London

Exploring England Step by Step: Walking the Thames Path

When you are in London, walking the Thames Path can be one of your favorite routines. This phenomenal trail marks the national pathway of England and is present with all its glory and significance. Moreover, the 185-mile-long Thames Path provides a picturesque view of the Thames River flowing by. Thus, the walkers can enjoy their walk and get mesmerized by the incredible beauty of the sparkling river.

The richness of England is in its heritage buildings and cultural significance. Furthermore, you can explore the remarkable places through pleasant walks along the incredible heritage houses and manors. The Thames River path provides the opportunity to know England better by walking past the city of Oxford, Kelmscott Manor, Palace of Westminster, Windsor Castle, and many more.

Do you want to know the details of Thames Path walks in more detail? Please read this amazing article and enhance your knowledge. It will provide a step-by-step guide for taking a brisk walk along the Thames River.

Understanding the Thames Path

The Thames Path national trail is a remarkable path for walking along the River Thames in London. It runs in South East London for 185 miles and starts from Kemble of Gloucestershire. Thus, the beginning of the path is from Tewksbury Mead, the source of the River Thames. The proposal for this path came in 1948. However, the public finally started using the road in 1996, several years later. It is ending at Woolwich, the Thames Barrier.

Thames Path offers incredible views of the distinguishing castles, manors, and other heritage sites. The highlighting points of coming across while walking the Thames Path are:-

  • Windsor Castle
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Kelmscott Manor
  • The Palace of Westminster
  • Oxford City
  • Hampton Court Palace
  • Runnymede
  • Greenwich

It is very beautiful to depict that Thames River path is easily accessible by any passerby. It has a gentle terrain with some natural slopes at different points. However, any person with a disability can also roam around this marvelous trail using pushchairs, wheelchairs, or even mobility scooters. It gives incredible views of the surroundings, especially the delightful feel of Thames Rives flowing beside you.

Preparations and Logistics

Thames Path reflects all its beauty during the dry weather. Therefore, the best time to take the lovely walks is during summer, that is, between the months of May and September. However, you can enjoy it from April to October also, if the weather remains dry and clear.

Walking the Thames Path can be a more cherishing activity when you have the guidelines to cover all the junctions. It is better to collect a guidebook before starting the walk. Now, such a detailed guidebook with the 1:25,000 map is also available online. Purchase it for £15 to £18 approximately and enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Moreover, the entry fee for the Thames Path Walk is £5. However, children below 16 do not need the fee. Instead, they must come accompanied by an adult. You have to read about the specific terms and conditions and fill up a registration form to participate in this event of Walking.

You should come prepared with the required accessories for a fruitful and comfortable journey. Focus more on your shoes as you will be continuously walking. It is better to wear lightweight shoes as no mountains or hills are there on the path. Furthermore, select waterproof boots to avoid the mess of mud.

Along with that, you should wear the socks. If you are walking from April to October, expect rain sometimes. Lightweight overtrousers and a waterproof jacket should be necessary. The summer walk will require lighter clothes, a hat, and sun cream. Please start the walk with a guidebook and water bottles. You may also bring swimwear to enjoy the cool waters of the River Thames.

Starting the Journey

Your journey along Thames Path should start from the River Source at Kemble. Please do not begin the promising walk from any middle part. It will not give you an equal amount of fun.

Satisfy your wanderlust by visiting the most satisfying trail in London. You can pass the quaint villages and meandering streams. The ravishing water bodies will present a dream world as you enter Nature’s abode. Furthermore, you can pass several picturesque countryside like Maidenhead and indulge in short hiking sessions on Cotswold Hills.

Please do not miss the mindblowing scenes of Cotswold Stone villages and learn the history of making stones and stone objects. You can also shop for some exciting items and visit Lechlade.

Exploring Central London

The historical walk through the Thames River Path will help you explore Central London well. Moreover, it is a great transition from the rural landscapes ending in the realms of the metropolitan environment. The charming sights of Central London will be a memorable attraction as you visit iconic sites like Henley, Thames Valley, and others.

