Date of Walk: 29 November 2014
Approx Distance of Walk: 5 km (3.5 miles)
Parking/Transport: 2 cars: One near starting point, one at finishing point.
Starting Point: Ferryman Inn, Bablock Hythe
Finishing Point: Rose Revived, Newbridge
It was a beautifully mild and sunny November day for this walk, a one-way walk from Bablock Hythe to Newbridge. We met my in-laws at Newbridge and left one car at the Rose Revived pub, reserving a table to eat there after the walk. We drove the short distance to the Ferryman Inn at Bablock Hythe. Stern notices warned against non-patrons using their car park, so we parked on the road next to the caravan park.
The Ferryman Inn looked completely deserted. Despite its name, there is no river crossing here, although at various times since the Romans there have been fords or ferries here.
We turned to our right and started on the path upstream across open meadows.
Not a cloud in the sky.
The Guide Book states "on the right day this stretch can be sheer joy".
I think we picked the right day.
The sun continues to shine as we approach Northmoor Lock.
Crossing over the lock gates to look at the weir, we see that it still operates by the old-fashioned paddle-and-rymer system. According to the guidebook, this was due to be replaced in 2010, but it is still under review. The Environment Agency has a programme to replace all paddle-and-rymer weirs on the Thames as they are considered unsafe to operate.
These are some of the paddles that can be put down into the weir to limit the flow when needed.
The weir in operation, with some paddles in place. (Picture by Martin Bellinger.)
We find a nice seat by the lock to drink our coffee and enjoy the surprisingly warm sunshine.
After coffee we leave the lock and resume our walk along this peaceful stretch of the river.
We continue our sunny way, stopping for a group picture now and then...
... and after a while our destination at Newbridge comes into view. The ancient bridge is said to be from the 13th Century. (Picture by Martin Bellinger.)
There is only one pub by the bridge now - the 'Rose Revived'. The 'Maybush' on the other side, seems to be closed. We enjoy an excellent late lunch at the Rose Revived, and feel revived ourselves!