In the quaint Cotswold town of Lechlade, the Rivers Coln and Leach join the River Thames. Just above Lechlade, at Inglesham, the head of the River Thames navigation is found. The town and surrounding area are best explored on foot, and a short circular walk will take you past shops, cafes, pubs and on to the Thames Path National trail. Take a picnic and enjoy sitting in a meadow beside the river watching the boats go by.
The small Cotswold town of Lechlade lies on the southern borders of the Cotswolds and it is at Lechlade that the Rivers Coln and Leach join the Thames. Lechlade was, for many centuries, one of the main trade arteries west from London, both by river and road. Before the Thames and Severn Canal was opened in the late 1700's, Lechlade was the highest point on the Thames that laden barges could reach. The riverside was a busy wharf with boats being loaded with salt from Cheshire which had been carried down the Old Salt Way on pack horses. Wool and cheese was taken from the Cotswolds for the markets in Oxford and London. The honey coloured Taynton stone from nearby Burford was shipped from here and used for iconic buildings such as St Paul's Cathedral and Windsor Castle. Today leisure boats replace trading boats and for many, Lechlade is a favourite mooring place.