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Dorney Lake and Thames Path

There are currently 1 comments and 3 photos online for this walk.

Dorney Lake and Thames Path
Author: clairesharpuk, Published: 10 Sep 2011 Walk rating : Rating:star1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guidestar1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guidestar1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guidestar1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guidestar0 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide
Buckinghamshire, Dorney
Walk Type: River or lakeside
Dorney Lake and Thames Path
Length: 5 miles,  Difficulty: boot Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide boot Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide
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12 °C, Clear/sunny, Wind: 7 mph SSW
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A 5 mile circular walk starting from Dorney village in Buckinghamshire. The walk makes a complete circuit around Dorney Lake which will be the venue for the rowing at London 2012 Olympics. (Of course this means that access to the walk may be difficult during the two weeks of the Olympics). The walk includes a 1.5mile section of the Thames Path giving you chance to watch the world go by on this popular part of the river.

The walk is relatively flat with no stiles and just a couple of gates. The surfaces include country lanes, pavements, gravel paths and the towpath alongside the Thames. Parts of this towpath are narrow (so take care with children and dogs) and can be muddy, otherwise the paths make very easy walking. You will be sharing the paths with cyclists and joggers and you will also pass through Dorney Common which has cattle grazing, although these cattle seem to be at ease with the passing cars, horses, cyclists and walkers. Approximate time 2hrs.

If you would like refreshments before or after your walk parking is available at The Palmer Arms public house in Dorney which serves food all day. This is on Village Road (B3026) in Dorney - SL4 6QW. Otherwise you can adjust the walk to start/finish at the Dorney Common car park (Waypoint 5).

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Walk Sections

Dorney Village to Eton College Rowing Centre
Dorney Village to Eton College Rowing Centre

Start point: 51.5032 lat, -0.6613 long
End point: 51.5023 lat, -0.6703 long

Leave the car park of The Palmers Arms and turn right to follow the pavement alongside Village Road. Follow the road as it bends to the right and then cross over to turn left into Court Lane. Follow the path on the right hand side of the road and you will come to St James the Less Church. The entrance to the 12th Century Church will be on your left with a brick arch entrance to the cemetery on the right.

Immediately after the church, cross over the road to a lay-by and follow the narrow fenced footpath with the road now on your right. As the road bends to the right you will reach the entrance to Eton College Rowing Centre.

Rowing Centre to Thames Path
Rowing Centre to Thames Path

Start point: 51.5023 lat, -0.6703 long
End point: 51.499 lat, -0.6805 long

Turn left and follow the path on the left alongside the entrance drive to Eton College Rowing Centre. The drive is lined with horse chestnut trees and at the end of the line of trees, cross over to turn right to join a footpath which sweeps away from the drive (marked with a wooden signpost towards Maidenhead).

Follow this gravel footpath with the car park behind a hedge on your left. As you continue along keep a look out on the left for your first glimpse of Dorney Lake.

Follow the footpath as it bends to the left past a small footbridge which is used when the area floods. As the path then bends to the right, you may want to take a small detour up the grass path to the left to get a better view of the rowing lake.

Dorney Lake is a purpose built rowing lake privately owned by Eton College. It will be used as the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic venue for rowing. The venue has already been upgraded to include a new bridge and access road and for the event itself temporary seating for 20,000 spectators will be installed.

Return to the footpath and follow it down to the T-junction with the Thames Path.

Along the Thames Path to Oakley Court
Along the Thames Path to Oakley Court

Start point: 51.499 lat, -0.6805 long
End point: 51.4907 lat, -0.6699 long

At the T-junction with the Thames Path turn left to follow the river on your right.

The Thames Path is a National Trail of 184 miles which follows the length of the River Thames from its source in Gloucestershire to the Thames Barrier at Charlton. The entire length of the path can be walked and some parts (including this section) are also open to cyclists.

After about 0.75miles you will come to Oakley Court Hotel on the opposite bank.

Oakley Court to St Mary Magdalen Chapel
Oakley Court to St Mary Magdalen Chapel

Start point: 51.4907 lat, -0.6699 long
End point: 51.4899 lat, -0.6473 long

Oakley Court House has a striking gothic facade and is now a hotel. With its close proximity to Bray Film studios, it has been used as the backdrop to a number of films including The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Continue along the Thames Path and you will come to Windsor Marina on the opposite bank. Soon after this point you will pass through a section of the towpath that is arched with hedges and trees.

On your left you will pass a boathouse and concrete slipway. Continue ahead until you reach the Chapel of St Mary Magdelen, parts of which date back to the 12th Century.

Chapel to Dorney Common Car Park
Chapel to Dorney Common Car Park

Start point: 51.4899 lat, -0.6473 long
End point: 51.491 lat, -0.6507 long

Turn left and follow the footpath to the left of the Chapel. You will pass a stile and a gate on the left (ignore these) and then the path comes to a T-junction with a lane. Cross over the lane and then turn left to pass through a gate alongside a cattle grid.

Continue along the lane with the gates to The Old Place on the right hand side. Follow the lane and you will come to the Dorney Common Car Park on your left.

Dorney Common to Dorney Village
Dorney Common to Dorney Village

Start point: 51.491 lat, -0.6507 long
End point: 51.5029 lat, -0.6592 long

Continue along the lane with the Dorney Common Car Park on your left. Follow the main tarmac lane (ignoring any footpath signs to the left and right) through the middle of Dorney Common.

There are usually cattle grazing in Dorney Common but the Common is very wide and open and we found the cows to be very placid and at ease with the many passing cyclists, horse riders, cars and walkers.

Contine to the T-junction with the B3026. If you glance to your right you will see Windsor Castle in the distance. Turn left to follow the grass verge back towards Dorney village. As you reach the speed restriction signs that mark the entrance to the village, cross over the road and pass through the gate alongside the cattle grid. Follow the pavement through the village and you will come to The Palmers Arms on your right.

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network Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide Original GPX source file

Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2011 by the author clairesharpuk and may not be reproduced without permission.


1 responses to "Dorney Lake and Thames Path"

A really nice walk with lots of off lead time for Daisy the dog. I'd have liked better views of the rowing lake but this is a minor point. The Thames Path gives great views across the river and Oakley Court is spectacular. Really good level walk for all abilities and one I'll be taking the kids on in the summer.

By rippydog on 2016-04-01 15:55:29

The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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3 images to "Dorney Lake and Thames Path"

339_0vach15711475390931-1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide Image by: vach1571
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
72C3B8DC-E91E-4338-B490-ECFB2C668393.JPG
339_0vach15711475390971-1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide Image by: vach1571
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
68FF9340-FF53-4F9E-B012-3698FADB4138.JPG
339_0vach15711475390994-1 Dorney Lake and Thames Path Walking Guide Image by: vach1571
Uploaded: 01 Jan 1970
75362E2C-58BB-44E8-ADF1-0214FE235FCE.JPG

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