Often described as 'liquid history', let the Thames lead you on a unique adventure through the heart and history of England. From its quiet source in the Cotswold Hills to the Thames Barrier at Greenwich where river and sea meet, this river of mystery holds many secrets for you to discover and enjoy.

The tranquil river path and the hidden lanes you will ride thread their way through sleepy rural villages and historic towns. Pretty landscapes beckon and royal life abounds as you ride by Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace and monarch's gardens. Enjoy the water meadows, old inns, wildlife and the traffic free ride through the heart of London. The Thames source to sea journey is a real classic trodden by many adventurers - come and see what all the fuss is about.



Holiday details

Price

Classic

from £2,140 per person

Luxury

from £3,340 per person

Based on two people sharing a room

What’s included?

There are no extras, however you’ll love what’s included as standard

Duration

10 nights

Start & Finish

starts Wednesdays from Ewen near Cirencester; finishes London. Ewen is a short taxi ride from the mainline station of Kemble which is 1.25 hours from Paddington, London

Hotels

Classic

hand picked centrally located hotels in London, Oxford, Marlow and Windsor and village inns elsewhere

Luxury

2 high quality village inns, 5 star hotels in Oxford and London and 4 star hotels elsewhere

Holiday type

Self-guided

This tour is priced without a guide and you are free to explore on your own.  If you would like a guide for part or all of your trip, we are happy to provide a knowledgeable, local guide

Activity level

Not so gentle cycling. More info...

Electric bikes

Available

Mileage

8 days of cycling 19 - 34 miles (30 - 54 km) per day

Terrain

Flat with some slopes on day 6

Traffic-free

Very largely

Options

  • Additional nights in London or Cirencester
  • Extend your ride to the south coast by taking our Kent Coast to Capital Trip




Itinerary day-by-day


Classic

  1. 1. Day one

    Ewen

    Arrive in the village of Ewen close to Cirencester. A warm welcome awaits you at the cosy inn where your host will meet you in the afternoon with your cycling equipment. Take a short ride if you wish to the source of the Thames River and its headstone for a photo call to mark the start of your adventure. You may like to see nearby Cirencester too, capital of the Cotswolds before returning to your hotel.

    Optional 6 miles (10 km) or 10 miles (16 km)

  2. 2. Day two

    Ewen to an Oxfordshire village

    Today's route is through the rural meadows of the Upper Thames area where the river begins as barely a trickle. Following country lanes and sections of the river path reach Cricklade, a well preserved Saxon town and Lechlade with its moored boats and antique shops. Your overnight stop is not far away in a small village inn.

    36.5 miles (58 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    An Oxfordshire village to Oxford

    Before reaching Oxford the Thames flows through a remote and agricultural area with pretty hamlets and ancient inns. Weather permitting, you may be able to cross the river at the only ford on the Thames. Then cycle at the waters edge all the way into the heart of historic Oxford where you will stay for the next 2 nights.

    28 miles (45 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Oxford

    The famous university town is packed with history from its 13th Century colleges to the wharfs and pubs associated with countless writers and films. Take in fine museums and unique shops or try your hand at punting!

  5. 5. Day five

    Oxford to an Oxfordshire village

    Criss cross the Thames today and discover forgotten rural scenes and a string of ancient market towns. Discover the ancient abbey in Abingdon or take tea in lovely Dorchester. Your overnight stop is in a rustic inn at the heart of a riverside hamlet

    28 miles (45 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    An Oxfordshire village to Marlow

    Start the day with a short train hop (5 minutes) to then follow the river through the picturesque Chiltern Hills.There are some slopes on the quiet lanes but there are also wonderful views and woods as well as flat Thames towpath and pretty bridleways. Cycle through the delightful riverside town of Henley with its weirs and old mill before reaching Thameside Marlow.

    30 miles (48 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    Marlow to Windsor

    Leave the riverside scene for a short while and enjoy quaint villages and country lanes before meeting the Thames again near Windsor. Cycle through the heart of Eton and across the river into Windsor where you will stay the night, almost adjacent to the castle. Now is a wonderful opportunity to explore this historic castle and royal home with its dramatic riverside setting.

    20 miles (32 km)

  8. 8. Day eight

    Windsor to Old Shepperton

    There is a wonderful ride into Windsor Great Park if you want a little extra cycling; you will be rewarded with expansive views of London and a different glimpse of royal life. Then head off along the river towards Hampton Court passing houseboats and villas, famous islands and pretty lock cottages, Your riverside hotel is in an old village square.

