Upper Thames Path

HIGHLIGHTS


Following the historic River Thames path allows you see into the way of life of those people that have used the river through history either for work or pleasure.

  • The Source of the Thames
  • Wonderful Riverside Pubs
  • The gentle pace Life on the Upper Thames
  • The historic University City of Oxford
  • The dramatic valley of the Goring Gap

PHOTOS


WHAT'S INCLUDED


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  • Bed and Breakfast
  • Accommodation
  • Luggage Transfer - one bag per person (<20kgs)
  • Maps and Trail Notes
  • Detailed Itinerary

KEY INFORMATION


Starting point: Kemble
Finishing point: Pangbourne
Avg. daily distance: 18
Total distance: 88
Terrain: Gravel Path.
Walking grade: Easy

6 DAYS FROM £595

BOOK THIS WALK

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WHEN TO WALK


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APR
MAY
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JUL
AUG
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OCT
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DEC

ROUTE MAP


OVERVIEW
ITINERARY
ESSENTIAL
AVAILABILITY & PRICING
REVIEWS

A wonderful introductory walk for those new to long distance walking, this 88 mile 6 day walk follows the course of the Thames from its source in the beautiful rural Cotswolds to Pangbourne. One will see all types of river craft as the river widens from pleasure craft to rowing eights, other highlights are the locks where the boats are lowered or raised. Each lock has a little cottage attached where the lock keepers used to live and one of the pleasures of the trip is to stop and chat with lock keepers and other river users as they pass through the locks.
Yet another highlight of the trip is the University town of Oxford, if you have time this is a great place to spend an extra night to give yourself the chance to really explore the city.

If some of the daily distances below sound a bit daunting then an alternative reduced daily mileage itinerary can be offered. Please ring or email for details.

Travel to Kemble

Kemble to Cricklade 12.5 miles / 20 km

Cricklade to Lechlade 11 miles / 17.5 km

Lechlade to Newbridge 16.5 miles / 26.5 km

Newbridge to Oxford 14 miles / 22.5 km

Oxford to Dorchester 18 miles / 29 km

Dorchester to Pangbourne 16 miles / 25.5 km


Travel to Kemble

Travel to Kemble where your first night's accommodation has been booked

Kemble to Cricklade 12.5 miles / 20 km

The early stages of the river are often a dry river bed but waters of the infant river are soon encountered. After passing through the hamlet of Ewen and the larger village of a Ashton Keynes, surrounded by the endless lakes of the Cotswold Water Park, the walk finishes by crossing the vast open North Meadow to arrive at the attractive little town of Cricklade. This section is especially rewarding in spring when the wild flowers of North Meadow will be at their finest.

Cricklade to Lechlade 11 miles / 17.5 km

Walking this section you will see the reed-filled river slowly growing in size, but it is only as you approach Lechlade that the first boats can be spotted. After leaving Cricklade you will pass through empty countryside and occasional remote villages, such as Castle Eaton.

Lechlade to Newbridge 16.5 miles / 26.5 km

The river meanders endlessly through open and empty countryside and the first locks appear. Lonely bridges, including one of the oldest on the river at Radcot and the wonderfully named Tadpole Bridge are encountered. The meadow grasslands of Chimmey Meadows should be looking at their best in early summer.

Newbridge to Oxford 14 miles / 22.5 km

The Thames continues to grow slowly and more river craft can be seen negotiating the locks. Despite this the route is still remote and barely a settlement is passed. Even the approach to Oxford itself is surprisingly rural, with lovely views of the famous dreaming spires across the vast expanse of Port Meadow. This section is a treat at any time of year, but in late spring the flood meadows are full of wild flowers and the autumn colours of Wytham Great Wood can be breath taking.

Oxford to Dorchester 18 miles / 29 km

Beyond the surprisingly rural suburbs of Oxford you will pass through quiet and empty countryside with Sandford-on-Thames as the only settlement of any size between Oxford and Abingdon. After separating into channels through Oxford the river now re-joins and has grown in size as it heads southwards on its long gentle curve towards Abingdon, an historic riverside town. Two particular highlights of the next section of the walk to Dorchester are the wonderful juxtaposition of Clifton Hampden Bridge with the nearby church and the varied landscapes around Little Wittenham.

Dorchester to Pangbourne 16 miles / 25.5 km

The final days walking takes you past the old riverside town of Wallingford and through the Goring Gap, the dramatic valley carved by the River Thames through the line of chalk hills. It is the only section of the walk with anything like a serious hill.

WALKING DIFFICULTY: This is an easy walk.
ACCOMMODATION: Our standard itinerary provides accommodation in either 3 or 4 star bed and breakfasts or small hotels or inns. When quoting for a holiday a draft itinerary is provided showing typical accommodation used on the route.
ADDITIONAL NIGHTS: Extra nights can be taken anywhere.
NAVIGATION: Navigation is generally straight forward, follow the acorn signs stay near the river. The guide notes provided will help you with any of tricky bits.
BAGGAGE TRANSFERS: All our prices include transfering one bag per person (max weight 20kg) between your overnight stops.
Travel information:

TRAVEL BY RAIL:
Arriving: London mainline trains go from Paddington to Kemble every hour (journey time 1 hour 30 min),
Returning: From Pangborne trains go every hour to London Paddington (journey time 1 hr)
TRAVEL BY CAR:
Long Term Parking is available at Kemble Railway Station.
Return: There are hourly trains from Pangborne to Kemble
TRAVEL BY AIR:
Any London Airport (Heathrow would be the most convenient), then travel into London and on the tube to Paddington Station, see Travel by Rail above.

AVAILABILITY:

This walk can be done April to October

PRICES:

6 Day Walking Itinerary (7 nights accommodation) from £595 per person, assumes 2 people walking together and sharing a room.

Single supplement (for person walking on their own) £40 per night

Extra nights from £50 per person