Walking cruise – Hampton Court Palace to Henley-on-Thames

If you love Walking and spending lots of time in the clean fresh air, then why not combine this love with a luxury cruise on Magna CartaCruise the Royal river Thames and Walk through some of the finest countryside around…

The Ridgeway is thought to be the oldest existing road in the world and this is a walking experience that cannot be missed during your cruise this week.

We will also enjoy walks at Royal Parks, England’s most famous school, lakes, tiny villages and hunting grounds.

Sunday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 1
London – Kingston-on-Thames – Hampton Court Palace
Meet the Captain at The Stafford Hotel in London at 2pm before being transferred to the Magna Carta.Champagne reception and welcome by the Captain. Early evening cruise to Hampton Court Palace, former Tudor Palace of Henry VIII, where we moor for the night. Dinner aboard.
Monday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 2
Hampton Court Palace – Shepperton
This morning we walk in Richmond Park. Here at the top of Richmond Hill we find 2500 acres of undulating grassland and bracken, dotted with coppiced woodland and wilder than anything for miles around.Eight miles across at its widest point, it is famed for its red and fallow deer, which roam freely, and for its ancient oaks.In the afternoon enjoy a meandering cruise upstream following the course of the Thames to Shepperton. Dinner aboard.
Tuesday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 3
Shepperton – Runnymede
Morning cruise to Runnymede. We moor at Bell Weir Lock adjacent to a luxury spa hotel, where we have the opportunity to visit and use the pool and elaborate leisure facilities.After lunch we visit Windsor Great Park. Comprising about 4800 acres of wooded parkland and gardens, we walk around Virginia Water Lake a large ornamental lake fringed by trees, paths and rides.This glorious walk perfectly reflects the changing seasons and never strays far from the water’s edge. Virginia Water covers about 160 acres and was developed in the middle of the 18th century for the Duke of Cumberland after his victory at Culloden. Dinner aboard.
Wednesday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 4
Runnymede – Windsor
After breakfast we take a short cruise to the Runnymede pleasure grounds and then stroll across the meadows to the Magna Carta memorial.This commemorates the place where in 1215, King John faced the powerful barons and was forced to seal the Magna Carta.We then start climbing towards the JFK Memorial and continue up Coopers Hill to the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial, a most fitting site to remember the 20,000 or so commonwealth airmen who have no known grave.

We then continue back to the boat before a spectacular cruise to Windsor.

After lunch we walk the Playing fields of Eton. Beginning with a worthy stroll along the Thames path we soon head for the famous playing fields where, according to Wellington, the battle of Waterloo was won.

For the duration of this walk we are aware of Windsor Castle, its high defensive position dominating the view.

After walking we take a late afternoon cruise to our private mooring. Dinner aboard.

Thursday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 5
Windsor – Cookham
Leaving Royal Windsor behind us we cruise past fabulous waterside homes through the spectacular Clivedon reach and the open English countryside.We moor in Cookham, once described as ‘Heaven on Earth’ by artist Stanley Spencer, one of England�s greatest and most eccentric painters.

This afternoon we take you for a ramble up the old packhorse way to Cookham Dean, where Kenneth Graham lived and was inspired to write ‘The Wind in the Willows’.

Look out for muntjac deer and other wildlife in this beautiful setting, and then climb to Winter Hill for panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. Dinner aboard

Friday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 6
Cookham – Henley-on-Thames
A morning cruise to the village of Hurley where we have time to wander Peter Freebody�s boatyard and watch in wonder at the traditional craftsmen at work.Return to the barge for lunch before cruising to Henley on Thames, our final approach being along the famous Henley Regatta Course.

This afternoon we finish with a truly magnificent walk along the Ridgeway.

Between Kingston Lisle and Ashbury are the undisputed highlights of the entire Ridgeway – the Iron Age Uffington ‘Castle’, the White Horse of Uffington and the Wayland’s Smithy Long Barrow.

The countryside surrounding the Ridgeway is rich in wild flowers and bird life, and traces of early man are everywhere. As if what we have done is not enough, our return walk is along footpaths linking three of the lovely settlements that lie at the foot of the downs: Ashbury, Compton Beauchamp and Woolstone. Captains Farewell Dinner aboard.

Saturday, Magna Carta Walking cruise Day 7
Henley-on-Thames – London
Following breakfast, disembark at 10 am and return to London.