Journey to the source of the Thames

Extremely dedicated readers of my blogging efforts, in their various guises, will know about my long held desire to walk the entire length of the River Thames. All 184 miles of the Thames Path National Trail. I have a bit of an emotional attachment to the Thames. From my birthplace to where we currently live, it seems to be rather omnipresent. And I find it rather romantic. The Thames is a city shaper, a town builder, a tidal port and a babbling brook. And I want to see it all. However, my efforts to do this have been thwarted by various natural acts, namely, flooding and, err, pregnancy. So rather than attempting to walk it all in one go, I’ve resolved to take a slightly more piecemeal approach to conquering Thames.

Thankfully the Aussie is a man that fully understands, or at least patiently tolerates, my rambling flights of fancy. Recently he sprung upon me a surprise trip to Gloucestershire and the three of us (myself, the Aussie and the Tiny Overlord) headed off to the depths of the Cotswolds in search of start of my favourite river.

All of a sudden our local train station has got rather glitzy. What would Brunel think?

The only way to travel*

*This is about the second time I have travelled first class in my life. My one word verdict? Roomy.

It never ceases to amaze me how many different landscapes a river can travel through. This rather ditchy stream is the Thames!

The sign that marks the source. And now marks a rather special occasion in our little family’s life.


This is the rather weird and wonderful abandoned Thames and Severn Canal. Which once, as the name suggests, linked the upper River Severn to the upper reaches of the River Thames. I assume it was abandoned after Mr Brunel’s railway, above, was opened.


This is the entry to the 2 mile long Sapperton Tunnel, that lead the canal through the hills of the Cotswolds.


And if you are ever in the area we heartily recommend the lovely Tunnel House Inn, close to the entry to the Sapperton Tunnel. Good food, cosy fires, fine beers. Everything you would want from a country pub.

So that was the start of the Thames. And in a rather romantic way, the start of the Thames now also marks the start of something special for us now too. As the Aussie asked me to marry him there. Of course, I said yes.