The Thames Valley: Places to Explore


  • Althorp

    Althorp is known as the childhood home and burial place of Princess Diana. There is an exhibition devoted to her life, as well as fine architecture and paintings, both old masters and new.... Read more

  • Ascot

    The posh town of Ascot (pronounced as-cut) has for centuries been famous for horse racing and for style. Queen Anne chose to have a racecourse here, and the first race meeting took place in 1711. The impressive... Read more

  • Aylesbury

    Aylesbury makes a good base for exploring the surrounding countryside, including stately homes and gardens. It's a pretty, historic place with a 13th-century church surrounded by small Tudor lanes and... Read more

  • Cliveden

    This grand stately home, designed by Charles Barry, the architect of the Houses of Parliament, and the setting of the notorious Profumo affair in the 1960s, has spectacular gardens and sweeping views to... Read more

  • Dorchester-on-Thames

    An important center in Saxon times, when it was the seat of a bishopric, Dorchester merits a visit chiefly because of its ancient abbey, but also because it's a charming little town. The main street, once... Read more

  • Eton

    Some observers may find it symbolic that almost opposite Windsor Castle—which embodies the continuity of the royal tradition—stands Eton, a school that for centuries has educated many leaders of the country... Read more

  • Henley-on-Thames

    Henley's fame is based on one thing: rowing. The Henley Royal Regatta, held at the cusp of June and July on a long, straight stretch of the River Thames, has made the little riverside town famous throughout... Read more

  • Marlow

    Just inside the Buckinghamshire border, Marlow and the surrounding area overflow with Thames-side prettiness. The unusual suspension bridge was built in the 1830s by William Tierney Clark, architect of... Read more

  • Oxford

    With arguably the most famous university in the world, Oxford has been a center of learning since 1167, with only the Sorbonne preceding it. It doesn't take more than a day or two to explore its winding... Read more

  • Runnymede

  • Sonning-on-Thames

    It’s plausible that Sonning's reputation as the prettiest village on the Thames goes back as far as its Saxon bishops. The 18th-century bridge; the Georgian houses; the mill so old that it's mentioned in... Read more

  • St. Albans

    A lively town on the outskirts of London, St. Albans is known for its historic cathedral, and it also holds reminders of a long history. From AD 50 to 440, the town then known as Verulamium was one of... Read more

  • Windsor

  • Woburn Abbey

    A stunning drive through the deer park at Woburn Abbey leads to a superb art collection within the Georgian mansion and roaming wildlife in the Safari Park.... Read more

  • Woodstock and Blenheim Palace

    Handsome 17th- and 18th-century houses line the trim streets of Woodstock, at the eastern edge of the Cotswolds. It's best known for nearby Blenheim Palace, and in summer tour buses clog the village's... Read more