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48 hours on The River Thames

The River Thames is so intertwined with England’s past it has been described as ‘Liquid History’. From the rolling hills of the Cotswolds to the outskirts of London, it is home to quaint villages and historic towns, castles and great houses.
 
It has been used as a highway, seen historic battles and provided inspiration for writers and artists. Today, the River Thames is a wonderful retreat, perfect for boating, walking, fishing or simply relaxing in a pub or restaurant with a wonderful view. But for those of you who enjoy a more active break there’s Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking or canoeing.

Not sure where to start? Visit Thames has produced some great ideas for 48 Hours on the River Thames.
48 Hours – Escape!  Ideas for Winter Breaks with some great accommodation offers.

Getting to the River Thames by car

Runnymede, Henley and Windsor are easily accessible by car with parking available in each town. Runnymede is two miles west of Runnymede Bridge on the south side of the A3028(M25, exit 13).
 
Windsor is just 30 miles west of London and easily accessible via the M3, M4, M25 and M40. Henley can be accessed by the M4 and M40.

Top 5 must see places

River Trip
Hire a boat or jump aboard one of the many passenger boats cruising up and down the River Thames.

Windsor Castle
Step back in time at the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle and the Queen’s favourite home.

Walk the Thames Path
Stroll along the Thames Path, National Trail - Marlow to Cookham is arguably the most beautiful stretch.

River and Rowing Museum
See exciting, interactive and stimulating exhibitions and galleries giving a real taste of the River Thames.

Cream Tea at a Lock
Watch the world float by at Temple or Hurley lock. Both serve cream teas in the summer and are only a 15 minute walk apart!

48 Hours – Spring & Summer Breaks
Runnymede, Windsor and Henley
Day one

Start your day wandering through the historic meadows and woods of Runnymede - the famous site which witnessed, in 1215, King John's sealing of the Magna Carta. Set within the beautiful natural landscape are various memorials by Maufe, Jellicoe and Lutyens, commemorating moments in world history. Don’t miss the spring carpet of bluebells!
 
From Runnymede board a French Brothers boat and relax with a 90-minute river trip along the beautiful River Thames, taking in Old Windsor, Home Park with views of Windsor Castle, impressive Romney Lock and a glimpse of Eton College before arriving in Windsor.
 
A visit to Windsor would not be complete without a trip to the Castle – the oldest and largest occupied castle in the world with a history spanning 1000 years. Don’t miss the magnificent State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, St George's Chapel (one of the most beautiful ecclesiastical buildings in England and the burial place of 10 monarchs) and Queen Mary's Dolls House, a masterpiece in miniature.
 
End the day with your return boat trip to Runnymede before heading to runnymede-on-thames hotel for the night. Or if you prefer, stay the night in Windsor at the Sir Christopher Wren House Hotel and take in a show at the nearby Windsor Royal Theatre.

Day two

Overlooked by the beautiful Chiltern hills is Henley town – best know for the Henley Royal Regatta.
 
A few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, bustling with stall-holders and shoppers on market days. Henley is great for shopping and eating so spend time here perusing the many boutiques and quirky antique stores.
 
The award winning River & Rowing Museum gives more insight into the town’s rowing past. Statues of our great rowing Olympians greet visitors to the museum where you will find various exhibitions and galleries. Don’t miss the endearing Wind in the Willows walk-through exhibition which brings the famous characters of Mr Toad and friends to life.
 
Round off your day with a river walk or boat trip. Hobbs of Henley run regular trips or you can follow the Thames Path from Henley Bridge as far as Hambleden Lock – a 45 minute walk through beautiful fields.

Where to Stay

Runnymede – the runnymede-on-thames hotel

Windsor – The Sir Christopher Wren Hotel

Marlow & Henley – The Macdonald Compleat Angler

Top 5 things to do in the summer

River Trip
Hire a boat or jump aboard one of the many passenger boats cruising up and down the River Thames. Even better, make a break of it and take a cruising holiday on the Thames. There’s plenty of choice from luxury motor cruisers to canal boats.

Windsor Castle
Step back in time at the world’s oldest and largest occupied castle and the Queen’s favourite home.

Walk the Thames Path
Stroll along the Thames Path, National Trail - Marlow to Cookham is arguably the most beautiful stretch.

River and Rowing Museum
See exciting, interactive and stimulating exhibitions and galleries giving a real taste of the River Thames.

Cream Tea at a Lock
Watch the world float by at Temple or Hurley lock. Both serve cream teas in the summer and are only a 15 minute walk apart!

Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring

I want to experience

Compleat Angler Hotel - Macdonald Hotels

Compleat Angler Hotel - Macdonald Hotels

The Compleat Angler is one of the country's quintessential English retreats. Named after Isaak Walton's book of the same name, the hotel is located...