Enjoy the pleasures of the River Thames, rolling countryside and Chiltern beechwoods on this Chilterns Country walk. It starts at Bourne End railway station which is served by trains from Maidenhead and Paddington. The shorter 3-mile circular route takes you along the Thames and around Spade Oak Lake which teems with birdlife. The longer 6-mile circular walk carries on from the Lake through picturesque Little Marlow and up to Bloom Wood where you get stunning views over the Thames Valley.
En route you will pass the old wharf on the River Thames at Spade Oak, where once tons of locally-made paper, along with malt barley and timber would have been loaded onto boats to be transported downriver. Gravel is one of the major natural resources of this part of the Chilterns and Spade Oak Lake is a flooded gravel pit which is now home to a variety of wildfowl and other birds.
A children’s quiz has been developed for the Little Marlow gravel pit section of this walk. There are fun questions for children to answer as they go round the route, about what they can see. You can find the answers here – no cheating!
The shorter circular route is fairly level with no stiles and some kissing gates. The longer route has a steady climb up to 300 ft
Facilities & accessibility
Refreshments are available at pubs in Little Marlow, Spade Oak and Bourne End and from Emmetts Farm Shop in Little Marlow.
Sheet 175: Reading & Windsor