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Hambleden Mill on the River Thames in Buckinghamshire
Hambleden Mill on the River Thames in Buckinghamshire | © National Trust/Hugh Mothersole
Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire & Berkshire

Hambleden Mill to Henley-on-Thames circular river walk

This circular walk starts at the site of a Roman villa complex, then crosses the River Thames via a weir and lock at Hambleden Mill, before heading upstream alongside the regatta course to Henley-on-Thames. A low hill above Remenham offers panoramic views across the Thames Valley, and on the final quiet stretch of river there's a chance of spotting kingfishers.

Thames Path closures

After long periods of heavy rain, parts of the route may flood. Please check with the Environment Agency before starting your walk. Before and during Henley Regatta week, the path there may be temporarily closed. During the festival itself, a 488m stretch is closed. There is a parallel route nearby.

Total steps: 12

Total steps: 12

Start point

Public car park in Skirmett Road, Mill End, Hambleden, grid ref SU 785854

Step 1

From the entrance to the car park, cross the Skirmett Road with care and turn right onto the narrow roadside path. Continue towards Mill End Farm. When you run out of footpath, cross the road again, then follow the tarmac path diagonally away from Skirmett Road to a crossing point on the A4155 opposite the entrance to Hambleden Marina. Please take care crossing the road here as you cannot be easily seen by traffic coming from your right. Follow the track into Hambleden Marina. When you reach a traffic barrier, take the path to its right between the fences. You will soon emerge onto Hambleden Weir.

Step 2

Follow the footpath across the weir. Looking back, you'll get a good view of the much admired Hambleden Mill building.

Step 3

After crossing the weir, you'll emerge at Hambleden Lock. Cross via the lock gate (you may have to wait a moment if it's in use) and turn right towards a gate at the far end that leads into a field. Follow the riverside path towards Remenham and Henley-on-Thames.

Hambleden Weir
Hambleden Weir, Buckinghamshire | © National Trust/Hugh Mothersole

Step 4

After 650 metres, you'll find yourself opposite a group of large white buildings with landscaped gardens. This is the University of Reading’s Henley Business School at their Greenlands Campus.

Step 5

After a further 750 metres, you'll reach a small island in the river with a distinctive temple at its far end. This is Temple Island.

Step 6

From Temple Island, continue along the river bank. You are now following the course of the Henley Royal Regatta. Shortly after the village of Remenham you will see the east façade of Fawley Court. Continue along the riverside path until you reach a small hump-backed footbridge.

A view of a country house on a river with poplar trees on either side
A view of Fawley Court in Henley-on-Thames | © National Trust/Hugh Mothersole

Step 7

The footbridge here is a good place to appreciate the straightness of this section of the Thames, which makes it suitable as a regatta course. Continue along the path until you reach the Leander Club just before Henley Bridge.

Step 8

Just after the Leander Club, the path heads away from the river to emerge on the main A4130. Turn left here, crossing the driveway of the Leander Club. Keeping to the left, follow the roadside path until you reach Remenham Lane where you'll see The Little Angel pub. Turn left into the lane. Initially there's no footpath, but after it bends to the left you'll pick up a roadside path with the Henley Cricket Club on your right. At the point where the path suddenly ends, turn right through a wooden gate, signposted for The Chiltern Way. Follow a gravel track towards a large house on the hillside ahead of you – Matson House – and a kissing gate at a narrow gap in the hedge.

Step 9

Go through the kissing gate and turn half left, following a straight grass path across the lawn in front of Matson House towards a footpath signpost. Just past this, through another kissing gate and follow the path uphill through a belt of woodland until you reach a metal gate leading into an area of pasture. Take the uphill path across the pasture towards another patch of woodland. This path can be very indistinct - it’s about 25 degrees uphill and to the right of the obvious lower path along the field edge. As you approach the woods, you'll see another kissing gate. Go through this and follow the path uphill through an area of coppiced woodland. After about 270 metres, the path emerges into a field. Continue half right and uphill across the field until you reach the highest point, which offers a panoramic view of part of the Thames Valley.

Step 10

Continue in the same direction towards a gap in a hedge about halfway between two prominent trees. Go through the gap to reach a lane. Turn left and follow the lane gently downhill. After 230 metres, turn right through a metal kissing gate onto a footpath signposted as the Chiltern Way Berkshire Loop. Follow the path straight ahead. It soon opens out to your left with views of the Thames Valley and Hambleden Valley. Eventually, this gives way to a belt of trees and the path becomes more enclosed. As you approach a wooden gate, turn left and downhill just before it, along a permissive path. There will soon be views towards Greenlands as you approach a large metal gate. Cross the stile to the right of the gate and turn right along a narrow lane into Aston Village until you reach the Flower Pot Hotel.

The Flower Pot hotel and pub Aston Henley-on-Thames
The Flower Pot hotel and pub in Aston, Henley-on-Thames | © National Trust/Hugh Mothersole

Step 11

From the Flower Pot, turn left into Ferry Lane. Follow the lane for 400 metres until you reach the river bank at the disused ferry crossing.

Step 12

When you reach a river jetty for the Flower Pot Hotel, turn left through a gate, following the riverside path. Continue along the bank until you're back at Hambleden Lock. From here, retrace your steps across Hambleden Weir to the car park. Note: if the old ferry crossing is flooded, return to Aston village, turn right after the first house on your right then follow the wide farm track all the way back to Hambleden Lock at point 3 on the map.

End point

Public car park in Skirmett Road, Mill End, Hambleden, grid ref SU 785854

Trail map

Map of circular walk from Hambleden Mill to Henley on Thames
The circular walk from Hambleden Mill to Henley on Thames | © Crown copyright and database rights 2013 Ordnance Survey

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