Hambleden Lock Walk
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The short, mostly paved Hambleden Lock walk is a great trail that the whole family will be sure to enjoy! Take your time exploring this unique river crossing, and watch the boats as they pass you by while navigating the locks!
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Route Description for Hambleden Lock Walk
Starting at the information board next to the toilets, exit the car park and cross onto the footpath on the other side of the road, turning right to continue on until you reach the T-junction with the main road. Taking care as you cross the road, turn right past the marina entrance, and then travel left down the public footpath.
Follow this path past the mill and all the way across the Thames, eventually reaching the lock on the other side. You are likely to see Egyptian geese and other ducks here, bracing themselves against the current! The benches by the lock are the perfect place to rest and watch boats pass by. When you are ready to leave the lock, take the wide gravel footpath on the left. This path slowly climbs uphill between two fields, until you reach a lane at the top. You will find The Flower Pot Pub on your left, a lovely place to stop for lunch or a drink.
Walk past the pub and turn immediately left down Aston Lane until you meet the river again. Pass through the wooden kissing gate on your left and walk through the field, with the river on your right. Exit the field at the end and turn right until you reach the lock. You should now recognise this part of the trail as where you started.
Crossing back over the river using the same bridge system, walk past the marina, and cross back over the main road. Return to the car park along Skirmett Road, enjoying the view of the fields on your right.
Built in 1773 and situated about 3.2 km downstream of Henley Bridge along the River Thames, the Hambleden Lock is a device that enables watercraft to navigate between the varying water levels along the river. The difference in height is due to a weir that spans the river and alters its flow rate/water levels.
Named after the nearby village of Hambleden to the north, the lock was rebuilt in 1870 after falling into a sorry state of repair, and was again rebuilt in 1994. Access to the lock is possible from the village of Astron along the same side of the river, as well as from Mill End on the opposite side by means of a walkway across the water.
Find other great walks in Chiltern Hills:
Insider Hints for Hambleden Lock Walk
- Take a picnic to enjoy along the way, or stop at nearby Marlow: a popular village with ample restaurants, shops, and facilities.
- Chiltern Valley Winery and Brewery is just a short drive further up Skirmett Road. Book a tour or visit the shop!
Getting to the Hambleden Lock Walk Trailhead
To get to the Hambleden Lock trailhead, use postcode RG9 6TL to reach the free, primary public car park on Skirmett Road. Public bus 850 runs directly from Reading via Henley-on-Thames in one direction, and from Marlow in the other. The bus stop is directly opposite the marina, and the stop name is Hambleden Mill End.
Hambleden Lock Walk Elevation Graph
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Hambleden Lock Walk Reviews
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