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Overview

Walking Holidays
7 - 8 Nights
73 miles / 117.5 km
  • Prices from: £815 per person
  • Start: Oxford, Oxfordshire
  • Finish: Windsor, Berkshire
  • Availability: Year-round
  • Grading: Easy to Moderate
  • Way-marked: Yes

Thames Path - Central Highlights

City of Dreaming Spires
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Explore Oxford, the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ – home to the oldest university in the English-speaking world.

Quaint English villages
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Stroll alongside the historic River Thames through picturesque countryside, beautiful meadows and quaint English villages.

Windsor Castle
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Visit the magnificent Windsor Castle – the largest and oldest occupied castle in the world. Founded in the 11th century, it has since been the home of 39 monarchs.

Inspiring landscapes
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Discover the lovely landscape that inspired many famous authors, including Charles Dickens and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Bird-Spotting
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The River Thames is very rich in bird-life, you often see swans with their cygnets, herons seeking their prey and kingfishers flitting across the river.

Riverside towns
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Stay in some of the most beautiful riverside villages and towns, such as Sonning and Marlow, that the River Thames has to offer.

A Gentle Jaunt Along The River Thames

Starting in the historic city of Oxford, our Thames Path – Central itinerary follows the river along peaceful countryside trails through three historic counties, before finishing near the impressive Windsor Castle. This route offers a perfect introduction to long-distance walking and a fantastic opportunity to familiarise yourself with some of England’s finest landscapes and towns.

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This National Trail is well way-marked and set largely on towpaths. The Thames Path is a fantastic entry-level walk, unchallenging yet incredibly rewarding, providing excellent sightseeing opportunities, both natural and man-made. The Thames Path – Central is the ideal walk for those interested in history, architecture, and nature. Keep your eyes peeled for herons, geese, elusive kingfishers, and other wildlife that frequents this stretch of the River Thames.

Even though you will approach bigger settlements along this section, it still feels very relaxed and slow-paced as you amble alongside the river. This also gives you the opportunity to stop for well-deserved pub lunches during your walk or stop for a local brew at a cosy riverside Inn.  

Spanning 184 miles, the Thames Path follows arguably the most iconic river in the UK. We would recommend combining this walk with a few rest days in order to make the most of your time in this fantastic historic area, which is full of wonderful sightseeing opportunities!

Thames Path - Central Route

Recommended Itinerary

Our most popular itinerary is THP-C1 which covers the route in 6 days / 7 nights.

Travel to Oxford for your first night’s accommodation
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Arrive in the historic city of Oxford, internationally renowned as the home of Oxford University and spend the evening at your first night’s accommodation.

Day 1: Oxford to Abingdon (10 miles / 16 km)
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As you depart Oxford, you will pass by the grounds of Brasenose College as well as the Oxford University Boat Sheds. Beyond Oxford, the path and river flow through picturesque open countryside, travelling past three boat locks as well as the Nuneham Estate.

Day 2: Abingdon to Wallingford (13.5 miles / 22 km)
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Today your route briefly diverges from the natural path of the River Thames to follow the man-made Culham Cut. This section is blessed with beautiful views along the river and back, making for some of the most scenic walking on the Thames Path. Pass by the Wittenham Clumps before making your way to your overnight stop in the charming town of Wallingford.

Day 3: Wallingford to Pangbourne (11 miles / 17.5 km)
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On this day’s walking, you will experience an unusual sight for the Thames Path – a hill. As the Thames Path intersects with The Ridgeway, it passes through the Goring Gap, where you will divert from the river to face the single hill on the Thames Path.

You will then reach Pangbourne, which is said to have been the inspiration for the images in the children’s book The Wind in The Willows.

Day 4: Pangbourne to Sonning (10 miles / 16 km)
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Start your journey today along the River Thames through the expansive fields on the riverside; keep an eye out for the variety of waterfowl that you will pass on your way. Pass through the lively town of Reading before reaching your overnight destination, Sonning, under the shade of the willow trees which line the Thames. 

Day 5: Sonning to Marlow (14 miles / 22.5 km)
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Begin the day by rejoining the Thames Path on the north side of the river. Your walk will take you to the quaint village of Shiplake before you arrive in the historic regatta town of Henley-on-Thames, where you can watch the Olympians of tomorrow training along the river. At Marlow, you will cross the Thames once more, marking the third English county that you will visit today.

Day 6: Marlow to Windsor (14.5 miles / 23.5 km)
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From Marlow, you will pass by a number of small riverside towns. You may wish to stop at Cliveden Gardens to take in the beauty of these riverside gardens. As you approach your overnight destination, you will see Windsor Castle growing larger ahead of you.

Onward travel
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After breakfast, you will start your journey home after a wonderful walking holiday on the Thames Path.

What’s Included?

Your Thames Path walking holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected accommodation along the route and trail transfers when applicable
  • En-suite or private bathroom facilities whenever possible
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfers
  • Comprehensive information pack, kit list, guidebook and map (one set per room)
  • Personalised itinerary with details of your accommodation, route and recommendations for lunch and dinner
  • Traditional English breakfast
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your walking holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to and from the start and end of the walk
  • Lunches and evening meals

Itineraries & Prices

We offer 2 suggested itineraries for walking the Thames Path – Central.

Our most popular itinerary is THP-C1 which covers the route in 6 days.

Tour code
Itinerary
Average miles infoAverage miles per day
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty
Price per person
THP-C1
6 Days / 7 Nights
12 miles per day
Moderate
From £815
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 12 miles per day
Tour code: THP-C1
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Moderate

6 Days / 7 Nights ( THP-C1)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room. 

  • Standard: £50 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £35 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Due to the popular nature of the area that the Thames Path passes through, this does incur a higher single supplement and solo walker supplement than our other walking holidays.

Arrive Travel to Oxford for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Oxford to Abingdon 10 miles / 16 km
2
Day 2 Abingdon to Wallingford 13.5 miles / 22 km
3
Day 3 Wallingford to Pangbourne 11 miles / 17.5 km
4
Day 4 Pangbourne to Sonning 10 miles / 16 km
5
Day 5 Sonning to Marlow 14 miles / 22.5 km
6
Day 6 Marlow to Windsor 14.5 miles / 23.5 km
Depart Onward travel from Windsor

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£815 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

THP-C2
7 Days / 8 Nights
10.5 miles per day
Easy
From £890
Average miles infoAverage miles per day 10.5 miles per day
Tour code: THP-C2
Difficulty infoLevel of difficulty Easy

7 Days / 8 Nights ( THP-C2)

This itinerary lists our preferred overnight stops for this package. Transfers are included when you are staying away from the trail.

Additional nights can be added at any stage along the walk and we would be delighted to adjust it for you.

All of our prices are per person based on two people sharing a room. Our packages include all accommodation, baggage transfers and full information pack.

Single room & solo walker supplements

Single rooms are available at a supplement which covers the additional costs of a single room or single occupancy of a twin or double room. 

  • Standard: £50 per night

As we incur additional costs for transferring a single bag there is a solo walker supplement of £35 per day in addition to the single supplement.

Due to the popular nature of the area that the Thames Path passes through, this does incur a higher single supplement and solo walker supplement than our other walking holidays.

Arrive Travel to Oxford for your first night's accommodation
1
Day 1 Oxford to Abingdon 10 miles / 16 km
2
Day 2 Abingdon to Wallingford 13.5 miles / 22 km
3
Day 3 Wallingford to Pangbourne 11 miles / 17.5 km
4
Day 4 Pangbourne to Sonning 10 miles / 16 km
5
Day 5 Sonning to Henley-on-Thames 5.5 miles / 9 km
6
Day 6 Henley-on-Thames to Marlow 8.5 miles / 13.5 km
7
Day 7 Marlow to Windsor 14.5 miles / 23.5 km
Depart Onward travel from Windsor

Prices

Standard
Good quality B&Bs, Guest Houses & Hotels
£890 per person

Good quality and comfortable B&Bs, guest houses and some hotels located as close to the trail as possible. We will prioritise en-suite facilities or a private bathroom, although in remote areas with limited accommodation this may not always be possible.

