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London to Oxford following the Thames

Posted: 3 May 2019, 11:37am
by ikenbikeit
For eons I have toured in northern England ,Scotland and Wales.
I feel it is time I went somewhere else. So I thought I might catch a train to London and cycle and camp my way back to Merseyside.
Trouble is I don't know the London -Thames valley area.
I know the Pennines and the Southern Uplands like my saddle, but I need advice on this escapade.

Are there hundreds of gates along this route?
Are the off-road sections good enough for 35c tyres?
Is it too built up to enjoy?
Is it safe to go through Eton? I've heard there are thugs there.
I plan to have my first night at Cookham Lock campsite- will I make it?
Any info will be better than I know now.

Thanks

Re: London to Oxford following the Thames

Posted: 3 May 2019, 11:50am
by thirdcrank
Here's a recent thread about a short part of your proposed route

viewtopic.php?p=1312334#p1312334

Re: London to Oxford following the Thames

Posted: 3 May 2019, 12:33pm
by Richard Fairhurst
Once you're out of Greater London, lots of the Thames Path is public footpath (rather than bridleway or similar), which means there's no right of access for bikes... and some of the landowners can be very protective.

You could devise a good bikepacking route following bridleways nearish the river from Reading to Wallingford and Abingdon, but you'd probably want an MTB for that.

Re: London to Oxford following the Thames

Posted: 3 May 2019, 1:15pm
by Norman H
One bonus since the advent of the Thames Path is the provision of camping facilities along the way. For instance a number of the locks, particularly in the upper and middle Thames, now allow camping. I kayaked down the Thames from above Lechlade a few years ago and made use of several of them.

There's a link here.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/river-thames-bridges-locks-and-facilities-for-boaters#facilities-at-locks

This site, which has an interactive map of accommodation, may also be useful.

https://www.nationaltrail.co.uk/thames-path/plan

Re: London to Oxford following the Thames

Posted: 3 May 2019, 11:44pm
by AndyK
As Richard says, cycling on most of the Thames Path is illegal (and awkward anyway). Consider using this Thames Valley Cycle Route instead.

As for Eton... someone's given you some strange ideas about Down South. :D

Re: London to Oxford following the Thames

Posted: 4 May 2019, 7:40am
by brynpoeth
'There's a row going on, down near Slough' (Eton Rifles, the Jam) :?