The Thames Source pictured walk

For general information on the Thames Source, how to get to the start of the walk and recommended gear, please see our page The Thames Source.

The starting point for this walk is a small lay-by on the A429, near Cotswolds Airport (formerly Kemble Airfield).
There's an information board just beyond the gate.

Throughout the walk, there are clear markers on all gates and signposts for the Thames Path.
Just a few steps separate you from the River Thames at this point.
Although some way from the source, it is a far cry from the mighty river it becomes downstream.
The path follows the course of the River Thames until the next gate.
Depending on the time of year, there may be grazing cattle along the way.
Open pastures stretch in all directions...
...and ramblers are a common sight.
Except for the odd dwelling in the distance, there's little sign of any civilisation.
About 15 minutes into the walk, and the River Thams has become noticably smaller.
Coming up to the next gate, and this may be the last you actually see of the river before it disappears underground.
A closeup of where it disappears, or rather strictly speaking (re)appears.
Once past the gate, this is all you see of the River Thames until you get to the source (and then only if it's been wet).
However, there's no reason to be disappointed, the great countryside more than makes up for it!
Another one of the many beautiful views the Cotswolds are famous for.
The path now goes straight ahaid for a bit, the next crossing point just visible in the distance.
This now is the last gate before you get to the Thames Source.
If there is cattle around, be sure not to get too close, especially when there's calves around.

If necessary, leave the path for a bit.
If you are lucky, you might come right past some very young calves.
A few minutes from the last gate, you can catch the first glimpse of the Thames Head (the little white speck by the tree is the stone).
And finally, here we are. This picture was taken in mid-May, and even though there had been heavy rainfall until recently, the source is already dry.
A close-up of the stone and the plaque.
The signpost indicates the start of the 294km (184 miles) long Thames Path

What to consider

This walk offers virtually no shelter from sun, wind or rain, and there's nowhere within easy walking distance to just pop in and buy supplies. Hence we strongly recommend to wear protective clothing in accordance with the weather, and to bring plenty of water and sun protection, especially on sunny days.

The main paths can generally be walked in whatever you feel comfortable in unless there's been rain recently, in which case wearing waterproof walking shoes may be advisable.

If in doubt, we suggest checking with the local authorities for current conditions before setting off.

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