Spring Walk - Thames Path at Lechlade

Old Town Partnership of Churches

(print out this itinerary)

Walk - Thames Path at Lechlade – Saturday 7th May 2011

 The start and finish point of the walk is Lechlade Market Square, St Lawrence Church.  Transport by bus – see below.
Please bring a light packed lunch, and waterproofs in case of rain.  Flat grassy paths, trainers fine. 
Long option – 8 miles.  Two churches and two pubs.
Short Option - 4 ½ miles.  Two churches and one pub.
Picnic option - Buscot by car and picnic at St Mary’s Buscot  (1 mile total).

Bus (preferred option).  Meet at Swindon Bus Station, at 10.30 a.m., in good time to catch the 10.45 bus to Lechlade.  Service 64 (Saturday) operated by RH Transport.

Swindon (Bus Station) dep

Lechlade (Market Place) arr.

Lechlade (Market Place) dep.

Swindon (Bus Station) arr

Fares -  £2.50 single, £4.20 return, (discount  - 12 tickets for the price of 10, from the driver).

By Car - Park at Riverside Park, off the west side of the A361 about ¼ mile south of Lechlade.  There are toilets at Riverside Park.   (Map reference SU 212992, OS Landranger 163, Cheltenham and Cirencester area).  Riverside Park is approximately 25 minutes by car from Christ Church (via Highworth).   Meet the rest of the party at St Lawrence’s at 11.10 (if the bus is on time).  Half mile walk. 

11.10 - Visit St Lawrence, Lechlade (off Market Square).  Simon Jenkins’ book states, “Lechlade is a cadet branch of the ‘woolgothic’ aristocracy, and the most self-effacing.”  Jenkins states “The church inspired a verse by Shelley in 1815.  The poet saw the church as dusk fell on a summer’s evening,

‘Clothing in hues of Heaven thy dim and distant spire,
Around whose lessening and invisible height
Gather among the stars the clouds of night.’ “

11.30 walk for ¾ of a mile from St Lawrence to The Trout at St John’s BridgeThe Trout’s website advertises a “Traditional Fete” on this day, starting at 12.00 noon.  We plan to stop for 30 minutes at the pub.  Real ales, including Sharpe’s Doom Bar.

12.30 Leave The Trout and walk for 1 mile to Buscot Lock, cross the lock gates to the south side of the Thames, continue for about 200 yards, and stop at the National Trust meadow at Buscot Lock (SU 231979).

13.00   Picnic lunch, National Trust meadow, Buscot Lock .

Picnic option - There is a National Trust car park at Buscot (SU 232977) and toilets and a tea place.  An option is for drivers to join the picnic at 1.00 p.m.  The picnic location is 500 yards from the car park.

13.30 Walk to St Mary’s Buscot.  600 yards from picnic spot.  The church contains a Burne-Jones stained glass window.   (Chancel arch of c. 1200, Pevsner).   It is planned that St Mary’s will be open for us.

14.00  Either - continue the walk for a further 2 miles east along the Thames as far as The Plough at Kelmscott, for a brief refreshment stop and then return all the way to Lechlade to catch the 17.08 bus back to Swindon,

Or – short option - return from Buscot to Lechlade, via The Trout.

 The walk passes through corners of Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, and Oxfordshire (the Oxfordshire corner was Berkshire before the boundary changes), and – I need to check this - two, possibly three dioceses.

Next walk - provisionally:
Old Town Parish – Beating the Bounds – walk around the boundary of the parish.  Anticlockwise this year.  Sunday 12 June 2011 (Pentecost).

Organisers (please contact for further information)
Daniel Pitt       mobile 07989 493850
Caroline Pitt   mobile 07749 084880
                         home   01793  521732

Risk Assessment  completed – risks all acceptable.

Simon Jenkins – England’s Thousand Best Churches.  Allen Lane The Penguin Press. 1999. 
Nikolaus Pevsner - The Buildings of EnglandBerkshire.  Penguin Books.  1966.

Christ Church Winter Walk - Sunday 22nd November

"Ashdown House's remote downland setting stirs the soul as much as the chalk-white perfection of its architecture". So says Candida Lycett Green, John Betjeman's daughter (Times, Sept 26). A ramble around the Ridgeway, passing Ashdown House, is planned for Sunday 22 November. Convene at the car park on the Ridgeway 3/4 mile SE of Ashbury (SU 274844) at 2.00 p.m.[Map] This is the start and finish point of a 4.5 mile circular walk which also visits Alfred's Castle, an Iron Age fort. A shorter (2 mile) out-and-back option is available.

