Date of Walk: 19 June 2014
Approx Distance of Walk: 7 km (4.5 miles) (Circular walk)
Parking/Transport: Parking in Clifton Hampden by Barley Mow pub. Grid ref SU 548953
Starting Point: Day's Lock, Little Wittenham
Finishing Point: Clifton Hampden Bridge
View Day's Lock to Clifton Hampden in a larger map
This circular walk, starting in the Oxfordshire village of Clifon Hampden, takes in a large bend in the Thames between Day's Lock and Clifton Hampden. We parked our car in what is marked on the OS map as a public car park, but turns out to be parking for the Barley Mow pub opposite. We always seek permission to park in pubs and usually landlords are happy for you to park if you end up eating in their establishment after the walk. Such was the case this day.
From the car park we set off southwards, following the road which was quite busy. There is a long stretch where the footpath is elevated, presumably to give access during flooding, as we are on a flood plain here.
We reach the village of Long Wittenham where we turn left and follow a narrow road/track through farmland to Little Wittenham. A convenient seat outside the church provides us with a nice spot to stop for refreshment whilst providing a lovely view of the tree-topped Wittenham Clumps.
From the church we turn eastwards towards the river and cross over to the eastern bank via a pretty bridge.
Up ahead to the north we can see Day's Lock and Wier.
As we walk along the Thames Path towards the lock I turn back to see the bridge and, once again, Wittenham Clumps.
I remember as a child we used to come to this spot for family picnics...
... and watch the boats come through the lock.
The Thames Path now crosses the river, so we cross back here, over the lock and wier...
...and walk northwards though open meadows.
It is a lovely summer's day, just perfect walking weather.
We give the cattle as wide a berth as possible, but they are more interested in a drink than in us.
We can still see Wittenham Clumps in the distance.
As we round the bend in the river, some beautiful willow trees flank this pretty riverside house.
What a great spot to live!
The houses here are in the village of Burcot across the river. On the side where we are walking there are no houses, just meadow and scrubland.
As our walk nears and end we see the bridge at Clifton Hampden.
We climb up to the road and turn left to walk the short distance back to the Barley Mow car park. The pub is an attractive old timber-framed inn with a thatched roof.
It was mentioned in Jerome K. Jerome's book "Three Men in a Boat". We enjoy a welcome meal at the pub which is unusually quiet because everyone is at home watching England playing in the World Cup! (They lost to Uruguay.)