Thames Valley is undoubtedly the most attractive stretch of the entire walk. Moreover, you can also have a splendid vista of the following spots:-

  • Tower of London: This is a 13th-century establishment famous for official documentation. It is also renowned for the Crown Jewels, the precious possession of the 17th century. It still carries the tales of the tower, guarding the city as a fortress.
  • St. Paul’s Cathedral: The most prominent Church in London is St. Paul’s Cathedral. It is the center of religious events and acts as the Anglican Episcopal.
  • Globe Theatre: This theatrical hall is a remarkable point, carrying the memories of William Shakespeare. Thus, it is associated with historical plays and is one of the primary attractions of Thames Path.

Greenwich: Maritime Charm

To reach Greenwich, the Maritime Charm, you need to take the Greenwich Ferry from Thames Path. The stopping point of the ferry is Greenwich Pier. You can have a gala time while traversing by Queen’s Museum, Royal Naval College, or the National Maritime Museum. Walk only a few meters to catch the ferry just beside Cutty Sark.

Discover amazing destinations during your walk from the River Thames source to Greenwich. The special points at the ending point are:-

  • Royal Observatory: This is a special observatory at Greenwich located at Greenwich Park. It is, of course, a must-visit place from where you can observe the spectacular surroundings.
  • Greenwich Park: This is one of the royal parks situated in Greenwich. It features incredible gardens with 17th-century landscapes dotting the place.
  • Cutty Sark: We date back 14 years and appreciate the beauty of the fastest ship of those times. The clipper design of this ship is reflected today through Cutty Sark.

You can immerse yourself in the amazing maritime environment and learn the secrets and history of the maritime sector of Greenwich.

Further Downstream

Walking the Thames Path will let you cover the lovely meadows, splendid villages, and refreshing streams. However, from the rural environment, you will gradually cross the urban settings. As you are near the endpoint of the trail, the scenario will change, and the fascinating scenes of the urban setting will impress you. It is indeed a great transition.

The most impressive landmarks of going downstream include:-

  • The O2 Arena:This is an entertainment arena situated on the Greenwich Peninsula. This 9th largest building has the second-highest capacity.
  • Hampton Court Palace: This is a famous complex and reflects the magnificence of the lavish banquets of the Hampton Court. It was the abode of Henry VIII of 1530.

The lively townships along the Thames River are the most distinguishing factor to be highlighted. So, enjoy the marvels of the scenic beauty, cities, and towns, all along the same path.

Natural Beauty and Wildlife

The next exciting factor of Thames Path observing the wildlife and natural beauty. Thames Estuary presents an incredible view including the grazing marsh ditches, salt marsh, and floodplains. Moreover, Wetland Reserves ensure that you look at Nature’s spectacles with wide eyes. Thousands of hectares are present to protect many endangered species.

You can also observe many rare bird species like the Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Swallow, Grey Heron, and many others. Therefore, it is a heaven for the birdwatchers.

Final Stretch

Now, it is time to approach the final stretch of the Thames River Path. It comes to an end at the Thames Barrier. The current of the Thames River remains quite high at most times. Therefore, if you are planning for water activities, please always be careful. Thus, the Thames Barrier came into existence to protect the land from the devasting floods. It is an engineering marvel and is an attraction for the visitors.

So, are you enjoying this fabulous journey while walking the Thames Path? However, it is not possible to complete the whole trail in just one or two days. On average, a person will require 14 days to cover the whole path. Most guides offer rest periods of a maximum of two days. As we can see, the journey is full of adventures and energy. Be it the history of the trail, the wildlife, or the Natural Beauty, it is a complete package. Know London better with a perfect walk of the path.

Conclusion

Explore England on a delightful note by planning a walk along the Thames River. The Thames Path recreates the surroundings with the opportunity of observing the scenic beauties. The buildings and heritage monuments are the greatest attractions of this place.

Walking the Thames Path is a challenge for many. However, the smooth roads and the lovely sites will keep you engrossed throughout. Find the stunning views and understand the cultural richness of England through this small tour. 14 days will make you remember the place forever. Are you ready to plan the walk?

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