Thames Path, Castle Eaton to Radcot

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28 May 2017 by Hazel

Saturday 27th May 2017, 08:30. Sarah and I were just finishing breakfast at The Trout in at Tadpole Bridge where we had spent the night when, Dawn, Jess and Linden arrived. We were all walking together today. Step one was to juggle the cars so off we went, in convoy, to stop one, Radcot.

Leaving my car in the pub car park, justifying it to ourselves as we would soon be partaking in a beverage of theirs, Sarah and I jumped into Dawns car. With Linden and Jess behind us the sat nav headed us towards Lechlade to leave the second car at Upper Inglesham. There was a stretch of the path from there to Lechlade that was a long, fast road along which walking was not recommended. Hence this time we had three cars.

Upper Inglesham is a small village off the A361 and it was easy to park on the road close to the “Thames Path” sign. As a bonus it looked to me as if there was also an eatery there. Convenient should our timing coincide with lunchtime. At this point Dawn, Sarah and I joined Jess in Linden’s car, reset Mrs Sat Nav and headed to Castle Eaton.

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We found a spot on the road in a quiet street not far from the start of the walk and got our boots on, snacks at the ready and set off.  Off course the obligatory selfie to mark the starting point was a must! The route from Castle Eaton to Upper Inglesham was largely away from the Thames along quiet tracks, fields of rape seed and open grassy ‘plains’, however, we did find ourselves bushwhacking at one point as the foliage was chest height.  Linden and I gritted our teeth as we were both in shorts, I was furiously grabbing at the dock leaves and rubbing my bare legs and arms. One thing we did do was miss the turn across the field towards Upper Inglesham. This despite the two signs and very wide “mown” section cutting through the field. I think it just felt like we should have had further to go, this stretch seemed so short.

Castle Eaton to Upper Inglesham

We arrived in Upper Inglesham too early for lunch so jumped in the car and headed to Lechlade, where the festival was in full swing. We parked in the festival car park, quickly picked up the path again, now tracking the Thames and started walking towards another of the many pubs called The Trout. It was here we stopped for lunch.  We had completed 7 miles and worked out we had another 5 to go.

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Lechlade to Radcot

The route from Lechlade to Radcot tracked the Thames all the way. Passing through some pretty locks, some of which had toilet facilities. Mostly though we seemed to be caught out when we were furthest from these and were always thankful for the toilet roll I’d shoved in my bag! The weather was dry so many people were out playing on the water which kept us entertained.

The pillboxes had returned. These are WW2 military buildings which had Linden and I stumped last time we saw them.  This time we were better informed and actually got to go into one. We also passed by some youngsters jumping off the top into the river. So these days they are used for less confrontational purposes :-).

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Sarah and I standing outside a Pillbox building

We arrived at Ye Olde Swan pub at around 4 in the afternoon ready for that drink and desperate to throw off our walking boots and let our feet breathe. Our final task was to pick up the cars and head home.  As always the first thing I do is jump into a hot bath, seems to cure all! That nights evening meal at Sojo was much enjoyed by all bar Dawn who decided to take the evening to chill at home.

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