Walking the Thames Path

‘In 54 B.C., Julius Caesar crossed the river he called the ‘Tamesis’. In 1215, near the Thames, 25 barons forced King John to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede. Oxford University came into being on the river’s north bank. Conspirators gathered at Henley-on-Thames to plot the Glorious Revolution of 1688 that overthrew Catholic King James II and brought Protestant William and Mary to the throne. Dozens of kings and queens were born, lived and died along the river, at the castles of Hampton Court, Placentia and Windsor.’

With 134 bridges, 44 locks, 20 major tributaries and countless untold stories, this river is a saga unto itself … an historical pageant worth experiencing … and we did. Join us.

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About 20+ years ago, I read an article in a travel magazine about walking the Thames Path from its headwaters in the tiny village of Kemble, England in the Cotswolds along its circuitous 215 mile course to its outlet to the sea at the Thames Barrier in London. It sounded like an interesting adventure … and really, only 184 miles of it is actually walked. I clipped the article and put it in a file for later reference. I referred to it a few times and somewhere in the last two decades, the article was lost or misplaced … but not the notion of walking it. I read another article in Smithsonian (2012) from which I gleaned the quote above and it piqued my interest once again. It’s been on my bucket list for a long, long time. In September 2018, we walked the Thames Path and documented our trek day by day. One bucket list item checked off.

Preparing to Walk the Thames Path  - Lots of advance Preparation was done prior to leaving for england. Read about the prep and the ‘kitting up’ for our walk.

Preparing to Walk the Thames Path - Lots of advance Preparation was done prior to leaving for england. Read about the prep and the ‘kitting up’ for our walk.

Arrival in England and On the Trail  Starting at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich … the beginning of our 184-mile walk

Arrival in England and On the Trail Starting at the Thames Barrier in Woolwich … the beginning of our 184-mile walk

Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge  Our first full day on the Thames Path from the Thames Barrier to the Tower bridge via the docklands and greenwich.

Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge Our first full day on the Thames Path from the Thames Barrier to the Tower bridge via the docklands and greenwich.

Tower Bridge to Putney Bridge to Richmond Bridge  … through downtown London past well-known landmarks, over bridges, under bridges, around bridges.

Tower Bridge to Putney Bridge to Richmond Bridge … through downtown London past well-known landmarks, over bridges, under bridges, around bridges.

Richmond to Hampton Court to Chertsey  The path leads us by so many wonderful sights including the Hampton court palace.

Richmond to Hampton Court to Chertsey The path leads us by so many wonderful sights including the Hampton court palace.

Chertsey to Windsor via Runnymeade  History everywhere … from the signing place of the magna carta to windsor castle.

Chertsey to Windsor via Runnymeade History everywhere … from the signing place of the magna carta to windsor castle.

Windsor to Maidenhead then on to Marlow  We’d miss so much if we weren’t walking! Anglo-Saxon churches, castles, wildlife and other walkers.

Windsor to Maidenhead then on to Marlow We’d miss so much if we weren’t walking! Anglo-Saxon churches, castles, wildlife and other walkers.

Dorchester to Abingdon and then on to Oxford  We’re making good progress and looking forward to a day off in the university city of Oxford,

Dorchester to Abingdon and then on to Oxford We’re making good progress and looking forward to a day off in the university city of Oxford,

Nearing the End  The river is becoming narrower and narrower as we get closer and closer to the Thames source.

Nearing the End The river is becoming narrower and narrower as we get closer and closer to the Thames source.

Marlow to Henley-on-thames to Reading  Not only do we take in the sights but we get to snack on blackberries along the way.

Marlow to Henley-on-thames to Reading Not only do we take in the sights but we get to snack on blackberries along the way.

A Day in Oxford, England  We didn’t fit in half the things the we planned to do, but what we did see and do was absolutely wonderful. What a city!

A Day in Oxford, England We didn’t fit in half the things the we planned to do, but what we did see and do was absolutely wonderful. What a city!

Ewen to the Source  A mix of exultation and the bittersweet end to our walk on the thames path.

Ewen to the Source A mix of exultation and the bittersweet end to our walk on the thames path.

Reading to Goring to Dorchester  Exploring along the way is awesome - like roaming around in the 12th century Dorchester Abbey

Reading to Goring to Dorchester Exploring along the way is awesome - like roaming around in the 12th century Dorchester Abbey

Oxford to Newbridge to Lechlade  Meeting old Father Thames at the St Johns Lock indicates that we’re getting near the end of our trek.

Oxford to Newbridge to Lechlade Meeting old Father Thames at the St Johns Lock indicates that we’re getting near the end of our trek.

Thames Path Stats:

  • 20 walking days – 184 miles from the Thames Barrier to the Thames Source

  • 231 total miles walked

  • An average of ~11.5 walking miles per day

  • 509,843 steps, if you’re keeping track (which we do!)