Thames Path Accommodation

All of the accommodation that we reserve for you has been personally selected by our expert team to ensure it meets our exacting standards. We regularly review our extensive database.

We will always prioritise accommodation as close to the walking trail as possible. Occasionally, your accommodation may be located a short distance from the trail, or you may need to spend more than one night in the same place, in which case we will provide return transfers.

Travel Information

As an environmentally conscious tour operator, we actively encourage the use of public transport by providing clients with a detailed breakdown of travel options in their information packs. The following information may help with your pre-trip planning.

Getting to Oxford
By Air

Nearest International Airports: London Heathrow and London Gatwick

There are regular bus services between both Heathrow and Gatwick which run 24 hours a day. This service is operated by Oxford Bus Company. From London, you can connect with a direct train to Oxford (journey time 1 hour). 

By Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Oxford

Regular trains run from London Paddington to Oxford. The journey time is approximately 1 hour.

From the rest of the UK, frequent services operate on the East Coast Main Line and West Coast Main Line to London. From all London terminuses, you can easily travel to London Paddington via the quick and efficient London Underground.

By Car

If you plan to travel by car, it may be possible to leave it in Oxford for the duration of your holiday. We can check this for you when your booking is confirmed. Due to the popularity of Oxford as a tourist destination, we would recommend travelling via public transport.

Departing from Windsor
By Air

Nearest International Airports: London Heathrow Airport

There is a regular train service between Windsor and Heathrow Airport, via a bus to Staines (journey time 45 min).

By Public Transport

Nearest Railway Station: Windsor & Eton Central Railway Station

From Windsor & Eton Riverside Station, there are direct trains to London Waterloo (journey time 55 min). 

There are also a number of bus services available from Windsor for you to depart after your trip.

By Car

If you plan to travel by car, it may be possible to leave it in Windsor for the duration of your holiday. We can check this for you when your booking is confirmed. Due to the popularity of Windsor as a tourist destination, we would recommend travelling via public transport.

Additional Days

We would be delighted to arrange additional accommodation for you along the Thames Path – Central.

You may wish to plan a rest day or have an additional night at any of the locations along the route which offer activities or sightseeing opportunities – we’ve made some suggestions below. Please request this when you make an enquiry.

Oxford
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  • Explore the historic hometown of Oxford University. Visit the various colleges spread throughout the city, as well as the impressive Bodleian Libraries which make up the largest library system in the UK
  • Relax in the Oxford Botanic Garden on the banks of the River Cherwell
  • Meander through the historic Covered Market, home to a large collection of different shops and stalls
  • Try punting, a quintessentially Oxford activity, as you sail on the rivers that run through the city
Henley-on-Thames
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  • Visit the River & Rowing Museum at the home of one of the world’s best-known rowing regattas
  • Wander along the river and relax in one of the many cafes and bars
  • Take to the water and try out canoeing on the River Thames
  • Tour the nearby Chiltern Valley Winery & Brewery, sampling some of the finest produce from the area
Windsor
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  • Visit the Queen’s royal residence at Windsor Castle. Home to 900 years of Royal history, this castle has been home to 39 monarchs. Visitors are welcome to view St George’s Chapel, the State Apartments and Semi-State Apartments
  • Try a locally-brewed craft beer from Windsor & Eton Brewery, and take part in one of their brewery tours
  • Hop aboard the Windsor Duck Tours for a unique, amphibious sightseeing tour which will take you through the roads of Windsor and onto the River Thames

Make an enquiry

Thames Path – Central

Need something more tailored?
Contact us via email:
enquiries@absoluteescapes.com

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