The Thames Path - a walk along the path from Culham Cut Lock to Wallingford.

Walking between Culham and Wallingford on The Thames Path going via Clifton Hampden, Days Lock, Shillingford and Benson.

The Thames Path from Culham Cut to Clifton Hampden is around a 3 mile walk and there are no river crossings along the way.Sutton Bridge just visible from The Thames (Culham Cut in England) Like most of the Thames in this area of England the river goes through really open and somewhat remote countryside. The path drops down from Culham Lock's roadbridge and after a few hundred yards Culham Cut re-joins the Thames - the last time this was walked in January 2013 it was possible to look back and for once actually see Sutton Bridge (which is the second bridge next to Culham Lock and carries the road of the River Thames) - normally this is all so overgrown and covered with trees and shrubs that hardly any of the bridge can be seen.
The Thames Path is nearly always wet along here with running water in places however the path does eventually rise and becomes much easier to walk along and depending on the time of year can be head high in shrubbery and grasses with lots of wildflowers to look at too. A little way along the path passes under a nice girder railway bridge and Didcot Power Station's cooling towers are often in view.

There is a small wooded section and then the path goes back to open fields before arriving at the weir and Clifton Cut - here the original river course meanders off towards Long Wittenham however the Thames Path follows the shrub-lined Cut along to Clifton Lock. Just past the lock the river rejoins the cut and makes it's way to Clifton Hampden. Clifton Hampden has a beautiful red-bricked arched bridge which was built in 1864 by George Gilbert Scott - also close by perched up on a small hill is Clifton Hampden's little church of St. Michael and All Angels. A short distance from the bridge and close to the church there is some parking available along the road (not Sundays) and on the other side of the bridge there is a large public car park opposite the Barley Mow public house.
Serene looking Clifton Cut Lock by the Thames Path in England.Clifton Hampden Bridge is a beautiful site as it goes over The River Thames in England. There is a small wooded section and then the path goes back to open fields before arriving at the weir and Clifton Cut - here the original river course meanders off towards Long Wittenham however the Thames Path follows the shrub-lined Cut along to Clifton Lock. Just past the lock the river rejoins the cut and makes it's way to Clifton Hampden. Clifton Hampden has a beautiful red-bricked arched bridge which was built in 1864 by George Gilbert Scott - also close by perched up on a small hill is Clifton Hampden's little church of St. Michael and All Angels. A short distance from the bridge and close to the church there is some parking available along the road (not Sundays) and on the other side of the bridge there is a large public car park opposite the Barley Mow public house. The Thames Path changes sides at the bridge - the river now takes a huge curve as it heads towards Days Lock and yet again this section can be very wet and muddy underfoot - it's the home of hundreds of geese perhaps for that reason. This is a quite exposed area especially in the Winter as there are few trees or shrubs to provide a shield from the wind. As the path gets towards Day's lock first of all the weir has to be crossed and then the lock itself is reached.

Days Lock at Little Wittenham with the old iron footbridge in the background.The nice arches on Shillingford Bridge beside the Thames Path in England. Wittenham Clumps (i.e. Round Hill and Castle HIll) can be seen in the distance and by turning right over Little Wittenham Bridge and up the narrow road to St. Peters church a path can be taken up to the top of the Clumps and it's iron age fort - it's all well signposted. Another option from the lock is take the path which skirts the ramparts of Dyke Hills to go and take a look at the remains of Dorchester Abbey where the huge church of St Peter and St Paul sits - the church is beleived to have been built around 1140 on the site of a former Saxon cathedral. For lots of information about Dorchester and it's Abbey and Church see the Dorchester Abbey site and for a bit more about Wittenham Clumps and a nice circular walk in the area please see our Circular Walk to Wittenham Clumps and Dorchester Abbey in Oxfordshire England.

The Thames Path goes under Little Wittenham Bridge and continues along field edges - after a while The River Thame is crossed via a narrow bridge along here where it feeds into the River Thames. Eventually the path diverts away from the river and then joins a main road since the towpath changes sides and there is no longer a ferry (Keen Edge Ferry) available. A right turn on the road takes you on to a road junction and then go right on a small road into Shillingford - it goes between houses via small alleys but the Thames Path is clearly marked and eventually ends up at Shillingford Bridge where the river is rejoined.The Thames Lock at Benson next to The Thames Path - England. Now heading towards Benson there is little in particular to see but at Benson there are boat moorings, a cafe and some bench seats. The path then takes another small diversion along a lane to reach a narrow path which goes over Benson Weir from where you can see the Mill Stream - and then arrives at Benson Lock. From here to Wallingford the Thames Path particularly at it's start is usually very muddy and not easy to walk along - parts of the river bank have collapsed and it has been fenced off - things are much better once nearer to Wallingford. Just before reaching Wallingford a footpath on the right goes off to the remains of Wallingford Castle which at one time was used by King Henry VIII as a Royal Castle - this Norman Castle was built in 1071 by Robert D'Oilly but was destroyed by Fairfax in 1646 by the order of Oliver Cromwell during the Civil War. Parts of the castle were removed and used at Windsor Castle and all that remains of Wallingford Castle are some walls and the considerable earthworks on which it once sat - the area is free to enter. The Thames Path itself continues into Wallingford - the town's bridge is of medieval origin and has 17 beautiful arches. Wallingford Bridge was built in possibly 1141 and then re-built in 1809 when the balustrades were added. The area by the bridge has some parking available and also there is an outdoor swimming pool situated right next to The River Thames.

To continue walking along the Path please see our Wallingford to Reading via Goring on The Thames Path

Related items about The Thames Path:
Our The Thames Path towpath Walks in England Home Page lists all our topics about walking along the Thames Path from Lechlade through to the end of the Path at the Thames Barrage. .
Via our Site Resources find links to more items about England - canals include The Oxford Canal, The Grand Union Canal, The Kennet and Avon Canal, The Regents Canal, the River Lee Navigation and The River Stort and The Stratford-upon-Avon Canal. Also items on British Wild Flowers and English Churches.
Our Travel and Sightseeing Holiday guides cover visiting Portugal Algarve, many Greek Islands, The Canary Islands, Cyprus, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanma, and Vietnam.
You can contact us via the above The Resources item. You may also like to read our Cookies and Privacy Policy.
External Link: Where Thames Smooth Waters Glide about Benson and area in olden days.