A Day In The Cotswolds
When I returned home last Wednesday my camera was stuffed full of pictures of rivers, ducks, calves, horses, wildflowers and canals - all the things I frequently blip. To make things more difficult they had been taken in five different locations, and I was at a loss what to upload. I needed to work on over 150 images, tweaking and cropping, to help decide which ones worked best.
The one I have eventually chosen was taken in the quiet Wiltshire village of Ashton Keynes. I had visited it last autumn intending to get something for my occasional Rivers series, but had no card in the camera.
As well as the two River Avons in Wiltshire, there is a third very important river that flows through, somewhat overlooked as it features more grandly in other counties: the River Thames. From its sources in Gloucestershire it enters Wiltshire at a point between Castle Eaton and Kempsford and passes through Ashton Keynes, connected at several points to the Cotswold Water Park lakes that have mostly been formed from former gravel workings. Here the River Thames is seen running beside High Road and it also passes very picturesquely through Church Walk on the Thames Path.
After lunch I parked again at the nearby Cotswold Water Park Centre. The disused but partially restored Thames and Severn Canal passes by the centre and I had a walk along it up to Wildmoorway Lock, where it dries up, before returning to the centre for a coffee, sitting outside in a tee-shirt, overlooking one of the lakes.
I stopped next at Cerney Wick Lock and Roundhouse. A World War II bomb destroyed much of the lock but it has been restored using a recycled set of old lock gates originally from Sunbury Lock on the Thames. The Thames and Severn Canal crosses from Gloucestershire near to Cerney Wick Lock into Wiltshire, where it stays to its end at Inglesham Lock, where it joins the River Thames.
It was just a short run for me from there to my destination at Cricklade, again on the Wiltshire Thames. It becomes navigable from the east side of Cricklade High Bridge and runs 211 miles to the sea, the first 135 miles, above Teddington, being non-tidal. The river forms a boundary between Wiltshire and Gloucestershire until St. John's Lock where it enters Oxfordshire. I had gone there to see the meadow full of snake's head fritillaries, previously blipped last May. They were out but not yet forming the swathe for which the meadow is renowned.
My final stop on the return run was at Waterhay Bridge, also on the Thames in Wiltshire. The bridge itself is modern and nondescript but it marks the starting point of a very promising walk for a future occasion.
Lens: Pentax 16-45mm
Consecutive Blip #372
Church Walk Ducks (Sigma 70-300mm)(my favourite picture of the day)
Wildmoorway Lock Ducks (Sigma 70-300mm)
Cerney Wick Lock And Roundhouse
North Meadow Fritillary (Sigma 70-300mm)
Thames At Waterhay (Sigma 70-300mm)
A Day In The Cotswolds (Flickr Set)
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