Lechlade to Newbridge - June 2nd 2021
Halfpenny Bridge Lechlade to Newbridge is 16½ miles and the longest section I would undertake. Having stayed at the Swindon Premier Inn for the last 2 nights, I drove from there to Lechlade and parked at the Riverside car park. The walks of the last 2 days had been memorable for buttercups. Today would be memorable for even more buttercups, cygnets, cows, pillboxes and bends in the river!
I set off from Halfpenny Bridge at about 8:15 on another warm and sunny day. However, the fine weather was forecast to break down later in the day as is typical of our weather. I hoped I’d reach Newbridge before the heavens opened. I reached Tadpole Bridge by about 13:15, which was very slow progress but there had been so much beautiful scenery to take in and photograph. I was looking forward to having lunch at The Trout but I’d not taken into account that this was half-term week and I was advised I’d be waiting for at least an hour before they could feed me. Unwilling to wait this long I consoled myself with a pint and a packet of crisps in their beer garden overlooking the river.
After ‘lunch’, I set off for Newbridge. It was becoming more and more humid and eventually the rain came down. Whilst I had a lightweight, showerproof jacket with me, it wasn’t enough to stop me getting soaked. As I reached Newbridge about 16:00 the rain stopped. I now had an hour and a bit to kill before my bus arrived. I thought I’d pop into The Rose Revived for an early evening meal and a chance to dry off. Sadly, I was again told that I’d be waiting for at least an hour. With the 17:15 bus being the last of the day, I crossed the bridge and tried at The Maybush. This time, they had a table and there would be no long wait for food. My meal was possibly the most tasteless I’ve ever had in a pub but at least it was warm.
To get back to my car at Lechlade, I caught the bus to Kingston Bagpuize, another one to Farringdon and finally a cab to the car park. As with my Thames Path walks in 2020, this would be the only time I’d need a cab - £15 well spent! Once back at my car I drove back to my home in Northamptonshire.
The ‘big 3’ walks were now complete. I’d completed 40 miles of the Thames Path and the remaining sections could now be completed as day trips from my home.