The Thames Path Days 6-8

Von Helen
Hardwick House

As lovely as Oxford is, it was somewhat of a relief to get back on to our beloved path on day 6. Leaving the town behind we passed many boat houses belonging to the different Oxford colleges but it wasn’t until we’d walked for about 90 minutes and experienced all the commuters cycling to work along the path that we finally found our quiet, young river, meandering peacefully through the Oxfordshire countryside.
We stopped for a perfect lunch by the river in the pretty town of Abingdon. It was a personal wish of mine to stop in Abingdon to let my thoughts wander to a good college friend of mine who came from Abingdon and who sadly passed away a few years back. I had a drink to you, Sarah, and I shall always remember the good times we had together.Interestingly Abingdon has a strong claim to being England“s oldest town and has always played an important trading role along the Thames dealing in river trade, bookbinding, leather, malting and brewing.
Further down stream we saw a lot of hawks having a feast over the fields which were being mowed by the farmer. I believe we counted 20 hawks in the sky, circling, hovering and diving for the rich pickings below.
The area around Pangbourne is particularly beautiful and once we’d seen Hardwick House we could really appreciate how the area and this house probably served as the inspiration for Toad Hall in Kenneth Grahame’s „Wind in the Willows“. The author lived in Pangbourne and wrote the wonderful stories of all the animals along the river bank.
So at the end of day 8 we’d covered 188 Kilometers and were feeling exhilerated and refreshed by all our experiences.