Henley-on-Thames to Tilehurst along the Thames Path.


Another of our long walks along the River thames this time starting in Henley-on-Thames and finishing in the Town of Tilehurst a total distance of about 12.5 miles.

Mapping (sorry cant get it to Embed with WordPress)


Once at Tilehurst Station you will find the River Thames just over the Barrier however you cannot get down from the Station platform, just head onto the road and head North west along Oxford Road until you find the Roebuck Hotel and the bridge leading down to the path. You will pass some great real estate along the banks of the thames as you approach the City of reading, as soon you will find yourself at Redgrave Pinsent Rowing lake names after he Olympic rowers Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent. The lake and its boathouse are specifically designed for training use, and provide training, medical, and scientific facities for the GB rowing squad, and for Oxford University in preparation for the Boat Race.

You will find many locks along the path including Sonning lock and Caversham Lock. You will also see along the route Caversham bridge that opened in 1926. 

A great but long walk this one but the ground is flat and easy with loads to see on route. Watch out because after rain some of the path can become a bit boggy under foot so take good walking boots. There are plenty of pubs along the route if you fancy a beer whilst out.

Transport Links:

We first made our way to Henley on Thames train station operated by Great Western Train services. The Car park has plenty of spaces so we parked here easily and on a Saturday it will cost you £5 for all day. To get toTilehurst just take the train to Twyford then change to Tilehurst it cost about £13 for 2 single tickets and took about 35mins in total.



Bury St Edmunds

The second part of the days trip took us to Bury St Edmonds in East Suffolk. The town sprung up around 1080 and was known for Brewing and Malting, The green king brewery is still in the Town as well as the Silver Spoon sugar works. Parking was easy with loads of long stay car parks and only cost a couple of Pound.

The highlight of the tour was walking around the ruins of the old Abbey , it was the Burial place of the king St Edmund who was killed by the Vikings in 869. Must say its an impressive town with some nice bars and restaurants if you are staying overnight.

History from Wikipedia

Bury St Edmunds (Beodericsworth, Bedrichesworth, St Edmund’s Bury), supposed by some[who?] to have been the Villa Faustina of the Romans, was one of the royal towns of the Saxons.[citation needed] Sigebert, king of the East Angles, founded a monastery here about 633, which in 903 became the burial place of King Edmund, who was slain by the Danes in 869, and owed most of its early celebrity to the reputed miracles performed at the shrine of the martyr king. The town grew around Bury St Edmunds Abbey, a site of pilgrimage. By 925 the fame of St Edmund had spread far and wide, and the name of the town was changed to St Edmund’s Bury.


with a Friday off work and some decent January weather at last we decided to go for a drive into Suffolk to the village of Lavenham. Its a long drive from South Northants but worth the visit. The village is noted for its 15th Century timbered medieval cottages and luckily on the day we visited it was not to busy. There are a large number of gift shops to take your cash and some nice pubs also dotted around the village. The villages wealth come mainly from the Wool trade and it was in the 20 most wealthiest settlements in england you will note the huge church of St Peter & St Paul thats stands in the village it is known as a wool church financed by wealthy wool merchants . The decline of the village come from immigrants coming from Holland producing cloth much cheaper than they could produce.

The Guild Hall.

This grand old house now belonging to the National Trust sits in the heart of the village. This late 15th century Guildhall has a checkered history , it was built in the late 15th Century. Four guilds were setup in the village by local merchants with the main one being the Wool Guild the building become the main and most important property in the village. After the decline of the wool trade it become a Bridewell where the prisoners were treated very poorly and forced into hard labour whilst there. They explained a story how a young girl of Eleven was finally transported to Australia for Petty crimes., After that it become the local Workhouse.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral.

We booked this trip way back in July because we wished to visit the Christmas markets and also have a look at the Cathedral. At the time of visiting there were large building and conservation works going on around the perimeter and also inside the cathedral itself, however this did not spoil the visit to the cathedral . Gloucester cathedral is the burial place of Edward II and you will find his tomb inside also other large and elegant tombs can be found inside.

From Wikipedia.

The cathedral, built as the abbey church, consists of a Norman nucleus (Walter de Lacy is buried there), with additions in every style of Gothic architecture. It is 420 feet (130 m) long, and 144 feet (44 m) wide, with a fine central tower of the 15th century rising to the height of 225 ft (69 m) and topped by four delicate pinnacles, a famous landmark. he nave is massive Norman with an Early English roof; the crypt, under the choir, aisles and chapels, is Norman, as is the chapter house. The crypt is one of the four apsidal cathedral crypts in England, the others being at Worcester, Winchester and Canterbury.


