Thames Path walking tour: This wild but tranquil stretch will put a spring in your step

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Take me to the river (and its many pubs): This wild but tranquil stretch of the Thames Path between Oxford and Marlow will put a spring in your step

  • Ed Cumming did a self-guided tour of the Thames Path from Oxford to Marlow  
  • He watched rowers row, swam in the river, and made a pit-stop for ‘chilly pints’ 
  • Inntravel has organized a new walking tour to mark the trail’s twenty fifth anniversary 










On a stretch of the Thames Path between Oxford and Goring, our route took us previous a group of youngsters. We approached with warning.

It wasn’t that they appeared intimidating. They have been larking about. Drinking tinnies, enjoying music. Good for them.

I used to be simply acutely aware that with our backpacks, water bottles and climbing boots, my mates Jack, Roma, Charlotte and I have been provocatively uncool. It’s a humorous factor, rising up. 

Meander through Marlow: Ed Cumming completed the final stretch of the walk alone, finishing in Marlow (pictured)

Meander by Marlow: Ed Cumming accomplished the ultimate stretch of the stroll alone, ending in Marlow (pictured) 

The Thames Path follows the route of Three Men In A Boat, pictured

The Thames Path follows the route of Three Men In A Boat, pictured 

One minute you’re drunk in a meadow, the subsequent you’re questioning whether or not a 12-mile stroll justifies treating your self to a Solero earlier than midday.

I assumed we had handed them with out remark when a voice known as out gleefully after us: ‘Oi, Duke of Edinburgh!’

The Thames in south Oxfordshire has lengthy been devoted to amusement. 

It’s the setting for that basic story of middle-class professionals on vacation, Three Men In A Boat. 

Kenneth Grahame noticed in the eddies and culverts a playground for Ratty and Mr Toad. 

These days kayakers and wild swimmers mingle with barges and pleasure cruisers, but the precept stays the identical. 

There’s one thing basically unserious in regards to the Thames past London. Although the Thames Path appears like an historic route, it was solely formalised in 1996. 

To mark its twenty fifth anniversary, ‘slow travel’ firm Inntravel has organized a self-guided walking tour of probably the most attention-grabbing stretch, between Oxford and Henley.

We began at Oxford’s Port Meadow, the place horses and cows tried to get out of the best way of demob-happy college students. Its benefit is that it has many pubs. 

We walked slowly, stopping wherever doable for chilly pints. After lunch, to show it wasn’t ‘stupid’ to have introduced my trunks, I insisted on a swim. 

Inntravel reveals highlights of the 184-mile route, in days now not than 12 miles. Between Oxford and Goring the financial institution is a wild but tranquil place. 

Describing Port Meadow, Ed says: 'Its advantage is that it has many pubs.' Pictured is one of the pubs in the area, The Trout Inn

Describing Port Meadow, Ed says: ‘Its benefit is that it has many pubs.’ Pictured is without doubt one of the pubs in the realm, The Trout Inn

Pictured is a view of the Thames in Henley, where Ed saw rowing eights travelling down the river

Pictured is a view of the Thames in Henley, the place Ed noticed rowing eights travelling down the river 

TRAVEL FACTS

Inntravel (inntravel.co.uk, 01653 617000) provides a six-night Trails of the Riverbank self-guided walking vacation from £895pp primarily based on two sharing, together with six nights’ B&B, three dinners, baggage transferred, route notes and maps. 

We walked by fields of shaggy grass with butterflies and bees. At every city, this gave approach to homes, some spectacular, some spectacularly ugly.

The path is a actual snooper’s constitution for issues in again gardens — boathouses, gazebos, tennis courts, jacuzzis and a few actually hideous sheds.

One by one my mates drifted off again to their jobs, or in one case defeated by a lengthy lunch.

I accomplished the ultimate stretch from Henley to Marlow alone. Rowing eights heaved downriver. 

It began to rain. I handed a hen get together boarding a boat, placing as courageous a face on it as they may. 

It could also be true that there’s nothing higher value doing than messing about in boats, but walking previous different individuals messing about in boats has lots to suggest it, too. 

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