UK Mountains Walking, Mountaineering and Equipment Reviews
Bisley to Kemble: 13 miles
Wysis Way

First I had to get back to Bisley. That was actually quite straightforward and given that there was only one bus from Stroud at 10:10 meant I could have a leisurely breakfast in Starbucks.

Back at Bisley, the sun was shining as I set off through the narrow streets and churchyard to emerge via a very narrow lane onto a road crossing. The guide said to cross the road and head up the hill which I did. About a mile later I checked the guide and Google maps and realised I had gone wrong! Nothing for it but to backtrack to the road. The actual path is slightly right.

Bisley Church gate

Now making good progress I soon arrived at Bournes Green which came and went quickly. From here is was across some fields to Oakridge Lynch and then drop down to the canal at Bakers Mill. A very pleasant couple of miles following the old canal eventually bought me to the Daneway Inn which was open! Ignoring temptation I continued on deciding to stop in Sapperton for lunch. A final steep uphill bought me to the village where I found a stone wall to sit and eat.

Lunch done I headed off and within two minutes passed a very nice bench with a wonderful view. Typical!

A long mile of road walking followed, fortunately on a fairly quiet road before cutting off and into a wood. The guide mentions many paths and I am sure there were many more than described but the Way was obvious and direct on the main path, eventually ducking under the railway bridge and exiting at the Tunnel House Inn, a most beautiful building in the middle of nowhere.

Thames and Severn Canal
Wysis Way

The route continues along the Thames and Severn Canal to finally arrive at what is claimed to be the source of the Thames. Of course there is nothing there and it is a few minutes further before I arrived at the commemorative plaque which basically admits that the Thames is not really there. It is almost unreadable but says;

The conservators of the River Thames

1857 - 1974

This stone was placed here to mark

The source of the River Thames.

Thames Commemorative Plaque

A little further down there is a small stream which is claimed to be the start of the Thames proper appears and the guide author is right when he claims it is impossible to resist!

A short walk across a field to the road and the Railway Station (the official end), there were no trumpets, no marching band, no cheering spectators to welcome me, just the end and the knowledge that I'd done it and could tick off another long distance path, probably never to be repeated.

Bisley Railway Station

Would I recommend it? Most definitely. It is not an easy walk, and there is a lot more climbing than I expected with some steep leg-testers. The views are excellent and the path for the most part, very well signposted.

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