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From Source to Sea

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  211 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Over the years, authors, artists and amblers aplenty have felt the pull of the Thames, and now travel writer Tom Chesshyre is following in their footsteps. He’s walking the length of the river from the Cotswolds to the North Sea – a winding journey of over two hundred miles. Join him for an illuminating stroll past meadows, churches, palaces, country (and council) estates, ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published June 8th 2017 by Summersdale
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Tom Chesshyre happened upon a map of the River Thames in a Bric-a-brac market on his way to the library. It was a reproduction of a map by William Tombleson showing the twists and turns from the source near Cirencester to the mouth on the Kent and Essex coasts. He could not resist buying it, and having done so, an idea formed of walking along the river from the source to the North Sea. The Thames is one of the few rivers including the Nile and the Amazon, with a global presence. Whilst the other ...more
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Have you ever wanted to walk the length of the River Thames, from it's source in Trewsbury Mead to where it joins the North sea? Regardless of you answer this book is a must read, if you fancy doing the walk then this is a wonderful guide. Not only does it give you maps, advice on tricky parts that you might get lost and places to stay overnight (with reviews) it also breaks down the route into manageable chunks averaging 17miles a day. If you want to do an epic 21day pub crawl then pick up this ...more
Louise Culmer
Dec 04, 2019 rated it liked it
A moderately entertaining account of walking the length of the river Thames. There are some interesting descriptions of places, though also some surprising omissions, for instance he describes going to Kingston market, but says nothing about Kingston marketplace, which I have always thought very beautiful. Tom Chesshyre would, I feel, be a trying person to go walking with. He spends a good deal of time complaining about the price of food and drink at the various hostelries he stops at, and argui ...more
Michael Bishop
Nov 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a must read for anyone contemplating walking the length of the Thames. One reviewer wrote of the book, 'An enjoyable refuge from everyday life'. For those of a more practical mind, there is plenty of learning to be had in preparation for the eventual task of walking from source to sea. ...more
Ian Russell
Aug 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, journeys
This journal of Tom Chesshyre’s, travel writer at The Times (London) no less, has me in two minds. I’ve never knowingly read any of his newspaper articles and I wonder what sort of holidays he writes about and how he writes about them. I got the impression he hadn’t done much walking.

It must be said, writing about The Thames, the length and breadth, has been done. Why do it again? If it is to be done once more, it should be better than the previous books. I’m not convinced it comes close to othe
Chris Wares
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
It was an enjoyable read but, well, a bit pedestrian.

The challenge of walking the Thames is one that on a good day I could imagine myself undertaking. Its a suburban adventure rather than an epic odyssey. Admittedly it’s one that I have yet to embark on so I can’t really be too critical.

He writes in a matter-of-fact way which is refreshing. I think I’d find it annoying to read about the Thames in overly poetical terms but I’d like to think that there are more interesting things to write about th
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was motivated to read this having completed a five day walk from Oxford to the outskirts of London, along the Thames Path, about 10 years ago.

I really liked the style of writing, with some subtle humour, within the text.

I found the book to be accurate and informative.

In particular I liked Tom Chesshyre's references to the journalism in the local newspapers. Being familiar with several of the titles quoted in the first part of the journey, I can only concur with his comments.

Well worth a read i
Simon Parker
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We have walked the Thames Path as part of our mission to complete all the national trails in the Uk. This book really captures the essence of the walk and whilst it’s route and sections differs from the ones we took it is excellently written and triggered many of my own memories of walking the mighty and historical river. I wanted to repeat the walk with this book as a supporting guide, such is the wealth of information it contains. It’s funny, warm and left me with a glow and craving to put the ...more
Rebecca House Howe
I wasn’t sure this would be my cup of tea, having no feelings of connection to the Thames. I’ve only been to London a handful of times. I picked it up at the library after enjoying The Salt Path. Now I’m thinking I want to plan a long distance walk, when the kids are bigger! At first I wasn’t sure about the political commentary (it was written in 2016 after the referendum) but it somehow worked to talk about the political landscape as well as the actual landscape. I particularly loved all of the ...more
Hilary Blake
An enjoyable and entertaining journey along the river, with a good mix of historical and social comment.Tom Chessyre undertook his walk in the summer of 2016 , so the referendum and Brexit are much mentioned. Reading it now , it seems to come from a very different time ,when Brexit was the biggest thing we had to worry about and we could just go and walk along the river whenever we felt like it.....
Jul 01, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for a lot more out of this book. Instead, I felt like I was reading one long list and I found a lot of the writing to be quite dismissive of those the author considers 'down-and-outs'. There are some really interesting facts peppered throughout that I enjoyed, especially the references to George Orwell and J. G. Ballard. Overall, it was an okay read but I don't think I would re-read it at any point. ...more
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amble down the Thames in summer, and get away from it all in Merry England. Ideal for a read before work, this delightful title has it all: good and bad hotels, numerous literary references (for example, Three Men in a Boat), beer, culinary analysis, history, architecture, and lots of eccentrics and mishaps.
Riet Bots
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure that the River Thames Path is the most beautiful itinerary to hike in the UK, but this book is for sure interesting and worth reading because of the mix of history and the author’s down-to-earth way of looking at things. Especially in busy times or times one cannot get to the UK great to read, and very relaxing. I will certainly check other books by this journalist!
Julian Walker
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice lyrical ramble along the River Thames, with plenty of interesting characters and local history - both authentic and anecdotal - thrown in to add color to his thoughts and observations.

An enjoyable and easy read, with plenty to stimulate the mind, and possibly stir the spirit to try this as well.

I'll definitely be dipping into his other books as a result.
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another inspiring walking book - makes me wonder if I'll ever be able to do all the "walks" I've read about in my lifetime! The author's rather dry style/wit took a little getting used to, but I enjoyed his personal experiences mixed with historical anecdotes throughout. ...more
Grim-Anal King
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Made the walk sound incredibly mundane which is a better bet than the usual surfeit of enthusiasm which usually hampers accounts of such trundles. Might have been better without all of the arranged meetings which gave it the air of a second rate BBC4 documentary.
Mar 13, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: travel
The first halve of the book made me want to go walking again. Towards the end of the book it becomes too much a series of description if pubs and the costs of traveling.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would love to do this walk ! Worth easing for the history !
Shaun Vizor
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Was interesting to compare notes
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent read.
Jo Golding
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable read

A gentle ramble through the British countryside along the Thames. Thoroughly enjoyable to read. Even made me think of walking it myself.
Clare Parker
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aw fab book! Having walked the Thames path last year this book brought it all back! Loved the mix of the walk, the history, the people and communities and a bit of politics mixed in!
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fascinating and funny.
Steve Chilton
Dec 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is an interesting telling of a personal journey over 215 miles of the Thames path, and provides enough information to stimulate walking the path and finding out more for yourself. It is written well and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I am a sucker for the nuggets of infomation his research unearths.
Scott Lewis
rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2019
Rich Fipphen
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Jan 16, 2021
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Aug 06, 2017
C.J. Schüler
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May 04, 2020
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Jul 09, 2017
J R J Roper
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Apr 04, 2018
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Tom Chesshyre has been writing travel stories for UK national newspapers for over15 years. After reading politics at Bristol University and completing a journalism diploma from City University, he had stints at the Cambridge Evening News, Sporting Life and Sky Sports. During this period he won the Independent's young sports writer of the year competition and was runner-up in the Financial Times yo ...more

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