Eskdale railway from boot to ravenglass the ratty

We have visited the Eskdale railway several times and it brings good memories of time spent with Harry & Doreen. It lies in the village of Dalegarth and terminates at Ravenglass on the coast with the line running near 7 miles. Its about £13 .90 for a return ticket and £3.50 to park the car for the day. Watch what time you take your train as the steam engine does not run every time you may get a diesel, check the website carefully. In great weather the journey provides some great views and you will see the Scafell range near to Waswater. I have copied the following from Wikipedia but please visit it if you are in Cumbria it makes for a good day out and little kids will love it.

Eskdale Railway Link.

More info on Wikipedia

The Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway is a 15 in (381 mm) minimum gauge heritage railway in Cumbria, England. The 7 miles (11.3 km) line runs from Ravenglass to Dalegarth Station near Boot in the valley of Eskdale, in the Lake District. At Ravenglass the line ends at Ravenglass railway station on the Cumbrian Coast Line. Intermediate stations and halts are at Muncaster Mill, Miteside, Murthwaite, Irton Road, The Green, Fisherground and Beckfoot. The railway is owned by a private company and supported by a preservation society. The oldest locomotive is River Irt, parts of which date from 1894, while the newest is the diesel-hydraulic Douglas Ferreira, built in 2005. The line is known locally as La’al Ratty and its 3 ft (914 mm) gauge predecessor as Owd Ratty.[1][2]

Nearby attractions include: the Roman Bath House at Ravenglass; the Hardknott Roman Fort, known to the Romans as Mediobogdum, at the foot of Hardknott Pass; the watermills at Boot and Muncaster; and Muncaster Castle, the home of the Pennington family since 1208

Quarry bank mill a national trust place

Without a doubt the best national trust property we have visited. I have wanted to visit this mill for a number of years, and with a nice drive up to Cumbria for a trail race it made a good idea to stop off. On the way to Quarry bank we drove through Jodrel Bank home to the famous radio telescope and I noticed it had a visitor centre so we will have to have a look there in the years to come. Quarry bank is an old mill that was famous for the cloth and textiles it made and played a big part in the industrial revolution.

From Wikipedia

Samuel Greg leased land at Quarrell Hole on Pownall Fee from Lord Stamford, who imposed a condition that ‘none of the surrounding trees should be pruned, felled or lopped´; maintaining the woodland character of the area. The factory was built in 1784 by Greg[4] to spin cotton. When Greg retired in 1832 it was the largest such business in the United Kingdom. The water-powered Georgian mill still produces cotton calico. The Gregs were careful and pragmatic, paternalistic millowners, and the mill was expanded and changed throughout its history. When Greg’s son, Robert Hyde Greg, took over the business, he introduced weaving. Samuel Greg died in 1834.

The Mill was attacked during the Plug Plot riots on 10 August 1842.[5]

The mill’s iron water wheel, the fourth to be installed, was designed by Thomas Hewes and built between 1816 and 1820. Overhead shafts above the machines were attached to the water wheel by a belt. When the wheel turned, the motion moved the belt and powered the machinery. A beam engine and a horizontal steam engine were subsequently installed to supplement the power. The Hewes wheel broke in 1904 but the River Bollin continued to power the mill through two water turbines. The mill owners bought a Boulton and Watt steam engine in 1810 and a few years later purchased another because the river’s water level was low in summer and could interrupt production of cloth during some years. Steam engines could produce power all year round. Today the mill houses the most powerful working waterwheel in Europe, an iron wheel moved from Glasshouses Mill at Pateley Bridge designed by Sir William Fairbairn who had been Hewes’ apprentice.



Milton Keynes museum formerly Stacey Hill

40’s weekend

Another trip to the excellent Milton Keynes museum at Stacey bushes and this time it had a 40’s weekend. Due to parking limitations we had to park at Wolverton health centre however they did ferry us to the venue on a 1930,s bus. Once inside the museum there were loads of displays from old ww2 home guard tents, old cars from the 40,s and some old motorcycles. The best display was a working spitfire that you could sit in the cockpit for

£10 a throw, every so often he started the merlin engine up and the sound was incredible. I Will definitely visit this again as it made a good afternoon out.