Thames Path (the dry bits) – Day 10

Day 10 – May 3 Abingdon to Oxford
Weather: Cloudy and cool B&B: Abbey Guest House
Departed: 12:45 Arrived: 15:00 Distance Today: 7 mi / 11.25 km
Total Distance: 124.9 mi / 201 km Pint of the Day: Morland Bitter

I had breakfast this morning with a group of Italians who were attempting to walk part of the Thames Path but in the opposite direction. I spoke to their leader who told me that the path was walkable from Sandford Lock to Oxford but not between Sandford Lock and Abingdon.

Before I could head out on the trail I had an appointment with a dentist in the town. He fit a temporary cap and shaped it such that it should stay in place until I get home. It’s taken a few hours to get used to my new bite but later in the day the tooth did stand up to the rigours of my ‘Pint of the Day’ research. Patched up (again) I was now ready to tackle another leg of my journey up the Thames.

From my b&b in northern Abingdon I weaved my way through the suburbs in the general direction of Radley. I followed a cycle path for a short distance before reaching Whites Lane which would take me through the village and into the countryside that separates Radley from Kennington. Before reaching the latter I veered off over a field and under the railway tracks towards Sanford Lock. The road to the lock was completely flooded (see the first photo) but the raised walkway posed no problems.

I was hoping the information I received at breakfast was still accurate and indeed it was. There was lots of mud about and in places the river was very near the edge of the bank, but for the most part it was the best walking conditions I’ve experienced for several days.

I’ve been to Oxford on a couple of previous visits but I still spent an hour or two wandering around the streets. It was however ridiculously cool for the 3rd of May and many people were sporting Woolly hats and gloves. I stopped into the tourist information centre in the hopes that I could get some idea of what the river was like upstream but all they could tell me was that it was so high that all tour boats have stopped running.

I’ve pieced together an alternate route for tomorrow and hopefully it will work out as planned. The weather appears to be improving over the next few days so hopefully things are looking up.

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