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Walking - Thames Valley

Perth, WA
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for Seminyak
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Walking - Thames Valley

If someone can suggest a better forum for my question, pls advise.

We have a week which we would like to spend walking - mostly flat, approx 5+ miles per day in the prettiest areas of the Thames Valley, and have no idea where to start. We don't mind staying in a couple of different places or short drives to get to places but don't want to sit in traffic for too long. We would like a variety of environments, ie riverside, woods, villages.

Thanks, all help much appreciated.

Stanley, Falkland...
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1. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

Hi,

I'd suggest you read up on the Thames Path and choose an area or two that sounds good for you.

The Path is alongside the River Thames - so all flat, and generally pretty, once you get out of London.

The further west you go, the more rural it gets. But even parts of the walk around Richmond and Hampton Court are very attractive.

Perth, WA
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2. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

Thanks Peterscot - I now have something/somewhere to start researching from.

London
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3. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

Just a thought, but you might also enjoy the Capital Ring which runs around the outer London area. See http://www.walklondon.org.uk/route.asp

Bucks, UK
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4. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

The Thames Path from Windsor westwards is very pretty and has plenty of pretty towns along the way (Bray, Cookham, Marlow, Henley, to name a few).

Perth, WA
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5. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

Thanks. Actually PoolLounger we did have the section you mention in mind. Is there a particular spot that would be central for easy access - or areas to avoid (traffic snarls).

Dublin
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6. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

I just walked the section from Oxford to London. I think that if I wanted to pick the best bits, I'd certainly stay west of Windsor as a previous poster advised.

I spent one night in the John Barleycorn inn in Goring and it was great; that might be a good place to start. Goring is very pretty, and has the best cafe on the river (in my opinion) with the Pierrepont cafe. Fof evening meals also the John Barleycorn is perfect.

If you wanted to walk downriver to the next town (Streatley ? From memory), there is a frequent train service back. That stretch goes off through the woods and has two small hills but its very pretty.

Henley was interesting too, and the next village downstream from Henley (can't remember its name) was very pretty and had what looked like a few interesting places to stay. Also had a nice restaurant called the old bell, might have accommodation as well, not 100% sure. Name of village escapes me right now but if you message me I'll find it for you.

Edited: 30 June 2013, 18:44
Reading, United...
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7. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

The stretch westwards from Henley is quite picturesque and not too taxing. I walked from Reading to Shiplake with my teenage daughter on Saturday, and even she was impressed!

As someone else has said, you can get the train back to your starting point, from most places upriver, unless you're doing a circuit - so you could leave the car pretty much anywhere (or just take the train to your start point).

Dublin
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8. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

The town downriver of Goring is Pangbourne. This five mile stretch is one of the nicer sections of the Thames path; half way down it veers away from the river and takes to the woods. Some hills to be climbed in places but nothing major. The train back to Goring takes five minutes and trains are frequent.

The place five miles downriver of Henely is called Hurley, a most interesting 'olde worlde' village that also begs for a longer visit. No train service here but local taxis will take you in between for about £10 (Chiltern cars) or £20 (Dot to Dot taxis). I know which one I'll use next time!

Bucks, UK
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9. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

You can take the train to Windsor, Maidenhead, Cookham,Bourne End, Marlow or Henley so you could start at any one of those (Maidenhead station is probably the farthest from the river so I would favour one of the others). I wouldn't bother with a car since it will only have to be parked up for 5 days and, if left in a remote car park for days on end, may attract undesirable attention.

Perth, WA
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10. Re: Walking - Thames Valley

Thanks everyone - such useful information. I don't think we'll take up the suggestion of being without a car - that means we rely on the English weather being suitable for walking, which I don't think is a good bet :-) It can be parked at our b and b, or wherever.