What da cover says: Over the years, authors, artists and amblers aplenty have felt the pull of the Thames, and now travel writer Tom Chesshyre is following in their footsteps. He’s walking the length of the river from the Cotswolds to the North Sea – a winding journey of over two hundred miles. Join him for an illuminating stroll past meadows, churches, palaces, country (and council) estates, factories and dockyards. Seeing some familiar sights through new eyes, and meeting a host of interesting characters along the way, Tom explores the living present and remarkable past of England’s longest and most iconic river.
What I says: Have you ever wanted to walk the length of the River Thames, from it’s source in Trewsbury Mead to where it joins the North sea? Regardless of you answer this book is a must read, if you fancy doing the walk then this is a wonderful guide. Not only does it give you maps, advice on tricky parts that you might get lost and places to stay overnight (with reviews) it also breaks down the route into manageable chunks averaging 17miles a day. If you want to do an epic 21day pub crawl then pick up this book as Tom stops off at a lot of pubs, with some great advice on the ones to avoid. If you have never considered this walk (like myself) then still give this book a go as it might just inspire you to go on an adventure not far from home.
Tom has done this walk for himself, not to raise money or awareness about something, not to follow in somebody else’s footsteps, he has done it because he has spent his life near the river but doesn’t really know much about it. This makes it a less stressful walk, no schedules to keep, just walk, enjoy the view, speak to anybody you meet and have as many Lime & Sodas as you can. One of my favourite parts of this book is the little snippets of conversation he over-hears, it always makes me laugh trying to figure out what the full conversation was about.
The writing style is easy to read, Tom’s wit comes across nicely, his arguments over price’s of drinks, small portions of food and trying to not pay for breakfasts he doesn’t have never get dull. His commentary on local news and world news make for a fun read too.
I have to admit that I have been inspired, not to do the whole walk in one go but to do it over a number of weekends, just go to find where Trewsbury Mead is now.