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This guide takes the walker from the Thames Barrier in London to the source of the Thames 180 miles away in rural Gloucestershire. The towpath route, opened as a national trail in 1996, has been improved by the addition of new footbridges and the creation of 20 miles of new riverside path. More than 90 per cent of the Thames Path is either public footpath or bridleway. The Thames, once an important water highway, links a string of historic sites. In the capital there is Greenwich, the Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Palace. Hampton Court Palace lies just outside London, and before reaching Windsor there is riverside Runneymede where King John agreed to the Magna Carta. The water and towpath in the Upper Reaches can be both beautiful and lonely, with cormorants, herons and swans, as appreciated by Shelley and William Morris. The climax is the 22 miles of the infant Thames leading to a field with its often dry spring situated just below the Roman Foss Way.
Summary Map Introduction The Route 1. Thames Barrier to Tower Bridge (9 miles; 14.5km) 2. Tower Bridge to Putney (10 miles; 16km) 3. Putney to Kingston (13 miles; 20.9km) 4. Kingston to Chertsey (11 miles; 17.7km) 5. Chertsey to Staines (4 miles; 6.4km) 6. Staines to Windsor (71?2 miles; 12km) 7. Windsor to Maidenhead (61?2 miles; 10.5km) 8. Maidenhead to Marlow (7 miles; 11.2km) 9. Marlow to Henley (81?2 miles; 13.6km) 10. Henley to Reading (9 miles; 14.5km) 11. Reading to Pangbourne (7 miles; 11.2km) 12. Pangbourne to Goring (4 miles; 6.4km) 13. Goring to Wallingford (7 miles; 11.2km) 14. Wallingford to Dorchester (5 miles; 8km) 15. Dorchester to Abingdon (9 miles; 14.5km) 16. Abingdon to Oxford (91?2 miles; 15.2km) 17. Oxford to Newbridge (131?2 miles; 21.7km) 18. Newbridge to Lechlade (16 miles; 25.7km) 19. Lechlade to Cricklade (101?2 miles; 16.8km) 20. Cricklade to Source (121?4 miles; 19.7km)
Andy Walmsley was born in Preston, Lancashire on December 18th 1959. From an early age mountains always held a fascination for him, and early family holidays to mountainous areas of Europe and Britain began a deep affection for the wild places. Having been active in sports such as cycling, caving, and fellwalking for many years, Andy began his exploration of the Sierra Nevada in the 1980s whilst visiting relatives in Granada and this book is the result of all his explorations from that time until 2004. Despite a serious motorcycle accident in 1981, in which he lost his right arm, Andy remains an active mountain-goer. He took up the arduous sport of fellrunning in 1985 and still competes in mountain events all over the British Isles. In 1989 he set a record of 15 hours and 5 minutes for the traverse of all the Sierra Nevada's 3000m peaks - the 'Integral de Los Tres Mil' - which still stands today.