Geo-Trips :: The Cotswold Canals Walk, leg 1

The Cotswold Canals Walk

A walk from Kemble, Thu, 20 Apr 2017 by David Purchase

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Between 2012 and 2017 a group of four walkers completed the Thames Path from the Barrier to the source, in 22 legs. Why that way? Well, although uphill, a climb of 120m spread over that many days is not exactly arduous. I, for one, preferred a country to a city ending. And as we all came from the Bristol area, walking towards home was psychologically more satisfying.

When we reached the source (completely dry, as usual) we decided to extend the walk to include the Thames & Severn Canal walk (aka The Cotswold Canals Walk), which was fairly local for us. For me this had the advantage that I could complete my third continuous chain of squares 'from sea to shining sea', or more prosaically from tidal water in the North Sea to tidal water in the west. The others were Hadrian's Wall (another Geo-trip of mine) and a long chain from Aberystwyth to Lowestoft (completed over many years and not lending itself to a Geo-trip).

The Cotswold Canals Walk runs from Lechlade to the River Severn at Upper Framilode. It is 66 km long, most of which follows the route of the old Thames and Severn Canal, though the final stretch was known as the Stroudwater. However we had already walked from Lechlade to Thames Head on the Thames Path, and chose not to repeat that, even by a slightly different route. Instead we walked about 35 km from Kemble to the Severn, in 3 legs. For various reasons I was unable to photograph every square in the chain when we did the walk, but this was local country and it was easy to revisit and fill in the gaps. But the Geo-trip rules do not allow for those photos to be included!

The first leg, 14 km, took us from Kemble to Chalford. It was, of course, not possible to walk through the Sapperton Tunnel (nearly 4 km long), but the route follows the line of the tunnel fairly closely using part of the Macmillan Way. Because of this, for once in all the 25 legs of this trip we had a noticeable climb - about 100m!

Click the blue circles to see a photograph taken from that spot and read further information about the location. The blue lines indicate the direction of view. There is also a slideshow of this trip. ( )

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SO9403 : Dorvel Wood by David Purchase
Dorvel Wood
Seen from the path between Sapperton and Daneway, across the Frome valley.

SO9303 : This was the Thames and Severn Canal by David Purchase
This was the Thames and Severn Canal

SO9302 : The River Frome by David Purchase
The River Frome
Looking downstream in old woodland.

SO9203 : By the (disused) Thames and Severn Canal by David Purchase
By the (disused) Thames and Severn Canal
Looking towards Stroud and the River Severn.

SO9202 : The bed of the former Thames and Severn Canal by David Purchase
The bed of the former Thames and Severn Canal
We were walking west on the south bank, and at this point just carried on doing... more

SO9102 : Walking beside the Thames & Severn Canal by David Purchase
Walking beside the Thames & Severn Canal
I need hardly add that the canal has long been disused !

SO9002 : Across the (disused) Thames & Severn Canal by David Purchase
Across the (disused) Thames & Severn Canal
Seen walking west, towards Stroud and the Severn.

SO8902 : Walking east beside the (disused) Thames and Severn Canal by David Purchase
Walking east beside the (disused) Thames and Severn Canal
The bridge ahead gives private access to properties to the south.

All images © David Purchase and available under a Creative Commons licence external link.

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