235 km / 146 miles
A further scenic cross-country route from the Macmillan Way stable, offering the optional opportunity to raise funds for Shakespeare Hospice, it follows closely a route Shakespeare may have taken between his home-town of Stratford-upon-Avon and London, the city where he spent his productive years.
From the Birthplace, this ‘journey of imagination’ passes through Blenheim Park (a World Heritage Site), Oxford, Stonor, Marlow, Cookham, Burnham Beeches, continues on the Grand Union Canal and the Thames and ends at Shakespeare’s Globe (Theatre), London.
Peter Titchmarsh, well known as the planner of the ‘Macmillan Way’ routes, has devised the route and it was opened in April 2006. The guidebook was revised as a 2nd edition in 2015.
The route is shown on OS maps from its start, up to the intersection with the Grand Union Canal Walk (TQ057805). Sections of other waymarked paths shown on OS maps are used in parts, and from Marlow the Thames is followed to Cookham to the start of the Beeches Way that is used to the Grand Union Canal at Iver. The Canal and then the Thames paths provide the route into central London to the finish.
Other links include Monarch’s Way, Macmillan Way, and Chiltern Way. For Bill Orme's impressions of the route see the Guidebook page. A separate new route, Shakespeare's Avon Way, opened in 2008.
The 'Walking with William Shakespeare' paperback links his works with some of the locations and landscapes and covers Warwickshire and London but is not a guide to this route.
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