Whether you’re on two feet, two wheels or in a canoe, following England’s iconic River Thames from Kemble to Windsor will always be exciting, with surprises and beautiful scenery at every turn.. Explore the delightful village of Bampton, where the show Downton Abbey was filmed, and visit the beautiful summer home of artist and poet William Morris in Lechlade.. Paddle your way into Oxford and discover its incredible buildings and renowned university during a walking tour of the city, then perhaps jump on a famous punt boat for a different perspective.. Enjoy an afternoon of cycling through the stunning landscapes of the Cotswolds, then kick your feet up at your accommodation, a charming traditional inn above a typical British pub.
Pick up a paddle, lace up your boots and adjust your helmet for an action-packed adventure down England’s most iconic River – the Thames. Walk, cycle and canoe your way from the Cotswolds to Windsor, marvelling at quintessential British scenery and stopping off for plenty of pub lunches along the way. With a local leader at the helm, you can leave your worries in your wake as all the little details are taken care of. Explore charming villages, medieval towns and the fascinating city of Oxford, then in the evenings, rest your head in traditional inns filled with as much history as the destinations themselves.
Breakfast Included: 3 Lunches Included: Dinner Included:
Famed for being the lifeblood of southern England (and its cameo in the EastEnders opening credits), there are few rivers as iconic as the Thames. Your journey begins at Kemble station in Gloucestershire at 11am – your gateway to the humble source of this mighty river. Here you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers before heading out for a walk through woodlands in search of the source of the Thames. Depending on the water levels, the location may change, but finding it is half the fun! Enjoy the delightful surroundings, then hop on two wheels and cycle down to the Cotswold Water Park (think a series of beautiful outdoor lakes and tons of birdlife, not chlorinated pools and plastic slides). From here, you’ll cycle to your accommodation for the evening, a traditional 17th-century inn set in the charming town of Cricklade.
Start the day with a refreshing swim in one of the lakes at the Cotswold Water Park. Then you’ll hop back on a bike and pedal down to the Thames through flat countryside and pass by Lechlade, a gorgeous market town and the first place the Thames is deep and wide enough for boats to safety navigate it before stopping off at a quaint country pub for lunch. There are a few options for the afternoon. You may like to take a gentle stroll along the riverbanks towards your accommodation for the evening, or perhaps travel by bicycle and stop by the village of Bampton, where Downton Abbey was filmed, or the home of William Morris, founder of the British Arts and Crafts movement. Your base for the next two nights is a wonderful inn set in the ancient village of Eynsham, where nods to the settlement’s medieval past are visible everywhere you look.
Today you’ll see the Thames from a different perspective as you travel down the river via stand up paddle board, from Eynsham all the way down to Oxford. This afternoon you’ll have the option to go punting on the river – a classic Oxford experience! Then you’ll explore this storied city on foot during a tour with your leader, learning the secrets of its ancient buildings and university, and of course popping into the local pub. Tonight you may like to enjoy a cosy pub dinner at your hotel, or your leader can drop you into Oxford where you can explore an exciting culinary scene serving up everything from traditional British fare to international delights.
Hit a different kind of track today and catch a train to Goring on Thames, a picturesque village that serves as a perfect jumping off point for exploring the surrounding hills and valleys. Then it’s time to stretch your legs with a bike ride through the rolling green Chiltern Hills and the gorgeous Hambleden Valley before lunch in Henley on Thames. Cycle past the famous Eton school and into the town of Windsor, where your adventure will come to an end. You can either stay on in Windsor to explore the town and Windsor Castle, or hitch a ride with your leader into Slough for onward travel.