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thames path archives


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so, we headed off with jane's sister and family for our final part of our thames path epic adventure. 

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we got as far as henley which is over half way of the total walk, so we didn't do too bad.  this last jaunt was just a couple of miles

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autumn is properly kicking in so we needed our summer garb

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and there was some interaction with the water via conker throwing

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and later, looking at the weir
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henley isn't a bad place to end up

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when we started the walk in March 2006, little did we know that we'd be ending it early because we'd be moving to the other side of the world !  But it's good to leave some things undone to complete at some point in the future

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to be continued ?  perhaps. but not for a while !

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yesterday it was back to the thames path after a few lots of months break over the winter (where much of the path was waterlogged or frozen)

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this stretch was surrounded by posh houses.  here is where uri geller lives:

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i'm not sure who lives here.  but they are a bit messy

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we would also have passed paul daniel's house somewhere.  this probably wasn't it, but shows the calibre of accommodation

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and there were kids of shiplake college messing about on the water (notice the 6 form girls on the bank urging the boys on)

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it was good to see some hand made signs rather than the usual proper stuff

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and near the end we saw this little lagoon thing

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with some speeding signs down the bottom

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ahhh.  part 20 of the thames path was a short one

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i had the day off yesterday so we could go thames pathing with jane's sister's family whilst they were visiting.

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we picked up where we left off last time at tescos in reading before heading over a hideous bridge where some alcoholics were enjoying the location where the kennet canal meets the river thames.

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 if we'd turned off here we would have ended up in bath rather than london.

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this swan was interested in jane's dad's photography technique (and creeped up on him whilst he was looking the other way, leading to some good expressions from the people he was photoing - a top tip i shall not be using myself)

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then we passed reading's glorious gasometers

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of course there was the usual selection of geocaches to find and those over 5 years old did a slight detour to find one

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there was another angry swan

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and plenty of puddles

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which the youngsters made the most of

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we soon got to sonning lock which was the end of the episode, but not before we stopped and watched a boat coming through the lock

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we were incredibly lucky with the weather which made for a great walk.

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this well dressed bald man suddenly stopped in front of me when i was taking my final thames path picture.  so i thought i'd include him anyway

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due to the shortness of the walk and early start we didn't end up at a pub (again) so instead we went back to our house where all 12 of us sat round our maximally extended table.  (the 12th person was in a high chair just out of shot plate-counters!)

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it was back to the thames path yesteday for another glorious day of walking.  this stretch was a lot more urban than we've had previously and we saw a lot more 'real life'

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this is a pub under development, and the returned to the thames at the bottom of some steep steps which go over a train line.  this certainly wasn't the quietest of stretches

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much of the first bit was walking between the train line (high above) and the thames below

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and we were quickly introduced to the fact we were heading to reading

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we were attacked by ladybirds round about here

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much of the walk went alongside the fields which are used for the Reading Festival, and it was funny seeing it tentless

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there sign said it's 58 miles to london which is encouraging

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i can't quite remember the order of these photos, but we passed some fantastic houses on the other side of the river

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and walked along the delightfully named 'thames side promenade'

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it was good to know the thames path is a public footpath

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more signage

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we've got this glamorous gasometer to see next time

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but for now we stopped at Tesco Extra with it's convenient toilets

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it was back to the thames path yesterday for the latest thrilling instalment of our Thames Path walk.  we did quite a long stretch which involved some steepish hill climbs for once.

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there were some amazing riverside buildings, many with strange features like this airborne conservatory

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there were also a lot more trains in the background as one of the UK's main train lines goes whizzing parallel with the thames for a bit

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at one point we climbed up a steep hill to find a geocache and had our picnic looking at this amazing view

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BR and Mike joined the regulars of our family and jane's parents

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the weather was quite amazing, and with the trees still in leaf we kept getting these fantastic windows through to the river

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i think this was the view from whitchurch toll bridge
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and here's most of the team (except esther and me)

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there was plenty of passing boat traffic for amusement too

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and although we didn't end at a pub this time, we did have an icecream at the lock shop

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so, can there really only be 78.5 miles to go to the end ?

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the next bit of the path leaves the river for a bit and does a fair stretch on the road i think which is a bit of a shame.

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so there you go.

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just a short stretch yesterday due to problems with a closed path meaning we couldn't access the place we'd hope to park.  so instead we walked from moulsford to goring.

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still, it meant we had a choice of pubs at the end of our walk.  and the path was quite well defined and even concreted at some points.

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and we also had a guest walker - my mum !

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the next leg looks a little more challenging as we need to go up and down a hill.  possibly.

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i had the day off yesterday and it was back to the thames path after a couple of months off due to construction/destruction and illness.  we were all fighting fit (and nearly builder-free) so our short reintroductory 4 mile walk from wallingford to moulsford

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here was the first view of the thames as we crossed the bridge in wallingford

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what do you do if you haven't got any signs with the arrows pointing the right way ?  turn one of the other ones sideways obviously.

