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joanr Apr 1st, 2007 09:51 AM

hiking in england
We are going to fly to London from Victoria, B.C.and have 5 days before needing to be at Henley to watch the regatta. We are 2 relatively fit adults and our 2 sons 16 and 13. They are great hikers. I was looking at different hikes but can't decide and would love your input.
We arrive on Friday morning, jetlagged and need to be in Henley on Wednesday. Has anyone ever hiked the canterbury loop?
Is it too much to try to get to cornwall?
I liked the look of Hadrian's Wall but another flight or long train ride was not appealing.
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. We haven't decided whether to bring camping gear or enjoy the luxury of B.&Bs. Than you.

earl30 Apr 1st, 2007 09:53 AM

look at the miles and miles of the thames path including henley. walking along a river is always entertaining.

joanr Apr 1st, 2007 10:51 AM

Thanks Earl30. I was thinking it may be less interesting for the kids as it seems so civilized. Am I wrong?

janisj Apr 1st, 2007 11:03 AM

Not many "uncivilised" areas w/i striking distance of Henley :)

My two recs would be Snowdonia or the Southwest coastal path around Devon/Cornwall. But both are quite a distance from Henley. Another option would be the The Cotswold Way. Here is a great trip report about a couple who walked the Cotswold Way -;tid=34885006

BTilke Apr 1st, 2007 11:04 AM

Hi Joan, how did your accommodations hunt for Henley work out?
Re walking, the Thames path is fairly quiet (aside from the hyper-protective mother cow here and there, which would liven things up a bit). Any chance you could stay in London til Tuesday evening...lots of walking opps there and wouldn't be boring for the kids.

ron Apr 1st, 2007 11:04 AM

I think the travelling to Cornwall or to Hadrian's Wall would waste too much of your limited time.

Take a look at the self-guided walks from this company,

Also look at the Caves to Coast 4 day walk in their Self-guided - Linear offerings.

nona1 Apr 1st, 2007 11:25 PM

How about the South Downs way? A beautiful area (soon to be a national park) and a route of 100 miles down to the coast. Near to London, lots of B&Bs if you decide to do that in some very nice villages and towns, gorgeous quintessentially 'English' countryside with some very dramatic areas such as the Devil's Dyke.

hetismij Apr 1st, 2007 11:45 PM

Or try the Ridgeway -

bilboburgler Apr 2nd, 2007 03:52 AM

You also have the option of the YHA something like good clean rooms and often with the best views and a chance to meet local people

JudyC Apr 2nd, 2007 09:30 AM

Perhaps you might like to try to walk around New Forest area- good b&bs, many wildlife, different sceneries, 1 1/2 hours bus ride from Heathrow to Southanpton, then another short ride to Lyndhurst.

South West Coast Path in Cornwall part is a bit too far, but the part in Dorset is as beautiful and not too far, and the teenagers might really enjoy the walk along Weymonth to Lyme Regis, part of it the famous Jurassic Coast-full of fossils.

GrandeRandonnee Apr 2nd, 2007 06:40 PM

Years ago i had a wonderful time hiking along the Somerset coast overlooking the Bristol Channel. Lovely villages. I was usually only person on the trails much of the time. Also, gosh, was it Dartmoor? with the wild ponies? Wild, windswept treeless moors and pretty hills and dales. I came across an actual stag hunt! I love hiking out from a b&b base in a small village, getting a pub lunch in another village, and hiking back. Best way to travel, imho!imho.
Anyway, those are my suggestions.
Have fun!

bigtyke Apr 2nd, 2007 08:19 PM

check out the british walking federation

blightyboy Apr 2nd, 2007 09:46 PM

Another vote for the south downs way

joanr Apr 3rd, 2007 07:57 PM

Thank you so much for all your help. I have a stack of books from the library and am reading all about these walks. The ridgeway sounded great, realizing that we would have to bike as my sons would not enjoy being continually passed. However a discussion with the family (usually a mistake to ask ) was almost unanimous for a coast walk. So back to my books and this forum. Thank you for all the ideas. They will keep me busy for a awhile!
BTilke, I ended up doing a house exchange HOWEVER the lovely nad generous english couple are treating us as their guests as they do not want to visit Victoria,B.C. where we live. I passed on information from that thread to the other families going and they did book the watersedge in Henley so I shall sit there at the finish line for at least one race!

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