Monday, August 19, 2013

Day11 Tilehurst to Cholsey

Section 1
Tilehurst to Goring

Took the fast train from Paddington to Swansea stopping at Reading and then changed to a local one to Tilehurst. For the first time on this walk I met someone who was also walking from the Barrier to the Source. Usually the walkers I have met are going in the opposite direction. The gentleman was one day ahead of me so he was getting off at the next station.



It was a long walk from the station to the Thames path taking me through a new housing estate but I found the river eventually.



After walking through farmland I reached Mapledurham lock.
The people in the rowing boat seemed to be having some difficulty trying to locate where they could hold onto something before the gates closed and the water was let into the lock.
Luckily there were some ropes that they could hold.





I now followed the wide curve of the Thames leading me into Pangbourne



Just visible through the trees is Hardwick House. Queen Elizabeth I visited here as well as Mapledurham. The original house dated from the reign of Richard II (1377-99) and was restored after the Civil war (1642-51).


 
A little further on I can see a herd of llamas grazing in a field.



I had to walk around a construction site here as work was being done around the base of the bridge. Needing to cross the river at Pangbourne I climbed the path onto the bridge.

This is the view looking upstream from the bridge.
Here is the idyllic Thames view of a church, mill and cottages on the far side of the mill pond.




Once over the Whitchurch bridge there is a  toll of 40p for the cars to cross the bridge.

The path took me through the churchyard and round the church. There were some very interesting gravestones in the grounds and also inside the church.







I don't think I have seen a skull on a gravestone before



The lychgate and church of St Mary the Virgin, Whitchurch.


The path then took me back onto the road before veering off to the left into woodland.

Due to a chalk cliff the path climbs to the edge of the wood. This is the first time on the track that I have had to walk up hill.




 The scenery is just breathtaking. It is rare when you are following the Thames path that you get a view of the river from above but this makes all of the walk worthwhile.



This is a pillbox which is a concrete guard posts. They nearly always have holes through which they could fire weapons.During 1940 28,000 of these were built in England as an anti-invasion preparation for WWII.

His and her seats maybe.



Another Brunel brick built bridge. This is Gatehampton rail bridge in an area  known as the Grotto.
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 Yes there is another pillbox just beside the bridge. I asked a blogger friend over at http://spuduka.blogspot.co.uk/ why there are so many in this area. He told me they were put in as a stopline defence. If you want any more info on them check out his very informative website.


This large white manor house is mentioned in the book 'Three men in a boat' a comic travelogue by Jerome K Jerome written in 1889.

I am now walking through the Goring Gap with the Berkshire Downs on one side of the river and the Chilterns on the other in what is described as some of the best scenery in the Thames Valley.




I noticed this glass room jutting out over the Thames. Would love to sit there in the cooler times of the year just admiring the scenery and passing wildlife.






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Here is the mill pond beyond which is the village of Goring.Just to the right, hidden by the trees, is the church.
The bridge here joins Streatley in Berkshire on the left to Goring in Oxfordshire on the right. Two ancient tracks, the Ridgeway and the Ickfield used to ford the river here. Then came a Ro man causeway, followed by a ferry and finally the series of causeways and bridges that you see today.
 




 



 The  old Goring mill is no longer in use but as you walk past you can hear the roar of the water passing beneath the building which would have been used to turn a waterwheel.


 



 The view from the bridge is perhaps the most famous view of the Thames overlooking the lock and weirs at Goring.


11 comments:

  1. This is great your now walking through my area and all the places are familiar to me. WOndered if you looked at the Church in Whitchurch. The tole bridge is one of two still operating on the Thames, the other is at Ensham (Swinford Toll Bridge) which only charges 5p to cross. Th eold toll charges were still on display at Whitchurch when I was last there. Love that last picture of Goring lock you took.

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  2. What a trek. I love all shots and am intrigued by the pillboxes. And my goodness, did you walk 20 miles?

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    1. You might want to read a few of my blogs then, I would say there are in the regon of 40 odd between Pangbourne and Abingdon though most you will not see as they are lost in the undergrowth.

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  3. Not that there is anything wrong with your photos, but there are some really very special photos around of the Goring lock.

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    1. Goring is proably the most scenic along the Thames but the next one you should see will be Cleeve then Benson. There are still lots of locks to come on the Thames and I don't think this will be the last photo from this bridge yet, there is still the Swan on the Streatley side of the river where the Thames Path runs past next.

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  4. Such a variety of scenery this time. Seems like a lovely rural walk despite not being far from London. I especially like the skull on the grave marker.

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  5. Gorgeous scenery! I love the bridges! We don't have many like that here.

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  6. Great group of scenic shots.Such pretty rural scenes. Thanks so much for your comment on my blog. cheers.

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  7. It sure is pretty now. At last I've caught up with you and I'm a bit puffed. You walk too fast for me. I love the village peeking through the trees with the river in front. Picture book scenery. I'm glad to see the lock and the wier. I was trying to figure out how it worked but now I can see.

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