This remarkable short walk along the Thames explores some of the fantastic history of England from a female perspective - from present day with the fairytale marriage in Windsor of our present Queen's grandson to a beautiful American Actress back in time to all 6 of Henry VIII's wives at Hampton Court, and on to Kew Gardens the site of Kew Palace.
Here is a celebration of royal history. Monarchs built their palaces and planted their gardens along the banks of the River Thames. They hunted on the vast tracts of land surrounding these palaces which remain today as unspoilt royal parks. We have arranged a series of shorter walks so you can experience the sights and smells of quintessential England, as this great river threads its way through sleepy rural villages, pretty landscapes and through the heart of bustling historic towns such as Windsor, Richmond and London, but also with plenty of opportunity for indoor exploring if the weather is unco-operative! Royalty and history beckon, whilst water meadows, old inns, wildlife and weirs lead you serenely on.
from £995 per person
Tour operates November to 31 March
Based on two people sharing a room
Entrance to Windsor Castle, Hampton Court, Ham House and Kew Gardens Transfer to the start of your walk on Day 3. Optional transfers to and from Kew Gardens on Day 5. At the end of the trip we will transfer you and your luggage back to Richmond station for a train to Windsor or London. See what’s included as standard
Start & Finish
Starts in Windsor on Friday and finishes Richmond station on Tuesday.
4 star hotels in prime locations
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
Gentle walking (1) More info...
2 days of walking 4-7 miles (7-12 km) per day and 2 days of optional walking
- Stay additional nights at any of these locations
- Extend your holiday with a stay in London before or after the tour. Windsor is 50 minutes by train from central London and Richmond is 20 minutes.
1. Day one
Arrive in Windsor
Settle into your hotel opposite the oldest inhabited Castle in the world, founded by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and home to 39 monarchs since. Today the Queen spends most of her private weekends at the Castle. This afternoon soak up the atmosphere and follow the Carriage Procession route that Prince Harry and his bride took after their wedding in May 2018. This takes you into Windsor Great Park and to the statue of the Copper Horse, where Henry VIII is reputed to have waited for news of the execution of his second wife Anne Boleyn. At a convenient time, your host will meet you at your hotel to run through your itinerary and share their local tips for the next few days.
Optional 2 -4 miles (3 - 6.5 km)
2. Day two
Explore Windsor Castle
If this is your first visit to Windsor, (or even if it is not!) you won't want to miss a visit to the Castle including the State rooms with their priceless works of art. St George's Chapel shelters the tombs of 10 monarchs including Henry VIII and his third wife Jane Seymour.The Changing of the Guard is fun to watch and usually takes place at 11 am on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Spend some time exploring Windsor and Eton and treat yourself to a traditional afternoon tea in sight of the castle.
3. Day three
Windsor to Hampton Court
Today begins with a short transfer to the start of your walk to Hampton Court. Still very rural, the Thames runs through meadows with kissing gates, past holiday cottages and cosy inns and along a river abundant with wildlife. Continue on to Hampton Court Palace where there is 500 years of stunning royal history for you to discover from the Tudor kitchens to the maze. The palace also held unhappy memories for Henry VIII as his third queen Jane, died giving the King a longed-for son, Edward, later Edward VI. Henry's fifth wife Catherine Howard was arrested here and later executed at the Tower for adultery and treason. You will have time to enjoy the palace before checking into your hotel just outside the Palace gates.
4.5 miles (7km)
4. Day four
Hampton Court to Richmond
Start the day with a gentle stroll along the historic stretch of the river to Richmond where royalty built their houses and gardens over the centuries. Enroute you pass Ham House and in its forecourt where Old Father Thames sits admiring his river sweeping by. We can thank the Dysarts, the Lauderdales, and, more recently, the National Trust, for the lingering magnificence of the house and its collection of 17th-century furniture and decor. A short stroll from Ham House will lead you to the charming riverside village of Richmond with its boutique shops and your hotel for the night.
8 miles (13 km)
5. Day five
Kew Gardens and Palace
Just 3 miles downstream from Richmond lie the world renowned Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew and wonderful Kew Palace - take a stroll along the river path or we can arrange a transfer for you. Kew is London's largest UNESCO World Heritage site and houses the largest and most diverse collection of living plants in the world in its gardens and numerous, fabulous glasshouses. Take a treetop walk, climb the Pagoda and visit Kew Palace, the smallest of all the Royal Palaces and a refuge for George II and his family. Spend the day exploring before we return you to your hotel to collect your luggage and on to the station for your return to Windsor or London.
5 miles (8 km) plus exploring Kew Gardens