Sunday 22 April 2012

Swim 23 Track - Radley to Abingdon Lock

Swim 23 Map - Radley to Abingdon Lock

Swim 23: Radley to Abingdon Lock

This swim was a little longer (~4.5km) than recent ones but there were options to get out early.

We met at the large car park just south east of Abingdon Bridge:

The car park is not free so bring some change.  We got away with paying for 3 hours. We changed here and then shuttled up to the layby near the start at the boat house at Radley, leaving our dry clothes in cars at Abingdon:

We swam downstream with the Thames path on our right.  A few hundred metres into the swim, where the trees meet the bank on the right hand side, we passed 100km from the Source.

We stopped for coffee and cake at around 2.5km under the railway bridge. It wasn't as easy to get out here as it looked but it was certainly possible.  We then swam on to Abingdon lock.  Be aware of the weir at about 4km - it's only marked for traffic coming upstream.

There are fairly obvious paths from these get out points back to the Abingdon Bridge car park but you'll need to walk them in your swimming kit.  After changing we returned by car for lunch at the Bowyers Arms next to Radley station to use their free car park and hospitality.

This swim marked the start of our second year and the end of day two for David Walliams.

Monday 9 April 2012

Year 1 - Source to Radley

Swim 22 brings to a conclusion the first year of the Thames Swim with Swim 23 being planned for the anniversary of the first walk and therefore the beginning of year two.

Total distance travelled: 99.56 km
Distance travelled since Cricklade: 77.24 km
Distance remaining to Teddington Lock: 145.94 km
Distance remaining to Sea Reach No1 Buoy: 257.0 km

Swim 22 Track - Sandford Lock to Radley

Swim 22 Map - Sandford Lock to Radley

Swim 22: Sandford Lock to Radley

This swim found us afloat from Sandford Lock to Radley boat house, downriver a distance of 2.65km. On our left, Nuneham Courteney, erstwhile home of the Earls Harcourt, the first of whom moved the village out of the way in order to better landscape the estate. Now occupied by the Global Retreat Centre, what oneness we felt with the world when we slipped out of the water at the boathouses opposite. This little stretch was a favourite of Charles Dodson (Lewis Carroll), and he got wet here regularly with the young prototype Alice. The boathouses themselves belong to the boys of Radley College. Alumni of that fine establishment include the great historian Christopher Hibbert, the indefatiguable campaigning lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, England's test cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, and who could forget Richard Gibson, best known for his exceptional performance in the complex role of Herr Flick in TV's 'Allo 'Allo.

We met at Radley Station car park but you could park in the Bowyer Arms car park next door, if you prefer:

We changed into our wetsuits at the station and then shuttled up to a small layby close to the finish point.  We were fortunate enough to be able to arrange with the boat house to leave a vehicle with our dry clothes in their car park, right next to the exit.  Don't try to park there without permission though.

We then walked up to the start at Sandford Lock

and swum back down to the boat house.  This is a deep water exit, so be sure you can clamber out before committing to the swim.  On getting out, we changed into dry gear at the boathouse and shuttled back to Radley for a resurrecting lunch at the Bowyer Arms.