Kennet & Avon canal and the two tunnels greenway
It was great to have 'Rammy' and Ryan (Nigel's eldest) with us today as we sauntered along the canals' side. As we did our sauntering we admired and envied the owners of the rather large and quite exquisite homes that backed on to the canal. Each with their own private dock and sitting area. Dotted along our side of the bank was the odd narrow boat moored up with a gently smoking chimney.
Is this what they call a photo bomb! This place was special, it felt almost foreign, I am really surprised that we had not heard about this place before. I suppose it only gets seen by joggers, dog walkers and us - shame really.
The mouth of the tunnel was in view, it looked like something from the cold war as we entered the temperature dropped slightly and as our eyes adjusted we could see the path stretch out ahead of us. Small lights on either side of the tunnels' roof dimly illuminated the way. It was quite atmospheric in there. This tunnel wasn't that long I think around 700m but the next was about a mile. Joggers and cyclists used the tunnel too speeding past us as we took in the eery sights.
As soon we hit daylight it was time to take on refreshment and have a breather. In Rammy's case it was dinner time. We took the piss but that sandwich sure did look nice he had a whole baguette in his bag.
We left the exit of the greenway tunnel behind and found ourselves walking over a very high bridge - viaduct to be precise. We could not get to the edge as it was fenced off probably to prevent daredevils jumping off into the fishing lake below. Our route took us down a set of stairs within a wooded area. From here we could see how high the viaduct actually was. Apparently the exit to the longest section of tunnel is some 50 feet below the entrance and it still needed a huge viaduct to help carry the track over a large ravine. The original project to create the two tunnels and the viaduct would have been a huge endeavour employing hundreds if not thousands of men. If it was not for lottery grants the whole thing would be left to rack and ruin- all that work for nothing.
The lake below us was the Tucking Mill Reservoir and apparently is a fishing lake for the disabled which seemed a great idea.
We left the church and headed along Church Lane towards the school. It wasn't very clear but we found a path the lead down through the car park. This brought us out on to a sort of road that I think was probably for deliveries to the school. We walked down through a wooded area and passed a large cricket ground. In the distance we saw a sort of automatic grass cutter working its way round the massive area - would have been quicker to have a sit on mower but I suppose the robot only needs charging up once in a while.
Finally the pub come into view it was a sight for sore eyes and feet. Lots of people had the right idea, sat in the sun enjoying a refreshing cold beer. We ordered our usual bowls of chips which were taken by another table so we had to order some more. When they did come they arrived in plant pots which we thought was a little wired - must be a posh way of doing it nowadays. We said we wanted to eat em not grow em!