Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Thames Path: Windsor to Maidenhead

Sunshine, a quiet path along the Thames, nettle verges full of sapphire dragonflies, the gentle activity of lock gates being opened and water rising –my today had all of this plus a view of the preparation of the Olympic Rowing Centre at Dorney Lake.

It was so good to walk another section of the Thames Path. We chose one of the few summer days this June has offered so sun hats and sun block were needed. At this time of year the path is edged with lush grass, we passed a fragrant field of linseed and there were bushes full of blowsy roses everywhere.

P1040673Windsor Castle looked splendid as we left it behind to pass Boveney Church which is known for its galletting or decorative application of slivers of flint to the pointing. It  is now cared for by Friends of Friendless Churches –what a wonderful name for an organisation.



P1040685We had to take a diversion from the official path so walkers and cyclists avoid a temporary bridge construction site. The bridge will ‘ferry’ spectators to Olympian competitions in August from a transport hub on Windsor race course. Presently the site is full of security guards patrolling what looks like a very expensive perimeter fence.

Our walk continued past Bray, once of Vicar fame, now it seems home to numerous celebrities with grand riverside houses presently sporting union flags. Finally we walked under Maidenhead railway Bridge or The Sounding Arch which has the widest and flattest brick arches in the world. Designed by Brunel, painted by Turner it now carries the Bristol-Paddington railway line.


We passed some minutes in a shop full of sewing notions –fancy ribbons, gorgeous buttons and other temptations then it was home by train, leg stretches to ease our muscles and a last look at the evening sun. Tomorrow there will be more rain –ho hum.

This is a wonderful walking project –there is so much to see that you don’t know about until you get there and my geography of the Thames Valley gets better & better. 

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