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Institute of Tourists Guiding

MR 04676

Thames Valley Coach Tours

Exploring the royal river

The rich history of the Thames Valley

The River Thames needs little introduction.  “The Royal River”,  “Liquid History”, “the life blood of a nation”.

It is both a barrier and a highway.  From hesitant beginnings in the Cotswold Hills to the artery of our capital city, there is so much to explore.  Let us get out into some of its middle reaches to see how the it moulds the landscape and hear the stories that it has created.

Customise your tour

Create your ideal day by selecting any of the options from the table below. Choose from distance, time or types of activity. At any point, feel free to get in touch and we will help you build the perfect tour for you and your group.

Type of activityApproximate lengthFeatures
A Thames taster
Half day, up to 4 hours
Exploring the Thames
Half day, up to 4 hours
Includes a town stop
The Thames in depth
Full day, up to 9 hours
The attractions around the river
Full day, up to 9 hours
Includes a town or venue visit

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Runnymede and Windsor

This section of the Thames is dominated by Royal Windsor, where we could spend some time exploring the town, or head out to Windsor Great Park or The Savill Garden.

We could visit historic Runnymede, location of the sealing of Magna Carta and home to a number of significant memorials.

We could see Eton rowing lake, home of the 2012 Olympic rowing events, or take in the Tudor manor house at Dorney Court.

Or, of course, being the Thames, there’s always the option of a boat trip.

Henley and Marlow

This is the Thames of Jerome K Jerome and Kenneth Grahame.  Here are the rowing towns of the middle Thames, Henley and Marlow, both worth exploring.

Nearby is the magnificent estate at Cliveden, the more modest Taplow Court, and a famous section of river crossed by Brunel’s “sounding arch” at Maidenhead.

And let’s not forget Reading, often overlooked, with its ruined abbey with 900 years of history.

Abingdon and Wallingford

Wallingford Castle controlled one of the most important crossing points of the river in medieval times.  And Abingdon’s abbey grew to become one of the richest in the Kingdom, gaining the attentions of Henry VIII.  But the town’s history goes back even further to the Iron Age.

Nearby, Dorchester also has a significant past, or we could visit a fascinating miniature museum at Pendon or Agatha Christie’s grave at Cholsey.

Take a look at previous Thames Valley tours

Qualifications and accreditations

  • Member of the Institute of Tourist Guiding
  • Member of the British Guild of Tourist Guides
  • Blue Badge Guide for South and South East England 2011
  • Blue Badge Guide for South West England 2014
  • Ambassador for the Great West Way
  • Member of Visit Thames
  • Guiding endorsement for Windsor and Eton
  • Member of Reading UK CIC

Michelle Patrick

Hobbs of Henley

Graham has been a Blue Badge guide on quite a few of our specialist river trips on the Thames. He is a very informative guide and professional and it is a pleasure to work with him.

British visitor


Thank you so much for all the work you put into a most interesting day in Reading yesterday. You were a wonderful guide.

Andrew Lannerd

Transcendent Travel

For the past few years, Graham and the team at Tours 2 order have offered my clients a friendly, behind-the-scenes look at a variety of locations. I cannot recommend them enough for their professionalism, knowledge and approach, which is always well-received by my guests.

HF Holidays guest

Friendly and relaxed with a good sense of humour.

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