Best Walks In Buckinghamshire
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.
Here’s a taster of some of our favourite walks in Buckinghamshire, and 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.
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.
For a closer woodland walk, 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…
If you’d like to know more about the best walks in Buckinghamshire, please just ask the team at Taplow.