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suckling calf.  it's their milk after all

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oxford boatists

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we passed fairmile hospital, which is now inmate less. it used to be owned by the Berkshire Mental Health Trust and now looks set for regeneration

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there was lots of nature on this stretch.  much of it stingy nettles unfortunately.

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and lovely flat water (notice the woman at the front and man at the back of this boat - togetherness)

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red, green and gren

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signage

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boardwalk

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under the viaduct

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at moulsford we stopped at the Beetle and Wedge pub which was a very posh restaurant, but slightly less inviting for a post walk drink.  but the view and drinks were still very welcome.

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things haven't gone great with the upgrade, so lots of things aren't working. oh well. i've spent 12 hours solid sitting in front of my computer trying to fix it, and it's time for bed !

(apologies - still upgrading. things going particularly badly. things are gonna look weird for a while i think)

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another day another thames path walk

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more geocaching (three passed, three found)

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more didcot power station

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plenty more walking

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even more didcot power station

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more gorgeous scenery (this one spotted by kezia who asked me to take the photo

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more pollution (and cheap boating gloves)

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more lovely bridges

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and more upmarket pill boxes

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more pooh stick bridges (in fact this is home to an annual pooh stick competition which happens every year)

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and plenty of lovely churches (although this didn't have any decent hassocks)

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back to work today. humph.

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it's a funkypancake 3d wobble landscape picture.

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it's half term week so i've taken two days off work so we can crack on with the thames path.

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we picked up back where we started off in lower radley, this time heading for culham lock

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i liked this stretch as there was lots of variety of countryside - woods, open farmland, a town (abbingdon shown above), posh houses on the side of river ... and geocaching opportunities

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it was also nice to see didcot power station on the horizon for much of the walk. i love it's dramaticness and electricitynes.

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usual signposts along the route so we didn't get lost.

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we were joined by Mike and BR this time too which made our party to 8. here are some signs.

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kezia befriended some snails about half way round so carried them the rest of the way. she liked their wigglyness.

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ooh. another sign.

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we're back to the path tomorrow to pick up where we left off.

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after a few months off due to the bad weather (this sign warns of flooding making walking dangerous), we were back on the path. it was just me and the ladies this time as jane's dad was ill, so i had no one to talk about computers to.

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we picked up the walk where we left off in May back at iffley. a lovely little village south of Oxford.

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a key feature of this section of the walk was the electricity pilons

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and the fishermen

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the main lock interest was Sandford Lock which has the greatest fall of water on the Thames (and an attractive pub, but alas we didn't stop)

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it was a fairly short, but worthy stretch. weather nice and warm, and no moaning from kezia

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i've booked a couple of days off work in October to do some more thames path walking, so hopefully we'll get the momentum going, although i think we're over a quarter of the way along now.

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back to the thames path for a very pleasant walk despite the weather forecast predicting a wetting.
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starting as we left off last time back at the trout inn
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this map is a good representation of our route. nice to know it's a healthy thing to do.
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we had a few months off the thames path over winter as we thought it was probably too wet and we risked dropping in (as the thames and the thames path merged). seems that might have been sensible.
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the walk is now getting busier, especially as we went through oxford. we played the game of saying hello to everyone we passed to see whether we could get hellos back. our hit rate was quite low.
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outside oxford there are loads of boat sheds
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and there was some boating competition going on with some bangladeshy media interest.
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here are a winning team bailing out
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and roughly 10km from our start we ended up at iffley church where we'd parked our car.
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we always have a nice game of pooh  sticks on our thames path walk.  this time it was even more fun as we had extra players, as BR and Mike (jane's mum's cousin and husband) joined us on the walk.

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this is the lovely swinford bridge which is a toll bridge (cost 5pence and the owners don't pay tax due to a deal with King George III !)

anyway, we were back to the thames path yesterday and this stretch was the 8 miles between bablock hythe to godstow. we came across this sign at the point where we thought we were halfway (but obviously weren't!)
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here are jane's parents and the others behind
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thames and associated path
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here's kezia and a popped dora the explorer balloon i found in a ditch (!)
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here's the A34 from underneath (not quite as attracted as swinford bridge)
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and here's the thames again
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and this is where we ended up

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it's been a few months since we walked any of the thames path, mostly because of the madness of the wet winter meant it probably wouldn't have been safe. on saturday we headed back to newbridge to pick up the path where we left it last October

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usual suspects outside the pub (which we went back to at the end for cheesy chips)

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here's a footbridge over the thames where there used to be a weird

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and here's the thames looking nice

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and here we are at the finish - ferryman's point at Bablock Hythe

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this was a relatively short stretch - about 4 miles - but kezia managed to walk all of it herself without being carried or dragged (or moaning)

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we were meant to be going on a thames path walk yesterday but i was in my sick bed and the weather was rubbish (not that that's stopped us before). i apologise to my fellow walkers for ruining the day with my malady.

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(from the time before last)

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it was back to the Thames Path yesterday for the next installment of the Thames Path walk.