The walks are high up on the Lambourn Downs and there is little ascent or descent. Trainers or walking boots, and suitable warm and spare clothing, are advised. Some of the way is along the Ridgeway and some along tracks off the main Ridgeway. It is planned to return to the car park (and start point) by 4.30 p.m. All are welcome, and transport can be arranged.

For further details, please contact Daniel Pitt, 39 Okus Road, Swindon, Wilts. SN1 4LE Home Tel:521732,Mobile:07989 493850 email

Beating the Bounds – Sunday 9 May 2010

This will be the 12th year of Beating the Bounds.

The “full monty” is planned  -  i.e. to walk the full perimeter of the Parish - and Partnership – boundary.  This walk offers a fascinating range of urban and rural landscapes.

[Download a map of the route]

It is traditional to walk, or beat, the boundary of the parish on Rogation Sunday.  Originally,  this was probably the way  of checking the boundary of the parish before good maps were available.  The boundary stones would be “beaten”, ie hit with a stick , to check that they were still in their correct positions. 


11.30 a.m - Depart Christ Church
11.45 a.m - Depart from outside Bath Road Methodist Church
1.00 p.m - Depart from Upham Rd / Queens Drive
1.30 p.m - Arrive Coate Water (for picnic lunch in the shelter next to the lake).
2.00 p.m - Depart from Coate Water
3.30 p.m - Arrive at The Check Inn at North Wroughton (we have booked the function room)
4.00 pm - Depart Check Inn
5.00 p.m - Walk finishes with a tea party at St Mary’s (Commonweal Rd)
6.30 p.m - Healing Service at St Mary’s

The total distance Christ Church to St Mary’s is approximately 10 miles -  5 miles if joining at Coate Water.  Please bring a packed lunch.  The walk is mostly flat, but there is a 50 metre climb up from Wroughton to Old Town.  It can be muddy underfoot if it has been raining before the walk (which it has done in two previous years).  Please bring waterproof clothing and spare layers.

Daniel Pitt mobile:  07989 493850
Caroline Pitt mobile – 07749 084880

Winter Ridgeway Ramble - 14th November

Out-and-back walk to Uffington Castle and White Horse Hill via Waylands Smithy (five miles total). Shorter option available. Wear trainers or walking boots, and suitable warm clothing for the high downs. Return to car park by 4.30 p.m. All are welcome.

Transport can be arranged on the basis of car sharing. Daniel Pitt, Tel: 521732, Mobile: 07989 493850 Ashbury - Sunday 14th November 2010 (Remembrance Sunday). Start 2.00 p.m. at the car park on the Ridgeway (SU 274844) 3/4 mile SE of Ashbury.


Easter Eve All day walk - Swindon > Marlborough

Saturday 3rd April, 10am – 4pm

This is an all day event and a moderate level of fitness is needed, a slow pace is planned. Bring a packed lunch and water and warm clothes. (Please note that the toilets at Barbury may be shut.) Bacon butties 8 - 9 a.m. Christ Church Leisure Centre (now called Church Centre) or meet at bus stop, Victoria Road, outside Prospect Shop, to catch 10.15 a.m. Marlborough bus (service No. 70).

Please be a few minutes early. Alight from bus at Draycot Foliat/Draycot Close (B road, about 1 mile south of Chiseldon). Leave Draycot Foliat at about 10.35, 3 miles to Barbury Castle, arrive about 12.20, picnic lunch, leave Barbury car park at 12.45. Option to join the walk at Barbury car park, please contact organiser. Approx 7 miles from Barbury car park to Marlborough via Four Mile Clump and Wessex Ridgeway. Arrive Marlborough about 4.00 p.m.

Buses leave Marlborough High St. for Swindon at 16.15, 16.55, 19.03 and 20.30. All welcome. Come and hear the skylarks. Please let Daniel or Caroline Pitt know if you would like to join for butties and/or for the early supper in Marlborough at 6.00 p.m. (20.30 bus back to Swindon, arrive 21.04). Tel: 521732

Canal Walk to Devizes

We all had a lovely walk over the green hills above All Cannings dropping down to the Kennet and Avon Canal and then on into Devizes.

Parish Ramble - Saturday 5th September 2009

Avebury - Devizes.

The next parish ramble is on Saturday 5 September, an all day walk from Avebury to Devizes. We meet at the bus stop outside the Prospect shop in Old Town at 10 am to catch the Trowbridge bus at 10.14. The walk leaves from the Beckhampton roundabout at about 10.45am, 5 miles over the hills to All Cannings, arriving at the Kennet and Avon canal about 1pm, and then 6 miles along the canal into Devizes, arriving about 4pm. Returning to Swindon by bus at 5,6 or 7pm. Bring lunch and drinks. Shorter options will require separate transport arrangements. More details from Daniel Pitt (521732).