Saturday 30 August we set out on the 2nd section of the Kennet & Avon Canal walk from Sulhampstead to Thatcham, led by Heather and Richard Wilson.
After assembling at the school layby, we headed for the Thatcham Nature Discovery Centre where we met up with other members. Fifteen of us then, had a brisk ¾ mile walk up to the A4 were we caught the JetBlack bus to The Spring Inn at Sulhampstead.
We then headed down the road to join the canal at Tile Mill Lock (No.99). We had to pause at the Swing Bridge, whilst a barge went through, before joining the towpath.
After a couple of miles, we were all in need of a coffee break. As we were a large group, we rang ahead to warn Gary at the Aldermaston Warf Canal Centre Café of our pending arrival, when we arrived he and his staff dealt efficiently with our orders.
We then continued along the towpath, admiring canal life and the surrounding country side.
At Woolhampton, we had a lunch break sitting on the canal bank adjacent to the Rowbarge Inn.
Proceeding past Woolhampton Mill and Lock (No 94), we headed for Thatcham Station. Crossing the road, to continue along the last stretch of canal to Widmead Lock (No 89). Here we turned off to follow the path between fishing lakes, over the railway track to the Nature Discovery Centre.
At the Centre we sat outside to admire all the wildlife on the lake with a well-earned cuppa, before departing for home, thus completing a further 8 miles of the canal.
ORC will be planning additional dates over the next year, so keep a watch out for the date of the next stage to Kintbury Lock (No.78.) – may be this year.