The Thames: source to Henley
Discover the sights, sounds and smells of quintessential England as the river threads its way through history while water meadows, old inns, wildlife and weirs lead you serenely on your adventure.
From its source in the Cotswolds the Thames takes you downstream to elegant Henley through a great variety of landscapes. From remote and wild pasture meadows to the steeply wooded Chiltern slopes the river threads its way through sleepy rural villages and through the heart of bustling historic towns such as Oxford and Henley.
Much of the route is along the Thames Path National Trail, but occasionally we take you along old bridleways to bring you close to the river or sights. There is time to discover all the Upper Thames has to offer including the stunning delights of Oxford and a short river boat hop from there to Abingdon.
The icons below highlight the distance, difficulty and theme of this itinerary.
The Thames Path: source to Henley
Every step of the journey has been carefully planned to help you make the most of your walking adventure.
This itinerary has been created by The Carter Company, who specialise in luxury self-guided walking holidays in the UK and Europe. The Carter Company prides itself on booking superior accommodation in quality hotels and boutique B&Bs and drawing on unrivalled local knowledge to provide a real ‘insiders’ tour along the river Thames.
This luxury holiday includes superior accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, all transfers, an Adventure Handbook packed with local tips, 24-hour contact number and luggage transfers. Additional tours such as brewery tours or garden visits can be booked if required.
This tour is available as a luxury or classic tour, and can be extended to complete the Thames Path into London.
To find out more about this itinerary and make an enquiry or a booking, click on the Enquire Now button at the top of the page. The Save to My Rucksack button allows you to save itineraries to view later, or to download them as a PDF.
The tour starts in historic Cirencester – capital of the Cotswolds. From here you travel to the village of Ewen to see the source of the Thames for that all important photo call at the very start of the mighty river.
The walk takes you to the lovely ancient towns and villages including Oxford. You will walk through water meadows and woods and pass locks and weirs, all the time following the Thames from its start as a tiny trickle to the impressive navigable waterway home to the famous Henley Regatta.
Day 1 - Arrive in Cirencester
Day 2 - Ewen to Cricklade
Day 3 - Cricklade to Kelmscott
Day 4 - Kelmscott to Oxford
Day 5 - Oxford to Dorchester
Day 6 - Dorchester to Pangbourne
Day 7 - Pangbourne to Henley
Day 8 - Depart Henley
For this luxury itinerary The Carter Company accommodates walkers in AA/RAC awarded 4 and 5 star (the occasional 3 star) hotels, manor houses, old inns and boutique hotels chosen for their quality, character and location.
Ferry / Bus
This route offers gentle walking with no major hills to climb. Your bags are transferred to your overnight accommodation. You will walk between 11 – 24Km (7 – 15 miles) each day. The walk can be done all year, although winter and early spring are best avoided due to the risk of the path being flooded after winter storms.
Food & Drink
You’ll be spoiled for choice with so much great local food and drink on offer. You will pass through many small villages and ancient towns with good pubs and cafes and many small bistros and sandwich shops.
Maps, Guidebooks and Merchandise
The official guidebook and map for the Trail are available from the National Trails Shop along with a wide range of gifts and other merchandise.
View information on the map by ticking the boxes in the Map Filter. Drag the map and use the zoom tool to navigate.
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