 km)
14. Day fourteen
Central London to Greenwich and the Thames Barrier and back. Depart
On the final day of your tour before you depart, you have the choice of a further walk downstream to Greenwich if you wish. En route you will get up close with 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. Once you reach Greenwich, take your time to absorb its maritime history and make the most of a photo opportunity astride the meridian line! 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. And your adventure draws to an end!
Optional 11 miles (17 km)