This morning was just too good to miss, so we were on our way by 09:15. We first cruised down to Windsor Bridge before turning around and heading back upstream.
Sorry, poor picture. Dratted sun!
Back past our mooring of two days on Baths Island
Windsor Racecourse boasts two landing stages for waterborne racegoers.
I’ve noticed that, although these river cruisers look all smart and shiny, some don’t half have smoky engines!
Boveney Lock was our first for today, and unfortunately we’d caught up with a couple of boats and there wasn’t room in the chamber for us as well. Still, I made good use of the pause, emptying a loo and getting rid of the rubbish.
Up Boveney Lock, on our own (for the last time today…).
Bray Lock was next, about 50 minutes away. On the way we passed these fine houses at Dedworth…
…fuel prices that gave me palpitations at Windsor Marina…
…the delightfully Gothic fantasy of Oakley Court Hotel…
…and Bray Film Studios, original home of Hammer Horror films, and more recently producing the miniature scenes in Alien and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
The studio is under threat of demolition for redevelopment although the original building, Down House, will be retained.
It was at Bray Lock that the day started to unravel. I’d made the foolish comment to Mags this morning that we’d done well so far at the locks, rarely having to wait for boats in front of us.
When we arrived at the lock one of Salter’s scheduled boats was just going in to come down, followed by a narrowboat. It took a while to get them sorted out, then the two quite big boats in front filled the lock so we had to wait.
By the time they’d gone up and another two come down we’d gained quite a queue behind us, all cruiser types.
Going up Bray
There’re some smart houses along here between Bray and Maidenhead…
I do believe the middle one belongs to a certain Antipodean gentlemen who has been very much in the news recently…
Into Maidenhead, and the queues got longer, not helped by a trip boat inserting itself into the traffic flow.
When we finally got onto the landing I went up to see what the situation was and got co-opted into helping a single-hander on a wide-beam.
Finally up and out, and it was gratifying to see that the queues were at least as long at the top of the lock!
Cliveden looks down from a lofty 130 feet above Cliveden Deep.
This mansion dates from 1851, two previous ones having burnt down. It’s been home to a Prince, Dukes, an Earl and a couple of Viscounts, not to mention the Astor family. Having been given to the National Trust it’s now leased as a 5 star hotel.
Cookham was intended to be our last lock for today, there are some pleasant moorings on the meadow just above, and failing that there are moorings at Bourne End.
But the only spaces available were too shallow for us, so we pushed on to Marlow. The moorings here below the lock were full so we were forced to go up this one too. I must have been getting a bit fed up as I didn’t take any pictures…
Above Marlow Lock you can’t help being cheered up by the view of the impressive suspension bridge.
Even better was the sight of a space alongside Higginson’s Park.
Even the £12 (yes, £12) overnight fee didn’t upset me. Well, maybe a little… There was an ice-cream van almost alongside which mitigated the shock somewhat. We’d had enough for the day, else we could have pushed on a bit further.
Henley tomorrow, where the moorings on the park are a very reasonable £9…
Locks 5, miles 12½