Monday, 8 July 2013

Thames Path - Cricklade to the Source - Part 3

Date of Walk:  21 June 2013
Approx Distance of Walk: 8 km (5 miles) one way
 Parking/Transport: Waterhay Car Park (Grid ref SU 060933)

 Waterhay to Ewen

Part three of this walk started on the day following the previous walk this year, and once again we parked in the Waterhay car park, this time setting off upstream. We had another nice day, this one sunnier than the previous day.

We are still walking through the lakes in the Cotswold Water Park.

Approaching the village of Ashton Keynes, we were disappointed to find the path through the village rather overgrown with nettles.

It was a pretty village, however.

The course of the Thames through the village is rather unclear, and according to the official guide book,  it divides into several parts.

We found a quiet spot to stop for our picnic lunch. 

Once we have passed Ashton Keynes we pick up the river again, which is by now quite shallow.

We are still in the Cotswold Water Park, which was created from land previously used for gravel extraction.

At places like this, it is most likely that the river has been manually diverted during the quarrying times as it seems far too straight to be natural.

Another refreshment stop near Lower Mill Farm, near Sommerford Keynes. There are numerous leisure resorts like this throughout the park.

Ok, it's hard to look glamerous with a mouthful of apple!

After passing through Neigh Bridge country park, the lakes now disappear and the path once again follows the river.

Sometimes the river disappears from view, but we keep on faithfully following the path...

... until it reappears again.

We are now on our final 'leg' of this walk - through private land, where unusually, we encounter a stile.

It seems a long time coming, as by now we are hot and a little weary, but eventually we reach the village of Ewen.

The path here had been recently covered with ash gravel. The year previous to this, the path that we had just walked had been impassable in places because of flooding.

We walked up into the village, passing this stone along the way, reminding us that we are quite near the source. (The Thames Path is supposed to be about 184 miles.)

We call for a taxi from Ewen to take us back to our car in Waterhay. As it was a local taxi firm, we'd expected that the driver would know the way. So when he headed of in completely the wrong direction, we had to stop him and tell him the way to go!

The next and final installment in this series will take us to the source of the River Thames!

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