The Thames Path Map Booklet
1:25,000 OS Route Map Booklet
By Leigh Hatts
Map of the 180 mile (288km) Thames Path National Trail, from London's Thames Barrier to the river's source near Cirencester in Gloucestershire. This booklet is included with the Cicerone guidebook to the trail, and shows the full route on OS 1:25,000 maps. The easy riverside route takes around two weeks to walk.
SeasonsThe River Thames is a constantly changing green corridor. While care must be taken during occasional winter flooding this is an all season walk always offering new rewards and views.
CentresGreenwich, Southwark opposite St Paul's Cathedral in central London, Richmond-upon-Thames, Windsor, Henley, Reading, Abingdon, Oxford, Lechlade and Cricklade.
DifficultyThe route is described in 20 sections between 4 and 16 miles in length. This is a mainly flat walk with only one steep hill. East of Oxford, and especially in London, the paths are good and usually near public transport. The more challenging sections needing a little planning are upstream of Oxford.
Must SeeTakes the walker from the Thames Barrier in London to the source of the river in rural Gloucestershire; passes historic sites such as Greenwich, Kew Gardens, Hampton Court, Runnymede, Windsor Castle and Oxford.
All the mapping you need to complete the 180 mile (288km) Thames Path National Trail, from London's Thames Barrier to the river's source in Gloucestershire.
An accompanying Cicerone guidebook - The Thames Path - describes the full route with lots of other practical and historical information. NOTE: The accompanying guidebook includes a copy of this map booklet.
Divided into 20 stages, with each stage ranging from 4 to 16 miles, this gentle riverside walk takes roughly two weeks to complete.
This booklet of Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer maps has been designed for convenient use on the trail. It shows the full and up-to-date line of the National Trail, along with the relevant extract from the OS Explorer map legend. Conveniently sized for slipping into a jacket pocket or top of a rucksack, it comes in a clear PVC sleeve and provides all the mapping needed to complete the trail.
Passing through London, Windsor and Oxford as well as rural countryside, this National Trail offers walkers a diverse range of landscapes and scenery. With excellent public transport services at each stage, this trail can also be completed in bite-size pieces – why not relish the route over several weekends throughout the year and discover the many moods of the Thames with the passing seasons?
The Thames Path
Contents and using this guide
Section 1 Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge
Section 2 Tower Bridge to Putney
Section 3 Putney to Kingston
Section 4 Kingston to Chertsey
Section 5 Chertsey to Staines
Section 6 Staines to Windsor
Section 7 Windsor to Maidenhead
Section 8 Maidenhead to Marlow
Section 9 Marlow to Henley
Section 10 Henley to Reading
Section 11 Reading to Pangbourne
Section 12 Pangbourne to Goring
Section 13 Goring to Wallingford
Section 14 Wallingford to Dorchester
Section 15 Dorchester to Abingdon
Section 16 Abingdon to Oxford
Section 17 Oxford to Newbridge
Section 18 Newbridge to Lechlade
Section 19 Lechlade to Cricklade
Section 20 Cricklade to Source
Extract from OS Explorer map legend
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This guidebook is produced to the usual outstanding Cicerone standards.
In fairness, strictly in terms of route-finding, the Thames Path National Trail is extremely well signposted and with perhaps literally 1 or 2 occasions it could be argued there is no need for this book.
However, the true value of the book is the author’s detailed background information on buildings that can be seen from the Path and places the Path goes through. It provides significant historical interest and it is - in my opinion – written at the optimum level, with just the right amount of detail to provide a talking point as you progress upstream.
Each stage has a 'Facilities Information' section with useful information around refreshments, accommodation and transport, etc. Inevitably there will be changes to establishments as they open and close. However generally there were plenty of options for eating and sleeping and the information was accurate. As always the publisher Cicerone updates changes on their website. Aside ongoing access work in parts of London and efforts to get the path closer to the Thames in some of the more remote areas, there should be no path changes.
As is usual for Cicerone guidebooks, the layout is excellent and each stage includes a strip of OS 1:50K mapping. Photos complement the easy to read text and there is sufficient margin space to make notes, etc. Although written when travelling upstream to the source, the content could easily be followed if travelling downstream.
The inclusion of the OS 1:25K map booklet is a great addition to this guidebook and will no doubt become the norm at least for future Cicerone publications of UK walks.
The plastic cover protects the guide and I can confirm that despite being carried in my hand throughout the walk, dropped occasionally and opened and closed very regularly, neither the guidebook or map booklet show any sign of falling apart.
In conclusion, this guidebook is produced to the usual outstanding Cicerone standards. The contents will not strictly speaking make a difference to route-finding. With the included OS maps, it will provide reassurance and give an indication of your progress each day. In my opinion its greatest value is however the snippets of information and commentary it gives as you travel along the Thames and as such is a worthwhile and recommended companion whether you are doing day walks or the Trail in its entirety.
Kevin McKeown, Amazon
A real bargain as the route map booklet is normally sold on its own for almost a tenner!
This guidebook and route map booklet combination is all you will possibly need to get you through the 180 mile walk of the Thames Path. I am looking forward to putting both to the test in the next two years. It is a real bargain as the route map booklet is normally sold on its own for almost a tenner!
Invaluable Guide and Map Book for the Thames Path
Just walked from Windsor to Oxford and bought this guide just before I left. It's really very good. Contains enough information about towns and noteworthy sights to give sufficient background.
I think the really good thing about the guide is the 1:25000 OS map book that's included with the book. Perfect size to carry, gives you everything you need to figure out where you are and the mileage guides for each leg helps with planning. And best of all, you don't have to buy individual OS maps. And both the guide and the map book get stored in a useful vinyl cover with helps to protect it from the weather and getting destroyed in your backpack.
The walk is great by the way!
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 Articles and Books by Leigh Hatts