'These human-scale books, written and published by people who genuinely know and love their subject, are perfect for travel's post-pandemic recovery.'
 — The Guardian, March 2021

Thames Path: Thames Head to Woolwich (London)

by: Joel Newton & Anna Udagawa & William Allberry

UPDATES

Updated information

Thank you to those who wrote in with the following updates including: Paul Chapman, David Schache and Janine Watson, Stuart Blackburne, Phil Robinson, Nigel Pearson

 

Particular thanks to Wendy Tobbitt.

 

The information has not yet been checked by Trailblazer but it will be for the next edition.

Updates relating to the 3rd edition

September 2022

p79  Because of the lack of rain last winter and very dry conditions this year, groundwater in the aquifer below Trewsbury Mead is very low. The source of the River Thames dried up and the river bed is dry for several miles. Hopefully soon there will be enough rain for the aquifer to be refilled and the river to flow from the source again.

 

p153 and Map 37, p160  The upstream bridge at Marsh Lock, Henley, has been closed and will stay so for several months, probably well into next year. There is a signed diversion along public and permitted footpaths.  The Environment Agency closed the bridge on 5th May because it was unstable. It's probably going to be a significant rebuild.

 

p158  The Baskerville at Shiplake is closed  https://www.thebaskerville.com/

 

p162  The River & Rowing Museum in Henley is closing on 1st October for major refurbishment and fixing the leaky roof. It is not certain if the cafe and shop will remain open so check in advance.

 

p164  The Flower Pot at Aston is temporarily closed from late September while it’s refurbished. The fabulous cases of fish and other stuffed creatures will be removed, and the new tenant is (I've been told) someone who has independent income and not so reliant on the pub as other tenants.

 

 

pp209-11  Team2100 in London is doing flood defence work on embankments at Barnes/Mortlake. The Thames Path is due to reopen there in October.

 

 

June 2022

p131, p137 and Map 24 p131  The last three cooling towers of Didcot Power Station came down in January 2020 so the references should have been removed,.

 

Map 25 pp132-3  The section at Clifton Meadow and round the bend towards Day's Lock is now much more interesting and there is more wildlife to see due to the Earth Trust's River of Life II backwaters, pools and information boards.

 

Updates relating to the 2nd edition

May 2022

Experiences of camping from a walker: 'I wild camped in three places without any problems. Pitching late and between the path and the river seems to be the best approach.'  And here below is his feedback: 
 
Shifford Lock Campsite is closed until further notice.
 
Standlake. Lincoln Park Farm is not open to backpackers. It does not have grass tent pitches, but has pitches that can accommodate tents. These pitches have gravel bases so thick ground sheets and rock pegs are recommended.
 
Abingdon Lock. Camping on the lock is allowed although they only have drinking water and a toilet - the price was £10.
 
p 137, Crowmarsh Gifford. Bridge Villa Camping is open.  
 
Cookham Lock is closed to camping.

Sunbury Lock. Apps Court Farm next to Sunbury Lock has a huge camping field but you have to book online and then phone to get the code to the gate off the towpath.
 
This walker recommended phoning ahead to campsites to check availability because it can save a lot of wasted walking at the end of a hard day.

 

June 2021

p145 Map 38 Streatley
p146  Chaddleworth is a fabulous house in a very peaceful setting. Cake, such as a delicious banana bread, is served on arrival and breakfast is cooked on an Aga. Overall they can sleep up to six people but due to COVID they are not letting the non en suite room. However, they will for a group as then they can share the facilities. 
 
It is easy to reach Chaddleworth from the path - just walk diagonally (back on yourself if coming from the west) through the recreation ground and go through the gate when you reach the road and then turn right. It is signed as Cleeve Court.
 

 

p175, Map 55.    A walker sent us feedback: "The walking time from Boulter’s Lock to Maidenhead Bridge is given as 40–50 minutes.  Google Maps gives the distance as 0.8 miles and the walking time as 16 minutes.  We noticed that a number of the suggested walking times along this stretch of the river were longer than they should have been."

Updates relating to the 1st edition

July 2017

p144 Streatley. Chaddleworth B&B, Streatley, Reading, RG8 9PR. Two double rooms which can be set up as twins. Mobile: 07711 420 586. 

 

May 2017

p28, Camping.   Whilst there are no recognised formal campsites inside the M25, campinmygarden.com lists several locations close to the path where for a modest fee you can book a pitch in a private garden for a night or two.

pp77/9, Map 1. The Thames Head Inn campsite has been refurbished and is now flat and sheltered. There is a  toilet and shower combined into a single unit for use by campers. However the fee has increased to £20 per tent.
 
Kemble, The Tavern Inn now charges £7 for a one man tent, otherwise no significant changes under the new owners.
 
In Kemble there is a new housing estate "Old Manor Gardens"" north of Station Road beween the railway line and the village shop.
 
page 88, Map 9. Second Chance Touring Park campsite, Marston Meysey,  is undergoing a major refurbishment including the building of several lodges/chalets. The camping fee is currently unchanged at £6 pp. There is a public footpath, not shown on the map, from just north of the drainage ditch to the campsite entrance across the fields - shorter than walking via the roads.
 

November 2016

p78 Map 1. Two walkers  from Australia wrote they stayed at the Thames Head Inn and walked to the path along A433 which was very busy with traffic and no verge.   They recommend an alternative, safer way - which is to go over the back fence behind the car park of Thames Head and skirt around the edge of the field to the right and this brings you around to a gate with a legitimate site to cross directly over the rail line (with care) and another gate into next field, then along edge of that field to corner of stone fence and to path.  They also said the walk north from the Thames Head to the Thames - Severn canal and portal into the tunnel is well worth the detour - great bit of history / construction.

p113 Map 24. Existing note “go over bridge not under”   is actually “go over ROAD not under “   - as you don’t actually cross the bridge in a strict sense.

p125 Map 28. Some excellent seats at “Boat House” at 034 (near Radley)  to sit and eat.   Good to know if they are any good spots to stop for lunch coming up.  

p102 Map 16 Rushley Lock . There is now a new bitumen road to walk along from Rushley Lock to the road at Tadpole bridge.

p138 Wallingford. The Coach Makers Arms no longer doing evening meals.  

The Old Post Office. Offers evening meals and has good food and ambience. 

p92 Map 12 Upper Inglesham to Inglesham.   Two walkers reported they walked this section - and whilst not pleasant - it certainly wasn’t particularly unsafe (and not like the A433 at Thames Head), and the 2nd crossing at Inglesham needs particular care.

Re swimming, two walkers noted at Kelmscott a triathalon and they had swum in the river and  they noted a few spots on the stretch - Oxford to Abingdon with good safe access and they had a dip. 

Accommodation, London. Staybridge Suites, 100 Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. Some walkers stayed here for one week and found it excellent accommodation and very close to the path - and central for walking everywhere in central London.

 

Thames Path: Thames Head to Woolwich (London)