Saturday 30 July 2011

Swim 7 Track: Grafton Lock to Radcot Lock

Swim 7 Map: Grafton Lock to Radcot Lock

Swim 7: Grafton Lock to Radcot Lock

This is a distance of 3.4km equivalent to swims 13 and 14 in Michael Worthington's 'I Love the Thames'. We met at the car park on the island across the river from The Swan at Radcot. The landlady is sadly cut from another cloth than those so far, and may yell at you.

We walked upstream from the car park to Grafton Lock, jumped in and swim back down, past the The Swan and on to Radcot Lock. From there we walked back upstream to cars, got changed and had lunch at the Swan. This is before the swanlady went feral on us. For those who would like a shorter swim, you can get out at the Swan instead of swimming on down to Radcot Lock. Some of us stopped there for cakes and warm drinks.

There is a campsite at the Swan which was useful and pleasant but the swanlady threatened to close it while we were there due to travellers, swimmers and the like. You'd be advised to check in advance and not announce your intentions if you plan to stay!

Sunday 24 July 2011

Swim 6: Buscot Lock to Grafton Lock

This is the Middle Thames, and there’s a bit of boat traffic now, out of Lechlade. Make sure you’ve got a bright hat on and that you can shout at your mates if boats are approaching. We met at the visitors car park at Buscot which is within a few hundred yards / metres walk of Buscot Lock.

We then took a couple of cars, with clothes to change into after the swim, to Kelmscott - which is about half way between Buscot and Grafton Lock. (Access to Grafton Lock by road is problematic).

Alternatively, if you have a small group, you can go straight to Kelmscott and walk to the start along the Thames Path.

The stretch is 5.4km.  The river is, supposedly, fast flowing along this stretch but it wasn’t when we went. We arrived at Grafton Lock and walked back to Kelmscott and ate at The Plough in Kelmscott. Some people had a good experience, some people didn’t. There is a Tea Garden at Buscot in case anyone is still hungry after lunch!

Tell the lockkeepers!