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Along The Thames: Runnymede to Marlow - A view from our expert author


Windsor Castle Thames Valley by Kanuman ShutterstockEngland's most famous castle, originally completed in 1086, now has more rooms than years it has been standing © Kanuman, Shutterstock

Even among such well-known sights, you can take your time and find something unexpected, quirky or beautiful – or all three.

This area follows the Thames as it moves from Surrey through Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, undulating beneath the Chilterns like a cat under a blanket. Its westward journey passes a site which can claim to be the cradle of modern parliamentary democracy, as well as the world’s most famous castle. But the beauty of Slow travel is that, even among such well-known sights, you can take your time and find something unexpected, quirky or beautiful – or all three. There’s a corner of an English great park which is forever Libya; a dolls’ house coming up for its 100th birthday; and the remains of a Bronze Age landscape where rare flowers flourish. You can discover where to walk by the Thames with only sheep and geese for company or unravel the mysteries of ‘swan upping’. This is a region rich in excellent eating experiences in small pubs and internationally renowned restaurants. And great creative imaginations have flourished here, from Stanley Spencer and T S Eliot to Percy and Mary Shelley.

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