Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Thames Path - Abingdon to Clifton Hampden

Date of Walk:  20 September 2014
Approx Distance of Walk: 6 km (3.75 miles)
 Parking/Transport: Parking in Clifton Hampden by Village Hall (Grid Ref  SU 547957)
Bus into Abingdon from Clifton Hampden
Starting Point: Abingdon Bridge
Finishing Point: Clifton Hampden Bridge

From our parking spot by the village hall in Clifton Hampden, we just crossed the road to catch a bus into Abingdon to start this walk. This view from Abingdon Bridge looks upstream but we are going to walk downstream today.


We set off on the Thames Path, which continues to run on the southern bank, and here we look back to the multiple arches of Abingdon Bridge.


The path passes through the riverside gardens ...


... with handsome views of St Helen's Church spire...


... and surrounding almshouses.


Leaving the gardens behind we walk on through meadows as the river swings to the south, and we get a fine (?) view of Didcot Power station. Three cooling towers of  Didcot A power station were demolished earlier in the year. Less than a month after this walk, some of the remaining towers of this, Didcot B power station, were seriously damaged by fire.


The river makes another swing, this time towards the east, and the tight bend has been bypassed here with a cut, which we now follow towards the lock.


The man-made cut is straight.


A footbridge crosses the cut leading to Sutton Courtney and Sutton Pools but we stay on the Thames path, which is now on the norther bank, since the river has turned almost 180 degrees since we started our walk.


Culham Lock is quiet.




Up ahead is Sutton Bridge, which we pass beneath.

 

The path continues uneventfully beside farmland and passes under the railway bridge...


... and a little while later we see a weir as we approach another cut in the river, the Clifton Cut...


... leading to Clifton Lock.




We stop at the lock for a quick refreshment break...


... before continuing on our final leg of this walk on this somewhat grey September day. In the distance we spot the elegant red brick structure of Clifton Hampden Bridge.


After reaching the bridge it is then a short walk through the village back to the village hall where we parked our car.

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