Date of Walk: 26 May 2013
Approx Distance of Walk: 12 km(7.5 mile)
Parking/Transport: Cholsey Station Car Park
Starting Point: Pangbourne
Finishing Point: Cholsey Station
It is 3 weeks since we walked this stretch on our Thames Path Walk series. It's been a busy 3 weeks, with a trip to Brussels on tour with my choir, and a family visit. So I'm a bit in catch-up mode on the blogging front. (Actually I must confess that I still have walks from over a year ago to write up, but never mind that for now!)
This walk took place on a pleasant sunny day at the end of May. We started our day by taking the train from Cholsey to Pangbourne, and the plan was to walk back from Pangbourne to Cholsey along the Thames Path.
But things often don't go according to plan, and our train sailed through Pangbourne, to the next stop which was Tilehurst, and we were then bussed back to Pangbourne. Sundays, you see, engineering works at Pangbourne. Instead of a 10 minute train ride, it took us 45 minutes to get to Pangbourne!
We walked through the town from the railway station and crossed to bridge over the Thames, with a glimpse of Pangbourne lock upstream. We had a little difficulty finding a path to the lock, and decided to give it a miss in the end, as the Thames Path itself makes a detour away from the river here in Whitchurch. This involved a climb up through the village along the High Street before turning off onto the path.
At last we got away from traffic and onto a wooded path.
Some steep inclines as the path dropped down through a valley and back up again.
Across the fields we can just about spot the river.
And a little further on we see it down below through the trees.
At last the path drops down to the river again, and we stop for a coffee.
The railway bridge ahead is one of two Brunel bridges that we shall pass under today.
Brunel really was a genius with brickwork construction.
Goring Bridge comes into view.
The lock is busy with visitors...
... both on the river ...
... and beside it, as we sit on the bank and eat our lunch.
Crossing the bridge we get a lovely view of the lock and weir.
Further across the bridge the main stream of the river is very picturesque.
Taking a large family for an outing on the river.
The next lock that we pass upstream, after a walk of about a mile, is Cleeve Lock.
It was a well-kept lock...
... looking pretty in the sunshine and spring flowers.
After Cleeve Lock the walk takes us through some open fields where more Canada geese were raising their young.
I'm not so keen on these open, long stretches towards the end of walks - when the legs are getting tired, I prefer something interesting to take my mind off walking!
Something like this stunningly bright field of rapeseed, for instance.
I'm even less keen on the walks where the path diverts away from the river, as it did here, and involved a tedious walk along a boring road.
Finally we return to the river, and pass beneath the second of Brunel's railway bridges, this one being a double bridge.
"A superb example of skew brick construction" - says the official Thames Path Guide Book.
Finally we reach the point where our route leaves the river and we have another mile to walk to Cholsey Station where we left our car.
The sun has been shining all day, and it has been a good day's walk.