This blog is all about walking long trails and pathways and keeping a photographic record of them as I go.
Sunday, August 18, 2013
Day10:Henley-on-Thames to Tilehurst (Section 2)
Sonning Bridge to Tilehurst
This is Sonning lock. There are 45 locks on the river each with one or more adjacent weir. In the Middle Ages, water was often diverted from the river, by the construction of weirs, to drive the watermills which were necessary for the production of flow. To prevent the weirs becoming an obstacle to boats, locks were built alongside them.enabling boats to be moved between the levels. Nowadays weirs are used to maintain water levels so boats can pass through the adjacent lock, control land drainage and ensure that water is available for public consumption.
In the garden of the lockeeper's house is a little cafe serving home made cakes and tea. A very pleasant place to sit down and enjoy the refreshments.
Across the river I can see the sails and masts of the boats making use of the flooded gravel pits there.
Another cycle route marker between Reading and Sonning.
The old horseshoe bridge takes you across the spot where the Kennet canal meets the Thames.
Quite a gathering place for the swans.
In the distance the town of Reading is coming into view
You now begin to see housing developments on the opposite bank whilst on the this side, there is King's Meadows. The usual signs of urban life begin to make an appearance. The grafitti on the benches, overflowing rubbish bins and beer cans thrown carelessly onto the grass.
I found this stretch of the river the least interesting so far and was hoping it wouldn't take me too long before I reached my destination for the day at Tilehurst.
Caversham Lock leads on to a narrow part of the river with housing on both sides.
In 1926 this new Caversham bridge was built
I can only assume the sign was referring to this pontoon as the Swan sanctuary.
At this point I had to leave the river to walk about a mile and a half to get to the railway station to return home. I hadn't anticipated having to walk so far from the river but engineering works meant that the closest path to the railway line was closed. It wasn't a particularly attractive walk that took me to Tilehurst station.