Inglesham: Path switched from road to riverside

There is good news for anyone setting out on the Thames Path this half term week.

When you reach Inglesham in Wiltshire you will not have to call a taxi to avoid a dangerous road walk. You can now follow the river.

Until this autumn the way upstream from Inglesham Church involved a detour of almost two miles which included a mile long walk on a main road to Upper Inglesham.

This road had become increasingly busy since the Thames path opened 20 years ago.

In quieter times the Thames Path passing through Upper Inglesham at least had the advantage of being handy for a now closed YHA hostel.

Isolated Inglesham Church, just outside Lechlade, is delightful and unspoilt thanks to William Morris who stopped unnecessary restoration.

So on reaching the lane at Inglesham many walkers go right for a short distance to look inside.

Turning right will now be normal. No need to go left for the main road.

On leaving the church go down the churchyard steps to cross the quiet lane and take a wide mature grass path opposite.

After a stream/ditch go right to the river and turn upstream.

New signage and gates help to make the way easy to understand.

The new route turns inland along the Bydemill Brook to join the existing line from the end of the long path out of Upper Ingelsham.

This is the point where the path fords the brook.

The new Inglesham riverside path avoiding the main road was discussed 35 years ago and backed by the Ramblers’ Association thirty years ago.

This is a major and very welcome improvement to the Thames Path.

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