Lechlade to Tadpole Bridge.
Today we have an easy stroll through through the flood meadows of the upper Thames.
Shortly after leaving Lechlade the first lock and weir are encountered, St. John’s. The Thames’ locks were constructed from the 17th century onwards and improved navigation. An increasing number of pleasure boats were moored up from now on but few were travelling.There is statue to Old Father Thames at St. John’s, originally designed for the Old Crystal Palace in 1854, moved to the source in 1958 and to its present position in 1974.
In the next couple of miles the river meandered wildly. A common sight were WW2 pillboxes built to defend the Thames if an invasion occurred, they were all in good condition.
Another feature to keep recurring was wooden footbridges of a standard design linking fields and lanes across the river. These bridges were built to replace old demolished wears and have been themselves replaced over the years.
We diverted to the pretty village of Kelmscott where the Manor had been a home of William Morris, but unfortunately it was closed today. We grabbed a drink at the upmarket Plough Inn which looked expensive for food.
Back on the river we walked through meadows with extensive open vistas. Buscot, Grafton, Radcot and Rushey Locks were all passed and appreciated, usually a seat was provided and water available. A feature of the locks were the lock keepers’ cottages with their tidy gardens, volunteers help out the Environmental Agency. Delightful places to watch the river’s activities, they became a highlight of the walk eagerly looked forward to. The weirs enabling the river to flow past the locks all looked very high-tech.
Tadpole Bridge and The Trout Inn, one of many so named on the river, were easily reached marking the end of today’s stroll. The Inn was fully booked so using a taxi we had another night in the pleasant New Inn at Lechlade.
This walk looks like jewel box. I wonder how it would feature on a rating score if you have such a thing – is it in the top ten?
By the way, yesterday I received a card from you from Mallorca – had me quite puzzled.
Conrad, Enjoying the Thames immensely, lots of interest and easy walking. Will rate it when finished.
Don’t think I’m in Mallorca.