    14 or 31 miles (22 or 50 km)

  9. 9. Day nine

    Old Shepperton to London

    Cycle beside the Thames almost all day and enjoy the royal history so prevalent along the banks of the river. Take in the palaces at Hampton Court, Richmond and Kew, the famous Botanical Gardens and the fine houses on the waterfront at Richmond. The route leads you almost traffic free past the Houses of Parliament to your hotel in the heart of London.

    32 miles (51 km)

  10. 10. Day ten

    London to Greenwich

    Ride east towards the sea and unravel the layers of history that have built up over two centuries beside the River Thames. Take in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind, the Tower of London and the atmosphere of the old wharfs of London's docks. Enjoy a traffic - free route to the historic maritime centre of Greenwich and to the Thames Barrier where your adventure finally ends. Reward yourself with a lazy boat trip back upstream to your hotel for a second night.

    13 miles (21 km)

  11. 11. Day eleven

    Depart London

    Enjoy London and depart at your leisure. Your cycling equipment will be collected from your hotel.

Luxury

  1. 1. Day one

    Cirencester

    Arrive in the Cotswold capital of Cirencester. A warm welcome awaits you at the elegant Boutique Hotel in the heart of this historic town where your host will meet you in the afternoon with your cycling equipment. Take a short ride if you wish to the source of the Thames River and its headstone for a photo call to mark the start of your adventure.

  2. 2. Day two

    Cirencester to Clanfield

    Today's route is through the rural meadows of the Upper Thames area where the river begins as barely a trickle. Following country lanes and sections of the river path reach Cricklade, a well preserved Saxon town and Lechlade with its moored boats and antique shops. Your hotel is not far away in a 16th Century village inn.

    34 miles (54 km)

  3. 3. Day three

    An Oxfordshire village to Oxford

    Before reaching Oxford the Thames flows through a remote and agricultural area with pretty hamlets and ancient inns. Weather permitting, you may be able to cross the river at the only ford on the Thames. Then cycle at the waters edge all the way into the heart of historic Oxford where you will stay for the next 2 nights.

    28 miles (45 km)

  4. 4. Day four

    Oxford

    The famous university town is packed with history from its 13th Century colleges to the wharfs and pubs associated with countless writers and films. Take in fine museums and unique shops or try your hand at punting!

  5. 5. Day five

    Oxford to an Oxfordshire village

    Criss cross the Thames today and discover forgotten rural scenes and a string of ancient market towns. Discover the ancient abbey in Abingdon or take tea in lovely Dorchester. Your hotel nestles in an idyllic riverside village

    28 miles (45 km)

  6. 6. Day six

    An Oxfordshire village to Marlow

    Start the day with a short train hop (5 minutes) to then follow the river through the picturesque Chiltern Hills. There are some slopes on the quiet lanes but there are also wonderful views and woods as well as flat Thames towpath and pretty bridleways. Cycle through the delightful riverside town of Henley with its weirs and old mill before reaching Thameside Marlow.

    30 miles (48 km)

  7. 7. Day seven

    Marlow to Windsor

    Leave the riverside scene for a short while and enjoy quaint villages and country lanes before meeting the Thames again near Windsor. Cycle through the heart of Eton and across the river into Windsor where you will stay the night, almost adjacent to the castle. Now is a wonderful opportunity to explore this historic castle and royal home with its dramatic riverside setting.

    20 miles (32 km)

  8. 8. Day eight

    Windsor to Hampton Court

    Here is a wonderful ride into Windsor Great Park if you want a little extra cycling; you will be rewarded with expansive views of London and a different glimpse of royal life. Then head off along the river to Hampton Court passing houseboats and villas, famous islands and pretty lock cottages. Your riverside hotel is adjacent to the Palace with its 500 years of royal history from Henry VIII to Queen Victoria.

    19 miles (30 km) or 36 miles (58 km)

  9. 9. Day nine

    Hampton Court to London

    Cycle beside the Thames almost all day and enjoy the royal history so prevalent along the banks of the river. Take in the palaces at Richmond and Kew, the famous Botanical Gardens and the fine houses on the waterfront at Richmond. The route leads you almost traffic free past the Houses of Parliament to your riverside hotel opposite the London Eye.

    26 miles (42 km)

  10. 10. Day ten

    London to Greenwich

    Ride east towards the sea and unravel the layers of history that have built up over two centuries beside the River Thames. Take in Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, Sir Francis Drake's Golden Hind, the Tower of London and the atmosphere of the old wharfs of London's docks. Enjoy a traffic - free route to the historic maritime centre of Greenwich and to the Thames Barrier where your adventure finally ends. Reward yourself with a lazy boat trip back upstream to your hotel for a second night.

    13 miles (21 km)

  11. 11. Day eleven

    Depart London

    Enjoy London and depart at your leisure. Your cycling equipment will be collected from your hotel.