Thames Path Guided Trail

Halfpenny Bridge across the River Thames, at Lechlade, Gloucestershire, England, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Guided trails
Walking Grade: 2
from £1,199pp

Measuring up at a whopping 185 miles, the Thames Path National Trail follows the course of England’s most famous river from the Thames Barrier in London to its source in rural Gloucestershire. This guided trail holiday covers the stretch that winds its way from the dreaming spires of Oxford to the rolling countryside of the Cotswolds. Walk peaceful riverside paths and country lanes rich in historical interest, rare wildlife, and more.

What you’ll love

  • Walking the beautiful upper reaches of the River Thames
  • Following a trail from Oxford’s dreaming spires to the Cotswolds
  • Spending time in charming Bourton-on-the-Water
  • Wildlife-spotting along Britain's most famous river
  • Staying at Grade II-listed Harrington House 

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite rooms in our partner accommodation(s)
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walks with an experienced HF Holidays Leader
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


We quickly lose sight of the dreaming spires and suburbs of Oxford and enter lush water meadows. We will see Port Meadow, ancient common grazing land presented to the Burgesses of Oxford by William the Conqueror and the remains of the Benedictine nunnery at Godstow; founded in 1139. We continue to Swinford Bridge, one of the two remaining toll bridges across the Thames. At Pinkhill Lock the path leaves the river and crosses fields to reach Bablock Hythe.

11 miles (17km) with 250 feet (75m) of ascent.


We follow the river to the remote lock at Northmoor. We look at one of the weirs which retain the paddle construction of earlier times and continue to Newbridge, the second oldest of the Thames bridges. A remote meandering section of our walk follows with few signs of habitation. We see an isolated chapel in fields at Shifford, once an important town where a thousand years ago King Alfred held a meeting of the English Parliament. We follow Shifford Lock Cut, before rejoining the river to Tadpole Bridge, which was built to carry the turnpike road to Bampton.

9½ miles (15.5km) with 200 feet (60m) of ascent.


A day without any walks programmed, giving you the opportunity to explore the local area independently.


We follow a towpath all the way to Lechlade. At Rushey Lock we shall see another paddleweir and, over a side channel at Radcot, the oldest bridge on the Thames. We pass close to Kelmscott Manor; a house lived in by William Morris and his family for 25 years, before coming to Buscot Lock, where the National Trust has restored the lock-keeper’s cottage. After St John’s Lock, we continue to Lechlade.

10½ miles (17km) with 200 feet (60m) of ascent.


Leaving Lechlade at Halfpenny Bridge, we follow the towpath to Inglesham Round House, the point where the Thames and Severn Canal once joined the river, and cross fields to visit the 13th century church at Inglesham. Inspired by William Morris, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings carefully restored the church in the 1880s. There is a section of minor road walking. We rejoin the river for the final section into Cricklade.

11 miles (17.5km) with 200 feet (60m) of ascent.


We cross the River Churn and enter the North Meadow Nature Reserve. After passing the Latton Aqueduct, a relic of the North Wiltshire Canal, we follow paths through the Cotswold Water Park, created by the flooding of old gravel pits. Frequent glimpses of the Thames headwaters lead us on to Ashton Keynes where the path will bring us to the last bridge where water can sometimes be seen. Near Upper Mill Farm, once a water mill, a windpump marks a spot where water used to rise vigorously but thereafter it is only just possible to discern the line of the river. We continue across open fields to reach the simple marble slab in Trewsbury Mead that marks the official source of the river and the end of our journey.

12½ miles (20.5km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Itinerary map for Thames Path

Harrington House

You get the best of all worlds at this Grade II-listed retreat just a skip away from the heart of Bourton-on-the-Water – the impossibly pretty Cotswolds town with chocolate-box cottages, old-fashioned tearooms, and low-arched stone bridges that span the River Windrush. Not only will you be within walking distance of the Cotswold Motoring Museum, the Model Village, and Birdland Wildlife Park & Gardens, but it’s an easy drive from village beauties Broadway and Bibury. For walkers and hikers, there’s no shortage of thrills, especially for those keen to explore the well-trodden trails and paths around the Windrush Valley, Lower and Upper Slaughter, Gloucestershire Way, Cotswold Way, and Monarch Way.

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Harrington House has 27 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: Rooms 1 and 2 on the first floor for their master bedrooms, original Palladian design, and lovely views. Room 24 in the Windrush Cottage is a large twin room with its own private garden.  

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out 
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Harrington House

10537_0039 - Harrington exterior

Getting to Harrington House

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Address

Harrington House
Sherborne Street
Bourton-on-the-Water
Gloucestershire GL54 2BY

Tel: +44 (0)1451 821213

By train

The nearest station is Moreton-in-Marsh.  

However, the nearest mainline station is at Cheltenham Spa. 

Check National Rail for train times and routes. 

By taxi

From Moreton-in-Marsh, it’s a nine-mile journey taking 20 to 30 minutes.

From Cheltenham Spa, it’s an 18-mile journey taking 35 to 45 minutes.

For pricing, please contact Limozena taxis directly.

Limozena
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Limozena*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1451 820972
Email: denwalmsley@yahoo.co.uk

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Harrington House.

*Limozena is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The 801 bus goes from Moreton-in-Marsh to Bourton-on-the-Water and takes about 30 minutes. Alight next to the Edinburgh Woollen Mill Shop from where it’s a short walk to Harrington House.  

By car

There’s free car parking at Harrington House if you decide to drive. 

Directions 
From the A429 take the road into the centre of Bourton-on-the-Water. At the war memorial by the village green, turn into Sherborne Street. Cross the narrow bridge and continue to just before the road forks. You’ll find Harrington House on the left.  

By air

The nearest airport is London Heathrow Airport.

From the airport 
Take the train to London Paddington station from where there are direct trains to Moreton-in-Marsh, which takes just over two hours. Then you can get the bus or a taxi to Bourton-on-the-Water. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Harrington House Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

19 Jul - 26 Jul 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,199 pp

from

£1,199 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

16 Aug - 23 Aug 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,199 pp

from

£1,199 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

04 Oct - 11 Oct 2024

7 nights

Guided Trail

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Guided trails
Walking Grade:
2

7 nights from £1,199pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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