The Thames Path continues along through quite open flower meadows and eventually meanders it's way to Sonning Lock. A little further along the path from Sonning Lock you reach the present version of Sonning Bridge which was constructed in 1775 and is made of brick - the centre of this beautiful bridge marks the borders of Berkshire and Oxfordshire. There has been a bridge at Sonning for many 100s of years with mention of a timber bridge at the location in the 1530s and the possibility a bridge existed there as early as 1125 in Saxon times. Just over the bridge there used to be a large Mill but this is now a theatre and there is not much "mill" to look at. If you walk into Sonning go and take a look at the lovely little church of St. Andrews, parts of the church date back to the 13th and 14th centuries.
Back on the Thames Path and now in very open countryside with fields either side the Thames does some interesting bends on it's way to Shiplake Lock. A little way before this lock there is a quite large grass area and a narrow tarmac road goes off from here which would take you up to take a look at the excellent buildings which comprise Shiplake College - "would take" because the road is marked as private although nobody complained when we went up there for a look. If you take a marked track which also leaves from the same place and goes between a small boat yard it will take you steeply up to the lovely little 13th century church of St. Peters and St. Pauls - well worth doing. On reaching Shiplake Lock the Thames Path diverts from the river and now there is quite a long section which goes across fields and via roads before re-joining the Thames at what used to be Bolney Ferry Crossing - this route is well marked. From here continue alongside the river to reach the next lock which is Marsh Lock and Weirs located on the outskirts of Henley - the lock is reached by crossing the Thames on a quite long and fairly wide wooden walkway - then after the lock another wooden walkway takes you back across the river again to the towpath.
The area as you get further into Henley is dotted with trees and has lots of seating - it gets very busy especially on sunny weekends.
Just as you get to Henley's Bridge there are several boatyards where you can get trips on the river, hire a small boat and there is also a passenger service which runs too and fro to Reading. A pub blocks the last few yards to Henley Bridge so you have to go round it via the pavement. To continue walking the Thames Path cross over the bridge as the towpath now switches sides. This is Henley Regatta Boat Race territory and if you are here in late June / early July the towpath is inundated with tents and spectator
stands and so on and the river itself is laced with loads of metallic bits and pieces, buoys and so on. This all continues for some distance but eventually the towpath gets back into more peaceful territory as The Thames passes by Remenham and then Temple Island before making a huge loop as it goes to Hambleden Lock. If finished walking and parked at Mill End then leave the Thames Path
by crossing the lock bridge and then walking across the really excellent huge Hambleden Weir - follow the signs past the Mill and houses to reach the original bus stop.
Please also see our Thames Path walk from Hambleden to Maidenhead which continues following The Thames.