Water, water everywhere

This week we have been accompanied by water. Our first watery themed walk began by searching for the source of the River Avon, one site of this is supposed to be a well near Tetbury. Later the same day we found ourselves by the side of the disused Cotswold canal. We joined this canal by the Tunnel Inn which stands at one end of a two mile tunnel. When the tunnel was in use, the barges had to be ‘legged’ the two miles through the tunnel and someone had to lead the horse or donkey over the hill. Unsurprisingly it was thirsty work and there is a pub at either end of the tunnel.

Canal Tunnel Entrance
Canal Tunnel

Nearby is the site of the source of the river Thames. Needless to say, after the dry weather we have had it was completely empty of water, but later on when we re-joined the river at Castle Eaton there was a sizeable flow of water and a compassionate landlady at the pub who quenched out thirst even though the pub was closed.

Source of the Thames
Source of the Thames

The Thames path was our flat route and we watched water-craft of various shapes and sizes glide by. Andrew and Penny, a couple we met 3 times invited us aboard their barge for tea and we really enjoyed looking around it. In Oxford there is a short walk through the northern suburbs to meet the Oxford canal which we followed north to Banbury. The 25 miles of this canal was greatly increased in interest for us by the large number of barges on it. Each barge seemed different from its neighbours. Some gaily decorated, many with roof gardens and some with all kinds of extras strapped on. Wildlife has also been full of interest with many ducklings, goslings and signets, dragonflies, mayflies and damsel flies; not to mention a wonderful display of wild flowers.

Damsel fly on my hand
Damsel fly on my hand

Week 6 Statistics

Scrabble: Nancy 1 John 1

Trig Points 0

Kissing Gates 11

En route donations £40

Chinese takeaway 2

River or canal locks 24


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