Highlights

  • Gentle terrain passing through idyllic villages and river towns.
  • Barnsley, Bibury, Oxford, Henley-on Thames, Cliveden.
  • Christchurch College, Barnsley House garden, Cliveden gardens, punting, pub lunches.
  • Famous locations from ˜Downton Abbey', ˜Inspector Morse', ˜Harry Potter', and more.

"The riverThamesthat by our door doth pass,
His first beginning is but small and shallow;
Yet, keeping on his course grows to a sea"
William Shakespeare

Sunday Overnight: Barnsley House Hotel

Meet at Barnsley railway station in the Cotswolds, and transfer to the beautiful Barnsley House Hotel. We'll gather for our Introductory Talk and Welcome Dinner, with time to explore the famous gardens, designed by Rosemary Verey.

Monday Overnight: Barnsley House Hotel

Leaving the sanctuary of our rural retreat, walk through meadows and woodlands to arrive in idyllic Bibury just in time for a pub lunch. Afterward, we head to Cirencester, the largest town in Britain during Roman times. There are options to explore the town's Roman past or wander into a remote Gloucestershire meadow in search of the source of the Thames. We'll return to the hotel with time to enjoy the wonderful facilities before dinner.

Tuesday Overnight: Malmaison Oxford

Here's a fun day for any fan of British writers and TV, starting with a downriver walk to Downton Abbey's Bampton, a charming (and not at all fictional) market village comprising 16th and 17th-century houses and cottages. The village lies close to the Thames, which we'll follow out of town toward Oxford for lunch at The Trout, a pub known to be a favorite of the writers Colin Dexter (˜Inspector Morse') and Lewis Carroll (˜Alice in Wonderland'). See Oxford's famous spires as we approach from historic Port Meadow. Watch out for the grazing horses!

Wednesday Overnight: Malmaison Oxford

Oxford, so steeped in history. Walking from the hotel, we stop to visit the medieval church of St Mary The Virgin, its provenance dating from the 11th century, then tour magnificent Christchurch College, famous for educating 13 British prime ministers, 6 Olympic medalists, and William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania. Lunch is in the serene setting of Cherwell boathouse, where we board punts, those famous flat-bottomed boats, and glide peacefully through the countryside.

Thursday Overnight: Hotel du Vin

Today's walk begins in Sonning, described as the most fairy-like little nook on the whole river. We'll follow a route well-loved by locals to Henley-on-Thames, stopping along the way to learn about the river and Henley's rowing traditions at the rowing museum. This is the spot that inspired ˜Wind in the Willows', one of England's best-loved children's stories. Walk on into Henley and explore the town before arriving at our next hotel.

Friday Overnight: Hotel du Vin

The Thames' footpath leads to Hambleden Lock, a picturesque and popular filming location for movies and TV. From here we'll float upon the Thames most of the way to Cliveden, where we'll spend the day exploring the estate's glorious gardens. Farewell Dinner at our hotel.

Saturday

After breakfast, The Wayfarers can transfer you to either Reading Rail station or Heathrow Airport.
Easy
"There is no river in the world to be compared for majesty and the witchery of association to theThames."
Hume Nisbet
Terrain: Our easiest walk. On riverside paths and fairly flat gradients, occasionally some muddy stretches.
6-8 miles walking per day.

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,995.00

(Single Supplement $765.00)
Our Wayfarers friends' Price is $4,745.00

Dates

Request booking
Arrival: Barnsley Rail Station
Departure: Reading Rail Station or Heathrow Airport

Activities

Walk Culture
Thames River Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Barnsley House Hotel

Barnsley House Hotel

Situated in the center of the Cotswold village of Barnsley, this is a country hotel like no other. Set in exquisite landscaped gardens designed by Rosemary Verey, Barnsley House is reminiscent of a stunning stately home with grounds to match. Every room within Barnsley House is uniquely designed and furnished with traditional country charm and modern creature comforts to make your stay thoroughly relaxing. Amenities include a spa, hydrotherapy pool, and an ground-floor spa lounge with floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the gardens and surrounding countryside. The restaurant serves fresh, local produce and vegetables picked from their own kitchen garden.

Malmaison Oxford

Malmaison Oxford

Malmaison Oxford is a boutique hotel in Oxford city center with 95 richly appointed rooms and suites. Housed in a former prison, the rooms are more spacious than your average jail cell and come complete with luxurious beds, super-fast Wi-Fi and power showers.

Hotel du Vin

Hotel du Vin

Nestled in a valley in the Chilterns, you'll find the delightful 12th century market town of Henley-on-Thames. And on the banks of the Thames itself, with the river gliding slowly by, you'll find the Hotel du Vin. Behind the classic Georgian architecture of this 300 year-old brewery, you'll find exposed beams and brickwork, updated with modern conveniences. Each guest room includes a custom-made bed, hand-sprung mattress, soft Egyptian cotton bed linen, fluffy towels and robes, monsoon shower or roll top bath. Free Wi-fi is also included.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, culture, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with cultural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants