Cotswolds mini weekend 18-19 August: the real River Thames?

Updates on planned weekends and discuss travel/accomodation arrangements for Weekends Away.

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Cotswolds mini weekend 18-19 August: the real River Thames?

Postby Tom Fellows » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:58 pm

Back by (despite?) popular demand...I have been persuaded to return to the headwaters of the Thames in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. This time, the plan is to use the slightly more manageable format of a “mini weekend away” - Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 August. So, no leave required for most, but this is "point-to-point" in the sense of needing to carry overnight/Sunday stuff when walking on Saturday.

The plan is to follow the River Churn - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River_Churn . Basic outline as follows:

Saturday 18 August:
Depart Paddington 0845 (time subject to change - see below)
Train to Swindon, followed by bus to Cricklade (where the Churn flows into the named channel of the Thames)
Walk 14 miles upstream, pub stop en route (drinks only so bring packed lunch)
Pass through Cirencester to end the day in the village of North Cerney (pub available there, it does do accommodation but availability already looks to be limited/nil)
20-minute bus back to Cirencester (runs hourly until after 7pm) for further pub (!) and wider range of accommodation options - Premier Inn, Travelodge, B&Bs, hostels

Sunday 19 August:
Morning bus available back to North Cerney for those staying in Cirencester
16-mile walk, pub stop en route (drinks only so bring packed lunch), taking in the source of the Churn at Seven Springs, as well as the even smaller tributary that is the remotest (and so arguably "true") source of the Thames
Cross the watershed for commanding views across the Severn valley and the descent to the finishing pub and Cheltenham Spa station
Estimated arrival time 6:30pm, although when booking trains some margin for error (or for well-earned dinner/drinks if all goes to plan) is of course advisable

Walking over two days means it is possible to keep to a moderate pace and stay close to the river bank, so the climbing will not generally be that steep. We will still, though, be amongst the Cotswolds' green hills, and villages built from honey-coloured stone, often in a more dramatic, deeper valley than that of the named Thames.

More details and exact times to follow. Advance train tickets are recommended (once on sale) as this is outside the Network Card area. The usual 12-week advance window may (or may not) fall to 6 weeks because of national timetabling issues. This is a popular tourist area, so it might make sense to book accommodation sooner than that. The weekend will go ahead even if there are unexpected travel changes.

Please email tom_fellows42@hotmail.com to sign up. I am happy to put people looking for room-shares into contact with each other. It is also possible to do either day as a day walk, although that will require researching your own transport and a very long day.

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1520382

http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/976826
Tom Fellows
 
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Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2009 8:10 pm

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