We started back where we left off last time - at the fantastically named Tadpole Bridge.
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It's always adverse weather when we walk the thames path and this time there was flooding. this part of the path was inaccessible so we had to climb through a jungle (well, little wood).

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But there were lots of bits of the walk where we slide sideways on slimey mud as much as we walked forward.

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after a few hours we arrived at Newbridge. Despite its name, Newbridge is in fact 13th century.
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yesterday we had a very successful walk along the Thames Path from kelmscott to tadpole bridge. it was probable around 7 or 8 miles i think and kezia managed to walk nearly all of it (and esther did it all). progress indeed.

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Parts of the Radcot Bridge date back to the 12th century bridge making it the oldest bridge on the thames
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Rushey Weir is a 'rare example of an old Thames paddle-and-rymer weir
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basically you ram these paddles down in to the weir to stop the water (and vice-versa)
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tadpole bridge
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our destination for the walk was an idilic looking pub at tadpole bridge, but it was shut when we got there. which left a bad taste in our mouths. or at least a dry taste.
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it was back to the thames path yesterday. as we also did last time, we started the walk in a church and ended in a pub (how like life ...)
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we started by St John's Baptist church inglesham
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this section of the walk was all by the thames (unlike last time when we hardly saw the thames at all). here was our first sight of the river which was now big enough for pleasure boats
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and there was the obligatory pooh sticks
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we passed old father thames at St John's lock
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we ended up in a very nice pub (the plough) at kelmscott. you can plot our course on this map here:
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every time we walk a part of the thames path we get extreme weather conditions: our first walk was in sub zero windy conditions, and our most recent trip was in a torrential downpour for most of the walk.
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yesterday we had extreme heat, with the temperature probably around 30 degrees and much allegies (hayfever and skin rashes) had by all.

the red lion at castle eaton backs on to the Thames and is very lovely. you should go.
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this part of the walk felt like a bit of a swizz as we only briefly saw the river thames for a few moments on the whole 6 mile trundle. instead we spent much time walking down field edges and small farm tracks. lovely, but not the thames !
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our inspiring end point - if you are interested in seeing where we were, you can have a look on google map here here

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here was our first sighting of the thames on this part of the walk
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kezia said "everytime we walk the Thames Path it rains" and yesterday was no exception. it fact the rain was exception - in quantity. we were soaked to the bone. but i got to wear my military poncho which was a boon

to begin with things weren't too muddy, but with the wind and the rain it soon got very slippery and muddy. this was quite a nice bit near the beginning
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obligatory pooh-sticks
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things weren't helped by a sudden jump in undergrowth meaning we lost sight of the path quite a lot. These weeds were higher than esther's head !
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we're making slow progress round the path (it's taken us 4 days to go the walk which the book says should be doable in a day). but then we have got a 4 year old with us !
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back we went to Keynes to continue our walk of the Thames Path.

the first thing we did was have a good game of pooh-sticks
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then we walked along a lovely wide, smooth, quite shallow stretch of the river
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we continued through Ashton Keynes
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then we didn't see the thames much for the rest of our walk as the thames path veers off through some quarries
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the walk did rejoin the river just before we ended the day's stretch
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all in all, a very successful trip. we didn't get too cold, rained on or tired !

the plan is to walk the thames path with jane's parents. jane's mum (known to the girls as poochy) is an expert on wild life which is extremely useful !

here is chris giving blog-land a wave (whilst requesting a chocolate biscuit)

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we continued our walk down the Thames Path yesterday. You may remember that last week's 12 miles were cut short because of kezia misery, so we picked up the walk where we left it - kemble train station.

at this stage the thames is just a small stream and incredibly clear.
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wooden bridges provided plenty of opportunities for pooh sticks
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the thames continues to snake round the edge of fields. here a telegraph pole spans the width
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And near our destination it starts doing some fancy corner-work through some little wooded areas
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Unfortunately kezia was ill again and her misery brought our journey to an end at keynes country park
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so, we'll pick the walk up again at somerford keynes in a few weeks time when we've next got a free weekend for walking. at this rate we should get it finished by the time the girls leave secondary school !
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(and we got rained on lots)

we've decided as a family to walk the thames path and yesterday we went in search of the source. The walk is 184 miles long and starts here:
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we're following the walk using this book, although there are other books too:
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the girls sang a song at the start to mark the beginning of our trail
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you'd expect there to be some water whizzing out of this spring at this time of year, but there was no sign of water here, or across the field where the thames sometimes flows

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however, once we were over a main road we started to see the path the Thames sometimes takes
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actual water started flowing in to the Thames from this ancient spring called Lyd Well. So here we see the watery start of the Thames
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and then we were walking along an actual, wet, river Thames
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and an attractive little stream it looked too
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we planned to walk for 12 miles along the river, but we only managed a couple as it was too cold for little Kezia who was frozen like a lolly. so we went back to the car which we'd parked at Kemble station.
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to be continued ...

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