5 Fun Things To Do In The Thames Valley

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The Thames Valley area is a beautiful and historic region west of London, encompassing parts of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. With charming towns and villages, stretches of countryside and of course, the River Thames flowing through, there's much to see and do. Here are 5 suggestions for fun things to explore in the Thames Valley area.

River Thames

Take a Cruise Along the Thames
From the heart of Oxford to the royal county of Windsor, the Thames offers wonderful vistas and plenty of attractions along its banks. Take a relaxing river cruise and view sights like Oxford’s spires, Abingdon’s vineyards, or Windsor Castle from a different perspective. Many cruises also stop along the way, allowing you to hop-on and hop-off to explore places in more depth.

Wander Around Beautiful Historic Towns
Thames Valley is home to some  pretty historic market towns and villages like Wallingford, Goring, Pangbourne and Cookham. Spend an afternoon wandering cobbled lanes, browsing antique shops, relaxing by the river or stopping for a traditional cream tea. Nearby larger towns also offer great exploring, especially royal Windsor with its imposing castle, Eton college and quaint high street.

family cycling through the countryside

Go Walking or Cycling Through the Countryside
Get active by embarking on walks or bike rides on established trails. Ramble through water meadows awash with colourful wildflowers in spring and summer. Or follow sections of the Thames Path taking in bucolic scenery, stopping at historic pubs or spotted deer grazing in water meadows along the way. The Chilterns area also boasts wonderful walking countryside criss-crossed by footpaths and bridleways with sweet villages dotted throughout. 

This is a great activity for parents and foster carers with children to entertain. If you are fostering in Thames Valley, plan a nature walk and ask your foster children to create a diary of the things they see and do.

See Local Attractions Like Basildon Park and River & Rowing Museum
Thames Valley offers a wealth of interesting cultural and historical attractions to visit. Basildon Park is a stunning 18th-century country house surrounded by 400 acres of parkland and gardens, located between Reading and Oxford. The River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames is dedicated to the heritage of the town’s rowing as well as the River Thames itself. Other popular attractions include Savill Garden in Windsor Great Park and Waterperry Gardens in Oxfordshire. 

sunday roast

Dine at Great Country Pubs
No trip to the Thames Valley countryside is complete without stopping for a meal at a traditional British pub along the way. The area certainly has its fair share of characterful old taverns, especially in riverside towns and villages where many establishments sit directly on the banks of the Thames itself. Look out for recommended gastropubs serving excellent seasonal fare or choose a country inn filled with roaring fires in winter and leafy beer gardens in summer. Sipping a crisp pint or two of real ale makes for an integral part of any visit.

With enticing towns, chocolate-box villages, nature trails, historic sites, gardens and of course classic country pubs, the Thames Valley offers wonderful ways to spend relaxing yet engaging days out.


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