Sunday, 14 July 2013

Hello Old Father Thames

We left our mooring on Friday morning straight into Tyle Mill Lock and swing bridge, another one on the K&A that you have to open the bridge before coming out of the lock.  We had a pleasant cruise back to Reading on another lovely day.  The anxiety of Fobney Lock & the Oracle soon passed as the flow was much less on our return and it was really pleasant cruising through the centre of Reading with everyone sat outside the restaurants & bars.  We turned onto the Thames but turned towards Oxford but only for a short time so we could stock up at Tescos.  We then turned back around and headed for London, we found a lovely mooring above Sonning Lock.  Later in the evening we went for a walk around and found a lovely pub in the village, where we replenished our fluid levels (well it had been a very hot day).

QUIZ of the day - anyone know what this is about, a post box on one of the arches on Sonning Bridge, the lock keeper had no idea what I was going on about, viewing photos of the bridge through google it didn't used to be there?  I thought it might be something to do with the Mikron Theatre as the posters for their performance later this month has a post box on it, but when we came through and had a good look at it, it isn't a poster, although I don't think it is a real post box either, if it is it must be the first in the country for boaters!

Saturday again dawned sunny and we upped pins (actually, hammered them out as they were well  in!).  We had a lovely cruise passing some lovely properties and increasingly more traffic on the river, some very expensive cruisers were starting to appear.  We saw more boats today than we have probably seen on all the Kennet & Avon, this did mean a bit of queuing at the locks, although the amount of juggling and boats that the lock keepers can get in the lock is amazing at times. At one lock there were 2 narrow boats, 3 cruisers and the back of the lock was full with kayaks. We cruised through Henley, the regatta course is still laid out and there was still some racing going on, it looked really busy, so it must have been heaving last week.  Our plan was to head for Marlow, however we ran out of steam at Hurley and found a nice mooring just below the lock.  We had a pleasant afternoon wandering around the village and watching the boats go by.

Approaching Henley

How cool is this, I assume it has been used for a wedding or engagement

Henley course

But we don't rate his chances!!!

Temple Island

We were treated to the battle of Britain Memorial Flight whilst waiting at one lock

Ice cream boat!

Steamer trip boat

Today, our plan was to head for Marlow and moor up, best laid plans and all that, there was a swimming race on the river at Marlow and the moorings were full.  We continued through the lock and the next moorings were also full, so we continued to Cookham.  We tried to get in on the National Trust moorings but we were miles off the bank, Dave & Angie managed to get in on the town moorings and we tried to squeeze into a gap, which we knew wasn't quite big enough but there was a cruiser with about 10 ft behind it so I asked if they would mind moving back a ring so we could get in.  They said no, they would be going in about an hour, so we could go up river a bit and wait for them to move and then we could come back.  So we reversed back and breasted up with Dave & Angie, not ideal in this heat, so I kept an eye out and after a while a couple of boats moved off, so we reversed back down the moorings and slotted in.  What was quite amusing was, just after we asked the couple to move a Dutch Barge tried to get in the same space, but they were a bit more forceful than us and when the couple wouldn't move, they secured the front of the barge into a tree and left the back out in the river which the couple on the cruiser were not too impressed with!  We now have a lovely spot at the side of a willow tree which is keeping the stern in the shade.  We will probably go for a wander later, but at the moment very happily gongoozling the passing boats, of all shapes and sizes.

What is really great is to see so many people enjoying the river, as well as the many variety of boats, in the last couple of days we have seen kayaks, canoes, rowers, dingy & swimming racing, dogs swimming, people swimming, children paddling, its a great place to be.

Early morning (a John photo!!!)

Swimmers at Marlow

Obviously a good doggy swimming spot

Friday - 10 miles 9 locks, 2 swing bridges
Saturday - 12 miles, 5 locks
Sunday - 5.5 miles, 2 locks


  1. I think everywhere is getting busier, London as well! Do consider the River Wey on your way into London, we really enjoyed it. Its just over £70 for the week but well worth it or slightly more for 2 weeks. Hope we see you later this year, enjoy the Thames we loved it this year! x

  2. I am walking the Thames Path at the moment and it was really interesting reading your post and looking at your photos. Loved that early morning shot. If you want to glance through my photos and gibberish you'll find them at

  3. Please could you get in touch with me re the letterbox at Sonning Bridge? many thanks.


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