Monday, September 2, 2013

Oxford to Newbridge

Section 2

Swinford Bridge to Newbridge

After a break I was on my way again. The river has many bends and curves in it and I must admit I was tempted to just cross a field rather than follow the edge of the river. But I didn't!

This boatyard not only had a number of narrowboats moored but were also undertaking a lot of repair work. After I crossed this bridge into the repair yard I did think it a little strange that I was walking around tools etc until someone came over to tell me  that I was not on the Thames path but on private property.Retracing my steps I realised that  the Thames Path sign had been removed.
I had to go back onto the road and around the boatyard before returning to the river.

Walking through this area of tall thistles, it was alive with tortoiseshell butterflies.

 The first manually operated lock I have seen on the Thames. This is Pinkhill lock. It was here I met up with visitors from Australia and New Zealand, you can just see them helping to operate the gates.
Kayaking must be a great way to see the river and all its wildlife.
The path is very well signed despite the missing one a little earlier. These are the signs I like the best as they give the place names and mileage. Many others are either an acorn marker on a post or the name of the path on a pole pointing out its direction.

The path crosses the weir and takes me away from the riverside for a while.

In many of the fieds I can hear the sounds of the giant combine harvesters at work, gathering in the harvest whilst the weather is still dry and sunny.
These two ladies were out for a 3 mile walk when I met them. They didn't have a map but were following a walk from a book. Somewhere along the route they joined the Thames path by mistake. Fortunately with the help of my map I was able to direct them onto a pathway which would take them back to their car. However, they were now having to walk a further 3 miles doubling their original plan. Neither had any water with them and on such a hot day this was a worrying omission on their part. But they were delightful company for the short time we walked together.

Sheep, a much more docile animal to share a pathway.

Docile but stubborn. I couldn't move this sheep from the gate to allow me to open it. In the end I had to climb over the more substantial padlocked gate.
On the left is a static caravan site, one of the reasons why the path doesn't run along the river.
Interested in a caravan by the river? This road used to take you down to the ferry point. Hithe meaning ferry. But the ferry has now been discontinued. Even the The Ferryman pub was closed as I walked past.
Back walking along the riverbank once again.

Northmoor Lock

These were for hire but I was ready for a rest not a row.

Lots of narrowboats and other boats were moored here.
Newbridge is the second oldest bridge over the Thames. It was built in 1250 and was constructed by monks to connect the cotswold wool towns with the south.

The Rose Revived at Newbridge. A popular overnight stopping place for walkers and boaters. I had not heard great reports from passing walkers so I had chosen  Bed and Breakfast accomodation about 1 mile away in the small village of Standlake. The owner told me to phone her when I arrived here and she would come and collect me as the road had no safe footpath for walkers. One thing that neither of us had thought about was the lack of phone reception. I have used my phone from the  Amazon to the heights of Tibet but here in the middle of Oxfordshire just 100 miles from home - no reception! Unbelievable.

Using my map I found a smaller river across the road from the pub called The Windrush and following this river would lead me to the village  Stanlake.

I also found this pillbox in the river. The bank no longer able to support its weight.

It was a beautiful walk with this delightful lake as an added bonus at the end of the day.  But eventually I found the village and the wonderful Amberley House, my place of rest for the night.


  1. Ah it's still in the water then, nice to know they have not removed it.
    Good to know your enjoying the walk and finding nice places to say

  2. Again, a great series of the beautiful pictures. like it.

  3. This must have been one of the prettiest walks so far. The B&B looks nice too. No Phone reception????


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