Walked: The Thames Path
Date: 31 August 2013 – 10 September 2016
Distance: 184 miles
Walked with: Alone or with various ‘guest star’ walkers
Weather: Often wet, cold and muddy
Today I finally finished the Thames Path, after a number of other attempts earlier this year were aborted due to the tendency of the Thames – pretty much as soon as you get past Kingston – to flood. National Trail #12 now completed!
I’ll tell you straight out; as far as National Trails go, this one is right at the bottom of my list (The Ridgeway is juuuuust above it). For me, it’s at it’s best in London, when the constantly changing river and cityscape envelopes it with an urban hug. And to be fair, that’s where most people finish it. But as I live not far from The Thames Barrier, it was inevitable that I’d start in SE London before gradually making my way out. And by the time I got as far as Windsor I realised… I was committed to section walking the flipping thing.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad walk. But I love hill walking, and there’s only one (tiny) one, near Pangbourne. I like expansive views; this is lots of very expensive houses, an incredible amount of WW2 pill boxes (in Oxfordshire), and, well, a river. Signage and mud are often both an issue as well, and today, being my final day was no exception – the way marking between Cricklade and the Source could definitely do with some work.
That said, I have seen some really beautiful buildings, wandered in to some truly posh local pubs, and in the winter it can be quite lovely. So here’s a few photos from my various trots along the Thames Path -including a number of my favourite flooding ones!