Saturday, 24 January 2015

Thames Path - Castle Eaton to Water Eaton

Date of Walk:  24 April 2014
Approx Distance of Walk: 7 km (4.5 miles) (Circular walk)
 Parking/Transport: Parking in Castle Eaton (outside Red Lion Pub)
Starting Point: Castle Eaton (outside Red Lion Pub)
Finishing Point: Footbridge at Water Eaton

After a morning spent enjoying the rare fritillary meadow near Cricklade we drove to the village of Castle Eaton and parked in the road outside the Red Lion Pub. We planned to walk this quiet stretch of the Thames Path upstream back to Water Eaton.

From the pub we set off westwards and quickly found the signs for the Thames Path.

This part of the path was specially created for Thames Path walkers.

The river here is shallow and largely unnavigable...

... unless you are a swan.

The path follows meanders to begin with...

... but later straightens out and skirts the edge of several fields.

Bridges have been built to span water channels entering the river.

The fields were bright with rape-seed plants at this time of year.

The walk was pleasant in the spring sunshine, but being a very remote stretch, there was not much of interest along the way. Eventually we came to the bridge over the river near Water Eaton farm which was our destination.

From here, in order to return to our car, we turned to our left and southwards, eventually picking up a footpath from the long grass that lead us to the road near Water Eaton Farm. From there is was a surprisingly warm walk along the road back to Castle Eaton. On the Ordnance survey map that we have (albeit dated 2004), the Thames Path was marked as following this route to Castle Eaton. The new route that we followed along the river is indeed much nicer.

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