The route starts at Caversham Bridge in Reading and follows the Thames upstream west and northwards to just before Wallingford, then eastwards on the Ridgeway until Nuffield before heading south through woodland and across fields back towards the Thames and the start.
It is designed so that it can be shortened by reducing the circuit, or by cutting it short and picking up a bus which travels regularly along the diagonal red road the A4074 back to Reading.
|Dawn mists over the Thames|
|Not sheep on the hill! (click to enlarge)|
|on the Chalk cliffs between Whitchurch and Goring|
|Just before Goring the path is joined by Great Western Trains|
The path finally reaches the river just before Goring and at the same time as the busy west bound railway line arrives over a brick bridge. With trains every 5 or 10 minutes their noise is a constant companion for the next hour or two until a much more impressive brick bridge takes the line back to the south.
|Look closely - this is a wreck!|
|A more modest wreck!|
|Plots sandwiched between the railway and the river|
|Rail bridge at South Stoke by Brunel 1834|
|The church at North Stoke|
|Running on Grim's Dyke|
|Upper Grim's Dyke|
South of Nuffield and Nettlebed the countryside is served by a great network of paths to navigate back towards Reading and the Thames. The prosperous Oxfordshire countryside is populated with a mixture of the old and the new - mostly well maintained properties - not all are financed by their association with the land. The attractive 17/18th century English Farmhouse is a case in point with neat stacks of cut timber for burning and surrounded by mown grass fields and many outbuildings. In one of these I found a Dave of Cobalt Blacksmiths firing up his forge while his friendly labrador sat out in the weak afternoon sunshine looking for passing walkers. There was not a horse-shoe in sight - it seems that jobs mostly come from restoration work, supplemented by domestic and artistic commissions.
|An exciting home in the woodland near Nuffield|
|Path at Cane End|
|Mists over the orchards of Cross Lanes Farm|