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Best Walks In Buckinghamshire

Author: Taplow House Hotel & Spa

With its rolling hills, ancient woodlands and meandering riverside paths, Buckinghamshire has some of the best walking country in Britain. Striking out on foot is often the most rewarding way to explore an area and if you re staying in Taplow, we d recommend spending at least part of your holiday on the county’s footpaths discovering the best walks in Buckinghamshire.

Here’s a taster of some of our favourite country walks in Buckinghamshire, as well as how to reach them from Taplow House.

The Thames Path

The Thames Path is a 184-mile route that runs from the Cotswold’s to London. It starts at the source of the Thames, in an unassuming meadow, before finishing in the contrasting Isle of Dogs. It passes through Maidenhead on its way, where you can pick it up and enjoy a riverside amble.

However, our favourite local riverside walk is the stretch of Thames Path between Marlow and Windsor. It’s about 14 miles, so it’s a good day’s hike. You can get the train to Marlow from Taplow, then catch it back again to Windsor, so you needn’t double the distance.

The walk takes in Cock Marsh, Cookham and the National Trust Cliveden Estate, which looks especially lovely in the autumn. There are plenty of appealing inns en route and as a real reward for your journey, you re welcomed to Windsor by a stunning view of the castle. It is one of the best walks near Maidenhead.

The Ridgeway

This is another of Buckinghamshire’s epic walks. The Ridgeway is an 87-mile long trail that starts in the ancient site in Avebury in Wiltshire and finishes in Ivinghoe Beacon in Buckinghamshire. Walkers tread paths first used in the Neolithic period, making it England’s oldest roads. It runs along the Chilterns for about half its length, and passes through some incredibly beautiful scenery.

There are circular routes that include sections of the Ridgeway, like this 10-mile walk from Aldbury that takes you to Ivinghoe Beacon. You ll also pass through the gorgeous woodlands at the National Trust’s Ashridge Estate. It’s about 30 miles to Aldbury from Taplow, but you’ll be glad you made the journey when you stand at the top of the Beacon, looking out over Buckinghamshire and the Chilterns.

Maidenhead Commons

For a closer woodland walk in Maidenhead, try the National Trust-managed Maidenhead and Cookham Commons. This stunning place is made up of woods and meadows, with riverside stretches and lots of enticing pathways.

Maidenhead Thicket has five miles of woodland paths, and is one of the best places for a family-friendly walk. If you prefer to stroll through meadows, we d suggest Pinkneys Green, home to some of the Commons loveliest grasses and wild flowers. There’s a neat 7-mile circular walk that takes in both of these areas.

It’s less than five miles from Taplow House to the Commons, and there’s free parking. Bring a picnic (there are tables) or enjoy a pit stop at one of the local pubs.

Taplow Lake and the Jubilee Path

The Jubilee path actually starts in Taplow, heading south past Taplow Lake. Our local lake is a popular place for water sports and wild swimming, or if you prefer, a calm Sunday afternoon amble.

There’s a pleasant 6-mile walk that goes from Taplow through Dorney and Eton Wick. You can finish here and either retrace your walk, or take a four-mile taxi ride back to Taplow. If you prefer, carry on towards the fields south of Eton, and join the Thames Path for a longer walk.

Walk Into Maidenhead from Taplow

Taplow House feels gloriously rural however, it’s only a 40-minute walk into Maidenhead. This 1.6-mile walk is a mixture of cross-country paths and town pavements and if you pick up too much in Maidenhead’s lovely shops, you can catch the train back to Taplow (a handy 4-minute ride).

Extend your walk with a stroll along the Thames in Maidenhead. Watch the boats navigate Boulter’s Lock, or admire Brunel’s railway bridge. Ray Mill Island is a lovely place for an amble. This former flour mill is now a pretty public park, reached by a bridge. Again, there are pubs.

Maidenhead Boundary Walk

13 miles (21 km)

This circular walk takes you around the old boundary of Maidenhead. It runs for about 13 miles visiting the boundary stones, the River Thames and Maidenhead Thicket. The walk is an annual event allowing walkers to raise money through sponsorship for their favourite charities whilst enjoying a very interesting walk through some beautiful parts of the Berkshire countryside. It’s a nice one do to though as a day walk at anytime of year in smaller groups.

This walk starts from Boulter’s Lock on the River Thames, where there is a public car park at postcode SL6 8JN for your sat navs. From here you can pick up the Thames Path and follow it south along the river to Dorney Reach where you cross over to Bray and Bray Wick where there is a nature reserve.

You continue west to Cox Green before turning north west to Woolley Green and Maidenhead Thicket. Follow the woodland trails north through the thicket and you will come out at Pinkneys Green which is a National Trust owned area of common land. The route then heads east to Furze Platt before coming to Wildbrook Common, another National Trust area. There’s lots of good trails, country views and wildlife to see in these connected areas of NT open access land.

Dorney Lake Walk and Cycling

4 miles (6 km)

This purpose-built rowing lake in Buckinghamshire has a traffic free National Cycle Network trail running past it on one side and the Thames Path on the other. As such you can make a circular walking trail using these two trails or a linear ride from Eton Wick to Dorney Reach if you are on your bike. The lake was used as the rowing venue for the 2012 Olympics in London.
It’s a lovely area with the riverside path and views across the lake to enjoy. There’s also 450 acres of parkland including an Arboretum and Nature Conservation area. Look out for water loving birdlife including the grey heron.

You can park at the north western end of the lake just off Court Lane to start your walk. Alternatively you could catch the train to Windsor and then follow the Thames Path to the lake. It’s about 1.5 mile walk passing Eton, Eton Wick and Dorney Common. A National Cycle Network Path also runs from the train station to the site.

If you would like to extend your exercise then you could visit the nearby Windsor Great Park. The park has miles of cycling and walking trails with woodland, parkland and lakes to enjoy. You could also continue along the Thames Path to Maidenhead which is only a couple of miles to the north.

The Jubilee River also runs past Dorney. This river has a great waterside cycling and walking trail running from Maidenhead to Eton.

If you’d like to know more about the best walks in Buckinghamshire, please just ask the team at Taplow.