Thames Path Walkway
The Thames Path is a national trail and is therefore fully signposted. The Path is a public right of way at all times. It will either be a footpath, a bridleway or a road. Also remember that the land you are crossing is private. So you need to keep to the footpath.
You cannot simply walk the Thames blindly. The Thames Path makes use of public rights of way that, for the most part, are next to the river. But not always. Sometimes the Thames Path leaves the river and works its way through a residential area rejoining the river. But these instances are rare and should not put you off what is an enjoyable walk. The source of the Thames is only 110m above sea level. That’s 360 feet and starts just west of Cricklade. As the route mostly follows the river it is not difficult to deduce that there will not be any hills.
Castle Eaton is on the Thames Path National Trail between the towns of Cricklade, upstream to the west, and Lechlade, downstream to the east. And Castle Eaton is proud to have the Red Lion, First Pub On The Thames. The Cricklade to Lechlade section of the Thames Path is 11.6 miles long of which 5.3 miles is alongside the river, with detours where riverside access has not been possible.
In Castle Eaton, the path is unable to follow the banks of the river and instead makes its way through the centre of the village. On leaving the village to the east, the path continues through farmland before rejoining the river close to the village of Kempsford, which can be seen along with its distinctive church on the opposite bank.
Opened in 1996, the Thames Path is managed by National Trails who have separated it into individually numbered sections for management purposes. The 184-mile path starts numerically in London with Section 1 and finishes at the river's source in Gloucestershire with Section 64. Castle Eaton marks the boundary of two sections:
• Section 61 - One of a number of signposts in the village showing the direction of the path
• Section 61 - Away from the river, the path leaves Castle Eaton along Blackford Lane
• Section 61 - The path eventually rejoins the river on its way to Hannington Bridge
• Section 62 - Looking towards the west, heavy rainfall has flooded the route of the path