HILL, DALES AND MOUNTAIN HIKING

17th -19th June 2008: Thames Path

3 days walking, start/finish: near West Malling, Kent

Highest point: n/a

Distance over 3 days walks: circa 60 kms

Weather: Mild/warm,

Vertical altitude gain: n/a

Time for the 3 walks: 22 hrs

Goring Lock

An April 2008 visit to Goring, (photographing the steam hauled British Pullman), had got me interested in the Thames Path. Not surprising seeing the view at Goring I walked past when heading up onto the Ridgeway for my walk between the train's outward and return run to Oxford. So when a request appeared on the Ramblers Association Forum for a companion to someone walking the whole of the Thames Path in segments I was quick to respond! For a walk, (for me), from Oxford back to Goring.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Thames at Oxford

The Thames Path can be joined almost outside of the railway station, where myself and companion had met up for our nearly three days of walking together.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 continued Sign post to Thames Path Ornamental building by river

The signing was good, but the River was always a good clue to the route, here past an interesting building in the university town.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Head of River Pub near Oxford

Not surprisingly there were to be a number of rather nice looking pubs that we would have to pass on or near the Path. This one being the "Head Of The River", still near to Oxford as we made gentle progress.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Iffley Lock Keeper's House

The first of a number of the Thames Locks with their distinctive Lock Keepers' houses that we were to pass was Iffley Lock, which was right on the Southern edge of Oxford before our path headed out into open countryside.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Sandford Lock

The second such Lock was at Sandford, where we ate our picnic lunch as a boat left and headed downstream. The lure of the pub by the Lock, (behind the Mill), was too much, so our picnic was followed by a cool drink!

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Abingdon

We walked to Abingdon before a long stroll North through the town to our comfortable B&Bs, retracing our steps through the town past Abingdon's famous Town Hall the next day on what started as a dull and drizzly morning.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Thames Path at Abingdon

The initial dull weather didn't really spoil the view of the town and it's tall church spire as we gently geared ourselves for a full days walking through what we expected to be mainly meadowland.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 continued Heron Geese and Goslings

Now we started to encounter a good deal of local wildlife. Most in the form of birds, and in this case, two species, (and in one case, their young), that are closely associated with water!

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Poppies by the side of the Thames Path

The weather just started to brighten a little as we encountered this lovely display of poppies growing right up close to the Thames path East of Culham Lock.

Thames Path: 17th-19th June 2008 Walking companion near to Culham Lock

Poppies that were also enjoyed by my pleasant walking companion on the Thames Path near to Culham Lock on that Wednesday morning!