Cheese Wharf to Tadpole Bridge
The sky turned thunderous and threatening as we got into our kayaks at Cheese Wharf, a short distance down river from Lechlade. On the opposite river bank was a ‘British Hardened Field Defence of WWII’. Better known as pillboxes, because of their shape, these small fortified structures were built on the banks of the River Thames with an interval of 1/3 of a mile, all the way from London to Lechlade. They were built in case the German army succeeded in invading Britain and was making its way up the Thames.
We paddled away from the Cheese Wharf pillbox and within a few minutes had reached Buscot Lock. We stopped to look at the weir below the lock and continued down river past more pillboxes, one wrapped and cradled by the trunk of a large tree and another completely buried in dense bracken, the sky lightened as we reached Grafton Lock. Here we stopped for a quick break before continuing to Radcot Bridge and finally Tadpole Bridge, bathed in warm evening sun.