Thames Path – Shiplake to Tilehurst

Walking the Thames Path from Shiplake near Henley to Tilehurst near Reading.

A nice simple start today; step off the train at Shiplake station on the Henley branch line and you are on the Thames Path.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

For some reason the Thames Path runs inland, rather than on the river bank, although the map suggests a riverside footpath exists.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Leaving the road, the path heads through a field to a lock with a slightly remote feeling. Boats were pasing through, with the topic of conversation being someone who has apparently been banned from taking his boat through a bridge after hitting it too many times.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

The next few miles are a pleasent riverside walk, with boats to the left, fields to the right and red kites overhead.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

The Thames Path passes through the riverside grounds of a school.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

There was a surprising number of boats moored along this section of the river. And someone was playing the guitar on the opposite bank.
Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

The attractive but traffic-clogged and suprisingly hard to photograph bridge at Sonning.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

The pretty-and-they-know-it-is Grade II* listed timber-framed Bull Inn seems to be a compulsory stop when walking through Sonning. The church next door was open too.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Another busy lock, where someone asked me if I had seen her dog which had run on ahead of her.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Troll Bridge had a disappointing lack of Scandianvian creatures bothering goats or winding up people up on the internet.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

A floating party on inflatables out on the river.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

The town of Reading seems to avoid the River Thames.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Next come the bridges between Reading and Caversham. First is the imaginatively named Reading Bridge of 1923.
Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Next is Christchurch Bridge, opened in 2015.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

And finally Caversham Bridge, opened in 1926 on the site an ancient bridge.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

The path runs along Reading’s Thames Promenade, which was being used for a canoe competition.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

Back into the countryside again, before the path runs along a narrow space between the river and the elevated route of the adjacent railway.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

A footbridge leads over the railway, for a double-back to Tilehurst station and the end of today’s walk.

Thames Path - Shiplake to Tilehurst

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