It’s been a while since we last walked and we’d been looking forward to getting out again all week. If the weather let us down the walk itself had plenty to keep us interested. The Thames, river boats and posh houses mean we do little talking. Just past the railway bridge at Wargrave the path takes a bizarre turn. From the hand scrawled notices it’s clear the residents don’t like it but the footpath runs across the bottom of their beautifully manicured lawns, directly beside the River. We cross from garden to garden through gates with one of us feeling increasingly uncomfortable. None too soon the path emerges at Shiplake Lock.
A few hundred yards on and we stumble upon Shiplake College sixth form, out early for a morning row. Sue’s ‘posh prejudice’ is slightly assuaged when she discovers that Shiplake College is one of the few private schools to specialize in support for dyslexic learners…some people just can’t leave their work behind!
The weather remains overcast as we weave our way through Shiplake, Binfield Heath and Harpsden. We temporarily lose the footpath on the golf course at Harpsden but are quickly (and curtly) corrected by a buggie-bound, golfing pensioner…posh prejudice temporarily returns.
After skirting the edge of Henley-Upon-Thames, we return to the car along the Thames…and at last the sun comes out. It’s one of the pleasures of the Chiltern countryside that it can be enjoyed by posh and not alike! Nine miles in total and we’re home before the afternoon showers.
Shiplake picture gallery (more pictures on Flickr):
Distance: 9.4 miles ; Difficulty: Moderate
Postcode for Satnav: RG10 8EX