Friday, 30 January 2015

Thames Path - Newbridge to Tenfoot Bridge

Date of Walk:  7 December 2014
Approx Distance of Walk: 10 km (7 miles) (there and back)
 Parking/Transport: Rose Revived, Newbridge
Starting Point: Bridge at Newbridge (Grid Ref SP 403014)
Finishing Point: Tenfoot Bridge (Grid Ref SU 355997)

This walk took us west and upstream to Tenfoot Bridge, filling the final gap in our series of walks before our final walk in London to the Thames Barrier. With few other possibilities for parking or access, we would do a there-and-back walk.

It was only just over a week prior to this that we enjoyed another walk to Newbridge in some beautiful November sunshine. Today was rather different - cool and blustery, and we had passed through quite a downpour on the way here.

Once again we parked at the Rose Revived pub. We crossed the bridge to pick up the Thames Path beside the 'Maybush' - formerly a pub on the south side of the bridge but now closed and possibly being refurbished.

The fisherman's wet umbrella shows that we've had heavy rain this morning. We think there was maybe a fishing competition as there were lots of fishermen out on the river.

We pass through a meadow to begin with and we are curious as to why all the swans are facing one way.

They seemed to like this spot as they were still here on our return.

Lots of birds out here today.

The path goes through a rather muddy wooded area and then crosses more pastures until we reach a footbridge over Shifford Weir. As we follow the path we are now walking along the lock cut while the river makes a large bend by Duxford. Soon we see the lock gates up ahead.

Climbing a wooden bridge brings us to the lock.

There is not much traffic for the lock-keeper today.

For us its time for lunch.

We do not linger long over lunch as it is cool and blustery and has started to rain again. We stay on the south side of the river after the lock, continuing along the lock cut. Soon another bridge takes us across the river  and we pass another weir where we rejoin the Thames. Walking past Chimney Farm we are now experiencing the winds blowing across the Chimney Meadow National Nature Reserve, a large unimproved meadowland rich in hay meadow plants.

It is also common to see concrete 'pillboxes' along the river. These defences were put in place during World War II when it was thought that the Thames would act as a natural barrier against invasion from the south. The pillbox can just be seen up ahead in the picture above.

Finally we spot Tenfoot Bridge, our destination, round just a few more bends in the river.

It was a very different day the last time we were here, when we were dropped of from our friends' narrowboat at this point. That day was warm and sunny and today is wet and windy. Still, Mr PL seems happy that we've reached our goal.

Just making sure that I've been as far as the bridge...

... before walking back to Newbridge the way we came. It was good to get back to the Rose Revived and enjoy a nice Sunday Lunch!

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