Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 17: Cricklade to the source

Although I left the hotel at 8am I didn't find the correct path until an hour later. There is no large river to follow now and the sign I was looking for was on a farm with 2 very unfriendly looking dogs. I walked round in circles before working out which way to go.




Cricklade High street. Cricklade has saxon origins with its church, abbey and priory










This is what the river flowing through Cricklade looks like.
 

The priory dated  before 1231 still survives today as a private dwelling.

This house has its own bridge across the Thames.

The farmer's bridge, which I had spent so long looking for, leading me back onto the path.





Once out of the town the river was disappearing fast.
It wouldn't be the Thames path without at least one herd of cows. These were in fact bullocks and I had to edge my way around the field to get past them.













The Cotswold Water Park is made up or 150 man made lakes and set in 40 square miles of countryside. The lakes were created to fill in disused quarry sites.







I had to climb over this gate to get close to the lake.










 






Ashton Keynes village







I followed the river through the village.










 




Fording the river.



















Steve had left his car at the source and had come to  walk the last few miles with me.
 
The sign on the lower step said ' No cyclists or horses'. I love to see someone try and get a horse over this narrow bridge.







 

 There is still some water but it is very shallow.
 The foliage seemed to be getting higher and higher.





 Noticed this outside a house, a helpful sign for those walking in the opposite direction to myself - only 177 miles to the Barrier.




The 16th cent Wild Duck Inn named because this is the first place on the river down from the source where you will see ducks.



 I would have loved more of these seats along the way. The seat was a gift from the Women's Insitute for the Thames Path walkers.




 A dip in the riverbed and some water still remains but this is the last time we see any water covering the stones of the riverbed.


This two arched bridge is the first of the bridges over the Thames.
You can see the pebble route of the Thames which will lead us to the source.
 
 
This is Lyd Well, a stone enclosure surrounding an ancient spring, which is often thought to be the modern source of the Thames as there is usually water flowing from here, although not today.
 The path of the Thames stretching into the distance.
 



Just across another field we come to the actual source of the Thames and the beginning of the Thames path but for me - the end of my walk along the path.

The stone is inscribed with the words
 
The Conservators of the River Thames
1857-1974
This stone was placed here to mark
the source of the River Thames




This marks the spot of the furthest place from the river where the water rises from the ground. For most of the year there is no water at all but there is water just below the surface and after heavy rain the whole field can be flooded.
For me this marks the end of the Thames path after 184 miles. It is an experience I will remember for many years to come and hopefully will return to visit many of the villages I passed enroute but didn't have time to explore.

Time to visit the nearest pub - The Thames Head to celebrate.
Just getting friendly with Old Father Thames for the last time.
 

35 comments:

  1. Bravo! Photos of the Thames here do not match any mental image I have of the river.

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  2. WOW. You did it! Congratulations! From your photos it didn't look like there were many people doing the same thing. Must have been very peaceful walking. So what's next?

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  3. Lovely set of your beautiful photographs..or yes I just found a glorious place which is very interested and famous for their history and culture. I hope that you will know about it through my new post..
    http://travelagent-india.blogspot.in/2013/09/mesmerize-in-beauty-of-great-rann-of-kutch.html

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  4. an interesting journey retold - good job it wasn't raining!

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  5. Great shots and an interesting narrative.

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  6. Very interesting walk you have. Peaceful and quiet village.

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  7. Congratulations. What a great walk you have done and shown us on your way. A very entertaining and informative blog.

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  8. thanks so much for your comments on my blog, I really appreciated them.. I enjoyed the walk and the photos!

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  9. Beautiful set of your photographs, Nice looking the smile in the photos...have a nice day

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  10. Charming walk! Thanks for taking us with you.

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  11. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. I applaud your stamina and greatly enjoyed the scenery and information. (and thanks too, for dropping by my blog again) Wishing you a more relaxed week ahead as your muscles recuperate before your next adventure!

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  12. Looks like you had fun.

    I love the idea that despite the fact that GB is so populated you still have so much country side and beautiful trails to walk.

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  13. Great sequence of shots. The houses are charming and the landscapes are beautiful.

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  14. Thank you so much for this delightful walk! I love the British country side! All those charming old cottages and pubs.
    The sign saying: ' No cyclists or horses'. shows a great sense of humor.
    Have a great sunny day!
    Thanks for your comment on my blog.

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  15. Thanks for your visit... and I have just had a lovely browse around your blog XX

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  16. Thanks for taking us along with you on another great walk.

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  17. I love the places. Thanks for sharing...

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  18. What a great and memorable experience. I would give anything to make that walk. Loved the sequence of shots all alone your way. Such lovely scenery.

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  19. I enjoy walking through these pictures with you!

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  20. Hello Fun60, although i don't know your real name, I've been coming here once-in-a while and i remember your pen name! Thanks for that piece of history which seems to be not in any history books. I am amazed at the information on concrete that you can get from exactly the path. I am also amazed that structures that old as the 13th century are still 'alive', maybe calamities are not visiting your area.

    I also would like to thank you for the kind words on my post about the supe typhoon aftermath. I am so touched by the pouring of concern and soothing words from my blogger friends. I actually posted it because i feel that some are actually worried about me. God bless.

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  21. Interesting to see the origin of this famous river! You certainly got your exercise in doing this post. I have walked along the Thames in London - certainly this is a different perspective on the river.

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  22. Thanks for the well organized 'pic'travel:)
    Of all the pics, I was excited to see the place of Highwayman...as am a great fan of Alfred Noyes' Higwayman!

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  23. What a nice trip ... your photos make me wish to be there, too!

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  24. Omg, perfect pictures! You really like to travel, yeah?
    What country is it? It's beautiful :D

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  25. It is taking me a long time to reply to my blog comments. I do love the house with the bridge photo. So peaceful. I guess nature is the one thing we can count on. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. cheers.

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  26. Magnificent set of pictures, pure beauty!

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  27. Great sequence of shots from your walk.

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  28. You have a lovely set of photographs and an equally interesting commentary about your walking near the Thames. I'm guessing that either you escaped the recent heavy rains or your shots were taken in sunnier, warmer days. I like the final destination. Thirsty work this walking.

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  29. Such charming buildings!
    I'm sure you had a great walk amidst all that greenery. :)

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  30. Great landscape.
    I LOVE the stone bridges.
    (These days I am thinking of a 5-6 days walk in the south of England.
    In the mean time I keep walking here in Norway.) Nice blog you have created.

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  31. ...a great walk - lovely scenery, I couldn't help but wonder how the residence near the Thames fared during the recent floods? Some grand stone stately homes as you ventured further; fascinating

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  32. I love seeing the sights from your walks. Beautiful scenery and interesting narrative.

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  33. What a great tour! I enjoyed walking along. Love the photo of the river with a house partly hidden.

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Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my blog.