Beverley Hansford: Walking the wrong way?

Thanks to old friend and Thames expert Dieter Jebens I have been enjoying a new book about the Thames Path.

Novelist Beverley Hansford has written an account of walking the Thames Path end to end. The name is a pseudonym which is confusing because the author, real name Gordon, walked with his wife Joanna who gets an occasional mention.

They walk downstream and constantly express amazement at how many walkers are going the other way.

I have always thought that the Thames was so famous that it is best to walk from London, which we all know, to find out where the river comes from.

But it is interesting to read Gordon’s reaction to places and their experiences of doing the walk in stages using public transport to and from home each time -no overnight stays.

In London he chooses, rightly in my view, the south bank as the better route. The north side alternative was a last minute idea of the Countryside Commission. The south side, or right bank, has fewer roads with heavy traffic and of course the towpath west of Putney. He agrees that it is rural route well into the capital.

Beverley Hansford’s Thames book is With Rucksack and Bus Pass.

The novel, which I have yet to read, is called Julie.


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