From the lock the Thames Path switches sides and continues along a narrow lock-access road to reach Tadpole Bridge - there is a limited amount of parking on a lay bye just by the bridge for perhaps 7 cars and also a quite large public house just across the bridge. Initially from Tadpole Bridge the path goes along between high undergrowth but this soon comes out into a very open area and the path is easy to walk along as it follows The Thames in a huge anti-clockwise bend. Enjoy the open spaces while you can because at the end of the bend it then enters a really dense and lush undergrowth area and this stays like this for some miles. There are very high Poplars growing on the far side of the river and screening by these are perhaps why the area is very damp and humid - the foliage is often well over 6 feet high and this can include extremely tall nettles in places as well as plenty of tough brambles. The path is quite narrow and if the weather has been wet then very muddy in places - and all the time it is bordered by these huge clusters of nettles - possibly wearing shorts is not too good an idea. Another very prominent plant which has really got itself established along the route are Himalayan Balsam - myriads of pink flowers and in some cases these have even suppressed the nettles. Often as not the adjacent river is not visible and the only reason for knowing it is actually there is because of the sound of passing boats - this part of the Thames Path is however really excellent for walking through. Eventually the path goes past an old wooden bridge called Tenfoot Bridge which has a little bit of history - it is possible that it is named after the flash weir once located here and so named because the weir had ten paddles however the weir was dismantled in 1870 and to re-instate the right of way a footbridge was installed.
path then goes into open ground, winds past two WWII bunkers and then when you can see lots of trees ahead this means Shifford Lock is nearbye. On the opposite side of the river there is a weir controlling water flow into where the River Thames
itself now wanders away from the Thames Path - this is the start of Shifford Cut and the path follows the Cut rather than the river. At another wooden bridge the Thames Path crosses the Cut and goes sharp left between beautiful trees to reach Shifford Weir and Lock.
However before going to the lock it may be of interest that having crossed that bridge if you go straight ahead along the bridleway for about half a mile you will arrive at Duxford Ford which provides an ancient way of crossing the River Thames. If there has been much wet weather or if you can see that the river is fast flowing it's quite possible that the ford is far too deep to actually cross. However this is a beautiful area lined with excellent trees including some huge willows - it's also a quite popular area for swimming judging from the number of people we saw doing just that when we were there. (Bear in mind swimming in rivers anytime is or can be quite a hazardous activity!).
Continuing along The Thames Path the lock's small weir is reached - the Thames Path continues past the weir however if you wish to see the lock, which in 1898 was the last to be constructed on the River Thames, then you have to divert across said weir.
Shifford Lock is totally surrounded by some very nice trees and the gardens around the lock are quite extensive with plenty of grass areas to sit around on. However at the time of our visit their were no picnic benches and only one small seat - quite unusual for the locks in the area. Also although there is a narrow road to the lock there is no room at all for public parking - we understand the nearest available is around one mile back up the road at a Nature Reserve. Continuing along from Shifford Lock Weir a footbridge crosses the River Thames at the end of the Cut - turn left and from here the Thames Path does not change sides anymore on it's route to Newbridge. The River Thames certainly (once again) gets back into wriggle mode as it passes through quite open countryside and follows round field edges. If you look through the foliage on the far side of the river you can get several views of the very pretty little church of St. Mary which is sat on it's own in a field at Old Shifford. Eventually as the River Thames nears Newbridge it takes a near 45 degree left bend. Also turning sharp left the Thames Path goes over a footbridge and enters a wooded area with the route staying more or less level with the river. This is a really nice walking path but due to the high sloping bank on the right the path can be very muddy during wet weather in places. The wooded area lasts for around a quarter of a mile before the path once again emerges into the open and is bordered by field edge. By now the path and river are very close to Newbridge and with the beautiful old bridge looking a picture ahead of you both the River Thames and it's Path travel towards it in a fairly straight direction.
The Thames Path comes out by the Maybush Public House next to it's car park - if you go right into the car park you can see another section of arches belonging to Newbridge. As a matter of interest the beautifully named River Windrush joins the River Thames just by Newbridge's mediaeval Bridge on the far bank of the Thames opposite the Rose Revived. Continuing towards Oxford involves crossing the bridge and immediately crossing the road to the Rose Revived Public House - the Thames Path goes alongside the river and through the pub's outside eating area.
You may be interested in our Thames Path Lechlade Walk which precedes the above section or the next part following on from Newbridge which follows the Path - Along The Thames Path walking into Oxford.