Walking the Thames Path from Source to Barrier - 184 miles
To be done in stages during 2014 by Elaine.

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Day 8 - Saturday 6th September 2014

Travelling by train down to Tilehurst, I soon picked up the path where I had finished last time. Reading and Caversham on the opposite bank did not intrude much as the land going down to the river is mostly parkland with benches, litter bins and mown grass.  After going under Caversham and Reading bridges, eventually I crossed the river Kennet where it joins the Thames. The approach to Sonning lock is through a nature reserve.  At Sonning bridge I crossed the river and walked up to Shiplake.  There the college students were out on the river in 2s and 4s.  At Shiplake lock it was necessary to leave the river and walk through Lashbrook and Lower Shiplake. There are many impressive houses, one with its own miniature railway in the garden.  A long causeway leads to Marsh Lock and then a short walk brought me to Henley Riverside Gardens which were full of flowers and people and the river was full of boats.  Here I caught the train to my bed for the night.

           Thames Path Walk                   Thames Path Walk                  Thames Path Walk                    Thames Path Walk              Thames Path Walk          

                 Riverside house near Caversham;  Caversham Lock;     Welcome to Reading;    Footbridge over River Kennet confluence;   Sonning Lock

                          Thames Path Walk                      Thames Path Walk                    Thames Path Walk                    Thames Path Walk               Thames Path Walk

                Sonning Bridge;         Shiplake College Boat House;   Miniature Railway in riverside garden;   Causeway along riverside;  Marsh Lock House

Day 9 - Sunday 7th September 2014

I started walking by crossing Henley Bridge and walking alongside the Regatta course.  There was a lot of rowing going on and cyclists with megaphones on the towpath, shouting instructions.  Temple Island marks the start point of the Regatta reach, so it became much quieter as I walked on to Hambledon Lock.   Open meadows and a deer park followed and then a diversion through a caravan park brought me past picnic parties up to Hurley Lock.  This is another lock set on an island and was full of people at the teashop or at the picnic benches.  This was followed quite quickly by Temple Bridge and Temple Lock.  Now on the north bank of the river again I walked up to Marlow through fields and then the Town Promenade.  At Marlow, after going down Seven Corner Alley, I returned to the riverside and walked across meadows to Bourne End.  It being Sunday afternoon, the path was full of walkers (some serious, some amblers), dog walkers, joggers, and runners; also families out enjoying the fresh air. At Bourne End I caught a bus to High Wycombe and then the train to Leamington Spa where Edwin met me.

         River Thames Path           River Thames Path        River Thames Path         River Thames Path                                 

         Henley Bridge;          Boat houses;          Temple Island;       Hambledon Lock

         River Thames Path              River Thames Path                      River Thames Path        River Thames Path

       near Hurley Lock;       mileage sign near Temple Lock;   Marlow Bridge;  interesting house