A new walking venture for ORC – in addition to the normal walk schedule, the Club is planning additional dates over the next year or so to walk the 100 miles of the Kennet & Avon Canal.
Saturday 7th June was the first section of the walk from Reading to Sulhampstead, led by Heather and Richard Wilson.
Setting out from the school layby in heavy rain, we drove to The Spring Inn, Sulhampstead (on the A4), where we met up with other members. Undeterred by the rain, the 10 of us then caught the JetBlack bus into Reading. We paused for a short coffee stop in the Broad Street Mall and on emerging into bright sunshine, we put our waterproofs away, and made for the River Kennet Navigation by the Oracle Shopping Centre.
We then headed along the towpath, green and pleasant with no signs of the commercial enterprises as we passed Rose Kiln Lane towards Green Park, then under the A33 to open country. At Fobney Lock (No.105), we stopped for a picnic lunch break – by this time it was getting hot, so some members went into shorts for the rest of the day.
As we walked, we enjoyed watching the wild life along the navigation and in the adjacent water meadows and lakes. We then stopped again at The Cunning Man by Burghfield Bridge for a relaxing drink in their garden.
Continuing on our way, we walked under the M4 past Theale Lake where dinghy sailors were also enjoying the sun. Finally, reaching Tyle Mill Lock (No. 99) and Swing Bridge, we turned up the road towards the A4 and The Spring Inn, before heading home.
Everybody thoroughly enjoyed the day and felt that during the walk we had gradually adapted to the relaxed pace and way of life on the canal …….can’t wait to do the next section.
Keep a watch out for the date of the next stage, probably sometime in August.