Thames Path to Cricklade


Continued from part one (to Buscot).

This was another cold but sunny day, and a rather pretty walk (except for the main-road part). I'm afraid the pictures below are a bit church-heavy, because we did visit several and they're quite photogenic. At least there's fewer pillboxes this time.


After breakfast, we had a walk around Buscot (which isn't very big). We'd been staying in the old manor house, which was built in 16-something; there's a massive stately home a few miles down the road, from when the local lord struck it big a few centuries later. Nowadays, the National Trust appears to own most of Buscot, and it's impressively maintained and manicured.

We walked down to the main road, then along the path to the church (which was closed), before returning to the river.

Porch (?) of Buscot Village Hall.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200
Lock-up garages, National Trust style.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200
Farm building.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200
Lock weir.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200

Thames Path to Lechlade

It's a few miles from Buscot to Lechlade along the Thames Path. It would probably be less than half the distance if you walked it in a straight line, although you'd get rather damp. I think that stretch was the curviest bit of the entire river, including a couple of 180 degree turns.

Water company building across the river.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200
Damaged pillbox (presumably due to a German attack).
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′1″N 1°40′32″W
Row of trees reflected in a river curve.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′15″N 1°40′31″W

Approaching Lechlade, St. John's Lock had a sculpture of Old Father Thames; originally made for the 1854 Crystal Palace exhibition, it spent time at the source of the river before being moved to this lock.

1/1000 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′22″N 1°40′48″W
Looking toward the church in Lechlade.
1/1000 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′23″N 1°40′48″W


We left the river at Lechlade and walked around to look at that small town. It has a fair few shops including a post office which sells knitting supplies, but no baker's, thereby foiling my plot to obtain a Belgian bun. After looking at the church, we did manage to get a slice of cake in a café.

Lechlade bridge.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′31″N 1°41′33″W
The church.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′37″N 1°41′24″W
Stairs to the crypt.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′37″N 1°41′25″W
1/1000 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′37″N 1°41′25″W
Slightly gruesome wall sculpture of St. Agatha.
1/30 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′37″N 1°41′25″W
The church is pretty large and impressive.
1/250 at f4, 23mm, ISO400 51°41′37″N 1°41′26″W

Thames Path to Inglesham

From Lechlade, the path curves around a meadow until it reaches the point where the disused Thames and Severn canal branches off. This is the last point where the Thames itself had a towpath; above here, the river wasn't navigable.

Instead of ordinary canalside cottages, the canal had 'roundhouses' built for its staff.

Canal leaves to right of this picture. Roundhouse in background.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′15″N 1°42′18″W

Inglesham church

A small church (St. John the Baptist) is no longer used for worship, but still maintained. William Morris led a campaign to save it from Victorian modernisation, and it does indeed feel reassuringly old.

Porch and gargoyle.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′2″N 1°42′16″W
Light on floor.
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′3″N 1°42′15″W
1/60 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′4″N 1°42′15″W
Altar with wall painting.
1/30 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′4″N 1°42′14″W
1/60 at f2.8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′2″N 1°42′16″W
Wonky window.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′3″N 1°42′15″W
Box pews, hanging lights, painted wall.
1/30 at f5.6, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′3″N 1°42′15″W
Outside the church.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°41′2″N 1°42′15″W

Thames Path to Castle Eaton

After this the Thames Path runs for a mile along a major road. There's a wide grass verge so this is quite safe, despite alarming notices at each end advising walkers to call for a taxi. It is a bit tedious, though, and slightly uphill.

When the path leaves the road, it runs through farmland for some distance.

1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′57″N 1°42′26″W
Farm yard.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′57″N 1°42′26″W

The path briefly follows the river, then leaves it again and runs along country roads to a place called Castle Eaton.

1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′38″N 1°46′6″W
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′37″N 1°46′20″W

Castle Eaton

Castle Eaton consists largely of a modern suburban-style housing estate. When we visited, almost everybody seemed to be getting their roofs mended.

Corrugated asbestos-walled shed.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′39″N 1°47′19″W
Castle Eaton church is rather pretty.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′43″N 1°47′22″W
And I liked the wires.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°39′44″N 1°47′23″W

Thames Path to Cricklade

From Castle Eaton the path runs beside the actual river again, all the way to Cricklade.

1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°38′43″N 1°50′17″W
Trees and low hill from bridge.
1/500 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°38′42″N 1°50′17″W
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°38′33″N 1°50′44″W
Outskirts of Cricklade.
1/125 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 51°38′34″N 1°51′6″W

In Cricklade, we stayed in the White Hart Hotel, once we managed to find it. (There's a large sign with a map of the town, which is helpfully positioned the wrong way around. At least that's my excuse for walking in the opposite direction down the high street.)

(End of day two.)

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.