“Choose between two historic walking routes for a self guided hiking holiday either along England’s Shakespeare’s Way or the Thames Path. Both ending up in London.”
Stratford-upon-Avon | The Cotswolds | Blenheim Palace | Woodstock | Oxford | The Chilterns | River Thames Path | Kew Gardens | London | Bankside | Globe Theatre | Windsor
Description of Shakespeares Way & Thames Path walking holiday
Spend a week or two weeks walking through some of England’s most idyllic rolling, rural landscapes on either the Shakespeare’s Way Trail, packed with history, natural and cultural heritage, or The Thames Path, which doesn’t just go through the centre of London, but stretches all the way to its source in the stunning Cotswolds Hills. Transporting your luggage from one hotel to another, all carefully selected by us for comfort, quality and a warm welcome to hikers, you can enjoy independent hiking at your own pace. Accommodation will be booked on a bed and breakfast basis only. We will recommend pubs and restaurants along the walking paths, of which there are many.
This historic route between Shakespeare’s birthplace at Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London stretches for 235kms taking in some of England’s most stunning countryside en route. This includes the Cotwolds and Chilterns Hills, both peppered with ancient towns and villages where you will stay in carefully selected guesthouses and small hotels. In Stratford-Upon-Avon you can visit Anne Hathaway’s cottage and the world renowned home theatre of the Royal Shakespeare Company. After passing through and visiting Blenheim Palace, residence of the Dukes of Marlborough in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, you join the Thames Path and walk all the way to London’s river banks, passing through the 18th century Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, en route. It takes two weeks to complete this walking route on foot, although we can tailor make it so that you can divide it into two separate week long expeditions, stopping and starting again in Oxford.
Suggested walking holiday length: 7 or 14 days Walking level: easy.
Total Distance: 120 or 235kms with daily walking on average 18kms.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Thames Path
Although many people think that The Thames Path only goes through the capital city of London, it actually stretches 288kms between the city and its source, in the Cotswold Hills. Starting at the Thames Barrier in South East London, you walk through the city centre clinging to the river, following its winding course all the way out to Thames Head in Gloucestershire. This is an easy walking trail, with plenty of historic sites en route. A popular well marked walking trail, it is a wonderful way to discover this part of the South of England, with popular cultural stops not only in London but also in the historic cities of Windsor and Oxford. As this is a tailor made tour, we are able to incorporate plenty of rest days into your itinerary for sightseeing or shopping, from the Houses of Parliament and Tower of London, both overlooking the Thames, to Oxford University’s historic colleges and museums. Although it takes two weeks to complete this walking trail, we can also create itineraries that allow you to split the trail in two: Walk from London to Reading on one stage and then, when you have more time, complete the second stage from Reading to Thames Head. This has proved popular with hikers who don’t have two weeks to spare at one time. You can also choose to hike the trail in east to west, or vice versa. If you would like to take on a smaller segment of The Thames Path, just contact us and we can create an itinerary that works for you.
Suggested walking holiday length: 6/7/13 days Walking level: easy.
Total Distance: - 144/288 kms with daily walking on average 22.5kms
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
This trip is tailor made and can depart any day of the year to suit you.
Responsible tourism: Shakespeares Way & Thames Path walking holiday
The Responsible Travel Code of Conduct which you receive with your information pack contains suggestions on how to be an ethical traveller by reducing water usage, recycling and properly disposing of litter, and reducing damage to the environment.
The majority of the accommodations we use are locally owned and operated and use local produce for providing you with breakfast. Wherever possible we use accommodations that are registered with the Green Tourism Business Scheme. There are local shops, pubs and cafes along the Cotswold Way available for lunches and dinners. All these issues make a great difference to the economic welfare of the local community by providing employment.
During the booking process for your holiday we reduce paper usage by corresponding by email wherever possible and only printing correspondence which is legally binding. We recycle our ink cartridges and envelopes, and use low energy light bulbs. Paper which cannot be recycled is shredded and composted.
Whilst on this holiday you will be walking at your own pace in your own group. We restrict group sizes on our self-guided walking holidays to a maximum of 12 to reduce impact on the community.
We encourage you to use this walking holiday as means to support your chosen charity by way of sponsorship.
We are a family run business and are committed to operating a Responsible Travel Policy. We aim to provide a quality and positive experience for our customers while contributing to and enhancing the local economy and respecting the environment.
Whilst walking you are taking part in a healthy activity and visiting the area while reducing road congestion. The local authority encourages people to visit the area on foot using public transport in line with their desire to encourage sustainable tourism.
There are a large number of National Trust Properties. The membership and entrance fees are used to restore and conserve our heritage, and provide employment for local people.
Everyone who works with us knows the routes like the back of their hands and not just the direction from A to B but the features of the landscape you take in along the way: we provide all the information we can to give walkers the chance to fully interact with their journey – so you’ll get the most out of everything on route from the birds you’ll spot, the geology, the wildlife, architecture and the history. The walks take in some of England’s finest villages – a great chance to appreciate the beauty of Cotswold stone, local food and old English pubs on route. There’s so much to learn from these landscapes. Almost half of those who have done walks with us have come back for another – something we’re very proud of.
Reviews of Shakespeares Way & Thames Path walking holiday
You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 10 Jun 2016 by Graham Stenger
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
During the course of the week one cannot fail to be impressed by the sights seen on the Thames Path, sadly the planned programme didn't allow time to visit these places.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
To make sure that the daily walks are within their capabilities, even though the paths are on the level. The Thames path is well maintained but it was noticeable as you approached London, through London and to the east that a number of the signs had been vandalised/pointing in the wrong direction. This needs to be taken up with the appropriate authority to correct these issues.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes it must assist local economies by taking rooms, using restaurants etc.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
Excellent, it far exceeded our expectations. We had approached the last phase of the Thames Path with a view that we just needed to get to the Thames Barrier and the end of the walk. In the end the final phase proved to be far more enjoyable as we passed through lovely countryside laced with history.right through to the Barrier.