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Thread: Kennet Canal - Reading town centre eastwards to where it joins the Thames (2 miles)

  1. #1
    Slightly Mad Moderator ladylouise62's Avatar
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    Default Kennet Canal - Reading town centre eastwards to where it joins the Thames (2 miles)

    Starting at Dukes Bridge I made my way East , on the southern side of the canal . I wasn’t planning to go far, just a few yards to see what the ducks and geese were doing, but I’d not walked down this way before and I got carried away – almost 2 miles away!
    It’s a varied walk – ugly modern office buildings, sculpture (Reading Piece 2 by Peter Sainty 1982), older and prettier work buildings, a bridge by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, Blake’s Lock, 2 nice pubs (The Fisherman’s Cottage & the Jolly Angler) and some countryside… and just a 10 minute walk away from the canal to one of England’s earliest garden cemeteries that contains a few listed buildings and monuments (and a small herd of Muntjac deer!) and is now, of course, made famous (in name at least) by Ricky Gervais’s latest film “Cemetery Junction”. You pass where the Huntley and Palmers factory was, now partly replaced by the Prudential, The Blake’s Lock Museum and a rather nice restaurant called ‘Bel and the Dragon’ (all of these are the other side of the canal).

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    Last edited by ladylouise62; 13-07-2010 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Slightly Mad Moderator ladylouise62's Avatar
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    There are a number of bridges along the way – modern metal constructions for walkers, concrete bridges to take a main road to older brick ones designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel which take the train.

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    Last edited by ladylouise62; 13-07-2010 at 02:19 PM.

  3. #3
    Slightly Mad Moderator ladylouise62's Avatar
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    Canada Geese and Mallards abounded - I saw a swan with 7 large cygnets, and a group of adults sitting by the side of a bridge (in the shallows) having a good old preen, one large group paddling as fast as they could towards a man with a large bag of food and right at the end of my walk where I’d hit the Thames and the rowing park, dozens of Swans and Geese all sitting on the bank. There was also the surprise find of a couple of female Mandarin ducks – I’ve not seen them before!

    I was surprised at how many Coots there were with chicks at all stages (ugly, whichever stage ). At one point there was a grouping of 2 families of coots – a pair with 4 older ones and a single one with 2 small ones. She (I assume) had to keep chasing off the larger cootlings as they kept trying to take the food she had found for hers.

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    Last edited by ladylouise62; 13-07-2010 at 02:19 PM.

  4. #4
    Slightly Mad Moderator ladylouise62's Avatar
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    Other birds included a couple of Jackdaws nesting on the gasometer, Sand Martins who had been encourage by nesting holes being drilled into the side of the canal, Red Kites, Gulls (Blackheaded) Sparrows, Greenfinches, Blackbirds and a host of birds who just wouldn’t come right out into the open
    Butterflies, Damselflies, Hoverflies, loads of little creatures .. and let’s not forget – Pigeons

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    Last edited by ladylouise62; 13-07-2010 at 02:19 PM.

  5. #5
    Slightly Mad Moderator ladylouise62's Avatar
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    It is a busy walk – people taking the air like me, but also using it as a thoroughfare.. and everyone seemed to have a smile.

    At the end of my walk where the Kennet slips into the mighty Thames there was once an Anglo-Saxon cemetery. Although you can’t see anything, the lack of buildings there allows your mind to wander back through history… until a motor boat zips by

    It’s altogether a nice little walk – varied and interesting.
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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Catherine's Avatar
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    There seems to be a very varied and fascinating area round about you, Louise!

  7. #7
    Slightly Mad Moderator ladylouise62's Avatar
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    It's not bad here. Reading may not be a 'super model', but there is quite a variety of stuff around here and despite lots of people wanting to get it turned in to a city, it is still small enough to make access to lots of stuff relatively easy... although having a car would be even easier

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    A nice journey in pictures there Louise. You're right, if you divert from the main thoroughfares there are some very interesting places in Reading.
    Rolf

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