Bye Bye Lakes; Hello Meadows

So there we have it, the first leg of the  Thames Path completed, from the Source, near Kemble to Cricklade, only 172 miles to the  Thames Barrier.
Thus, I bade farewell to the lakes of the water park and reached the meadow lands.

The Lakes were looking serene and peaceful today; only the occasional flying swoop of the water fowl, broke this still interlude.

As I left Manorbrook Lake, the path became a gravel track, winding in a skirting exercise around Cleveland Lake and in so doing giving only tantalizing glimpses of water landscape through barbed wire fences. It proved a frustrating experience and generally lowered the enjoyment level of the walk.

After this section, it was especially pleasing to spot  the  Thames  again as  I crossed a wooden bridge.

As you can see it positively gleamed in a dappled sunlight.

I'm pleased to report, that almost from this spot, the walk picked up in interest and soon  the wild flowers protected Elmlea Meadow-lands came into view.

I'm afraid, the above photograph does not do justice to the scope and quality of these wild plants in this lovely meadow.

It was good to see that  the path edges were left uncultivated and free of chemical spraying.
The result was a riot of  colour and growth,  very pleasing on the eye.

Shortly after this, the path turned right onto the converted bed of a railway track, that once served Cricklade, and in about three hundred yards, reaching a bridge, the path turned left over a stile and descended via a short track to reach the river Thames and last posting's ' dipping pool '.
The first leg was completed.



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