The Thames Path
National Trail from London to the river's source in Gloucestershire
By Leigh Hatts
A guidebook to walking the Thames Path, a National Trail covering 182 miles between the Woolwich Foot Tunnel and the river's source in Gloucestershire, passing through Windsor, Oxford and rural countryside. Provides full information for this easy riverside route that takes around two weeks to complete. Includes a 1:25K OS map booklet.
Seasonsthe best seasons for walking are Spring and Autumn, although the summer has longer days. The Thames is a living and ever changing green waterway so in winter there can be flooding.
CentresGreenwich, Central London, Richmond, Runnymede, Henley, Reading, Wallingford, Dorchester-on-Thames, Abingdon, Oxford, Lechlade and Cricklade
Difficultythe route is described in 20 sections between 4 and 16 miles in length. Most of the walk can be undertaken close to public transport, mainly in the form of rail. But beyond Oxford the path can begin to feel remote and there is no railway station until the source. Here it is best to book accommodation ahead. This is a flat walk with just one hill (rewarded with a view). There are no stiles but many kissing gates and various path surfaces.
Must Seethe famous landmarks seen include St Paul's Cathedral, the Palace of Westminster, Windsor Castle and the dreaming spires of Oxford. In addition there are remote churches and pretty waterside pubs. The scenery is ever changing as the walker passes from the urban to rural and below surprise hills as at Goring Gap or the Wittenham Clumps on the Sinodin Hills.
A guidebook to walking the Thames Path National Trail between Woolwich Foot Tunnel in east London and the river's source in Gloucestershire. Covering 292km (182 miles), this straightforward trail takes around 2 weeks to hike. A level walk alongside riverside paths, it makes an ideal first long-distance trail for beginners.
The route is described from east to west in 20 stages between 6 and 26km (4–16 miles) in length. An optional route extension from Erith in Kent to the traditional start at Woolwich Foot Tunnel is also provided.
- GPX files available to download
- Contains step-by-step description of the route alongside 1:50,000 OS maps
- Includes a separate map booklet containing OS 1:25,000 mapping and route line
- Handy route summary table helps you plan your itinerary
- Refreshment and accommodation information given for each route stage
- Public transport by stage is listed for those wanting to break the trail into shorter sections
Table of Contents
Leigh Hatts has been walking the Thames towpath and exploring the river and Docklands since 1981, when he worked on the feasibility study that resulted in the decision to establish the route as a National Trail. He worked as a reporter with the walkers’ magazine TGO and as arts correspondent of the Catholic Herald. He is co-founder of Bankside Press.View author profile
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