# £20 including return train tickets from London Paddington #
A great rural hiking escape and a chance to see the Thames as most Londoners haven't - tranquil and meandering, home to ducks and swans, settled in a gorgeous woodland, meadow and countrified landscape with picturesque river-side cottages, ancient villages, overhanging Weeping Willow trees, locks and a dramatic 200m footbridge across a weir! This whole area of the Chilterns was designated in 1965 as an official "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty".
A high chance of seeing Red Kites - a beautiful and rare bird of prey
Hike a stunning section of the rural river Thames
Explore gorgeous woodland trails in the Chiltern Hills
Visit the Georgian town of Marlow
Visit and explore an island in the Thames
Cross the exhilarating 200m Hambledon Weir
Visit the ancient village of Hambledon including it's church which dates back over 1000 years
Photos - with the exception of the Red Kite photo, all photos were taken by the hike leader on the actual routes that you will be hiking and are of views that you will see
(Red Kite photo courtesy and copyright of Chris Smith - www.chrissmithphotography.org.uk)
We shall be heading up the Thames away from London to the well preserved Georgian town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire. Buckinghamshire is a county well known for it's rivers, canals and landscape and of course the Chiltern Hills further north.
Our walk will cover a very scenic stretch of the Thames taking us past the charming riverside villages of Aston and Hurley and also Marlow lock, which was built in 1773. Time seems to have stood still in this area and even the village of Hurley is little changed since the days when it was a Benedictine Monastry. We'll also get a glimpse of Bisham Abbey and Bisham Church across the Thames before crossing over the weir footbridge at Hambledon Mill (over 200m wide and an experience in itself!) . I'm going to stop here before describing the equally enchanting woodland and fields walk we'll follow back to Marlow.
The beauty and tranquillity of the area has attracted numerous famous residents including Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein), T.S.Eliot, Heston Blumenthal, Andrew Strauss and even Robbie Williams and David Seaman own properties there.
Transport & Meeting Point
We'll meet at 9:15am in front of the main ticket office at Paddington Station (near platform 1). We'll leave the meeting point at 9:30 for the 9:43 train.
Click here for a map of our meeting point: http://goo.gl/e2nmp
Planned return time to London of 7:18pm (we have a group train ticket and you are committed for the day until then)
We'll stop during the walk for a snack lunch so please bring food and drink. We’ll visit a pub after the walk where we can get refreshments.
Distance, Difficulty and Terrain
Distance: 13 miles (21 kms)
Grading: Intermediate >click here for details<
Ascent: 260 metres
Terrain: Mix of tarmac, gravel and woodland tracks, (can be muddy)
Walking time: About 5 to 5.5 hours of actual walking
Elevation plot of actual hike: (>click here for larger version<):
The walk will be £20.00 per person which includes the guided hike and train tickets from London Paddington.
What to Bring
Appropriate walking clothes and footwear (ideally hiking boots) >click here<
Water (at least 1 and ideally 2 litres)
Money for drinks and refreshments after the walk
That's it! We will take care of train tickets, logistics on the day etc, so that you can just turn up and have a great day :-)
Your safety is very important to us and this walk is led by a trained Walk Group Leader (MTE) and qualified Outdoor Activity First Aider with extensive hike leading experience. A First Aid kit is carried and the walk is well known to the walk leader.
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