With a reported 565 boats taking part in the 2018 Henley Royal Regatta, it might be just the right time to escape the crowds and take a break. This is the third-largest entry of boats on record and thousands will descend on Henley to be part of the annual competition. If you fancy escaping then you don’t have to go far and if you take a walking break along the Thames Path you don’t even need transport to help you with your journey. There are numerous places to eat, drink and stay, and beautiful scenery is guaranteed.
Plan Your Route
As the Thames Path is approximately 180 miles long, it takes some planning to select the stretch you wish to cover. If you don’t fancy taking the train or driving you can start your walk from Henley and how far you go will depend on your fitness levels and how much time you have. If you head west you can walk towards Reading and beyond, whereas walking east along the river will allow you to make your way towards locations such as Richmond, Barnes and Putney.
Henley to Windsor
A walk that is particularly picturesque is Henley to Windsor. The total walking route along the river is about 23 miles, so you can decide how to break up the distance and where you want to stay. One option is to walk 9 miles to Marlow and stay the night or a few days. Use a map to plan and follow the route, which is flat and suitable for any walking level and when you arrive in Marlow there are various options for sleeping. The Premier Inn and Chequers Inn are located in the town so do not require any transport, or there are various bed and breakfast options close to the river.
What to do in Windsor
From Marlow it’s a 14 mile walk to Windsor, a city with a population of over 30,000 which has gained huge publicity recently with the Royal wedding. The options for visitors are endless, although the castle is probably the most obvious attraction, but it’s also worth visiting the Great Park and Eton. As Heathrow airport is only 9 miles from Windsor you could really treat yourself at the end of your walking trip, by jetting abroad for the sunshine that the Thames Path may not have offered. Ask a kind friend to meet you at the airport with your bags, and head away, rest your legs and plan the next walking trip.
As hoards of visitors descend on Henley during regatta week, it is a good time to do something different. A walking trip offers fitness, no transport requirements and is flexible in terms of length of stay. Ensure you research your route and book your accommodation in advance. And who knows, you may love it so much that you put your walking boots back on decide to enter the Thames Path Challenge in September.