Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Windsor to Cookham

So a most peaceful and calm night was spent here.  It rained of course, but then again hasn't always this summer?  

It was thought an excellent idea to go cycling early today to avoid the traffic and to be back to have coffee with George and Carol from NB Still Rockin'.
So off we went in search of National Cycle Route 4   HERE   These are tricky little things these routes, you start off nicely following signs on a nice tarmac path or road on a housing esate or some such  then before you can say Jack Robinson the thing has turned into a gravel muddy or worse sandy track and all signs are gone.  

So after a false start we found it and headed off to Windsor Great Park.

WaL on the meadows

Yep it big.

This was a pretty good vista.

All was going pretty well as signage goes, then Bingo!  A crossroads without a whiff of where the heck we are and bugger we'll be late back for guests.  A quick text to George to say am lost come ten mins later did the trick and by then David had decided which way to go, or rather David had said, I've no bloody idea lets go this way.  It worked and just a tiny bit overdue we got home and put the kettle on.

We had been welcomed aboard their lovely boat in Guildford and it was nice to somewhat repay their hospitality.  
Later we had a nice afternoon in the cratch just sitting, reading and drinking tea.  

That evening we cycled along to SR and enjoyed a good glass of, rain was forecast again to stay all night  and to midday tomorrow. 

We rarely boat in the rain, but as we have to get to Reading, and we have stayed in Windsor a day longer than we intended.  Well actually we didn't intend to stop at all.

This has to be one of the best views in England from my kitchen window.

We had to leave and the rain hasn't stopped.  We oh so carefully pulled the pins and left before the money collector arrived again.  
Here are George and Carol laughing at us (With good cause) Click HERE   to see what they saw....

This crew boated up behind us today.  The three of them stood there just like this for miles, I thought they looked a bit like Rainbow Scarcrows.  I sniggered a bit, because I looked wonderfully stylish.

Eventually arriving at Bourne End, just up the river form Cookham, well you can't go past the pub here called The Bounty can you?  
Well we nearly did as the moorings outside the pub were full of little wee cruisers, a great pity as I was cold and damp around the edges by now.  So up we went to the public moorings here, on the left past all the houses going uphill.  One narrowboat at one end, but one medium sized cruiser bang in the middle so we couldn't get on.  
I called out to the cruiser no reply, David was up for untying him, not letting go or anything but just moving him along, but I said no. 
So we turned around and headed back downstream to go past a mile or so, when Bingo, a small hire cruiser left in a somewhat dramatic fashion across our bows and we got in where the left and it turned out to be a smasher of a mooring although there was a concrete shelf, well its now a "Shelf" but it its day I think it was a wall to moor against that has fallen. 

We were fine alongside it and having put our "Big Blues" (Fenders) down we abandoned ideas of a hot shower and just went straight along to the pub.

Moored up at Bourne End

Interior of the Bounty.

Its a real quirky place.  Here at Bourne End there are a handful of old bungalows on the other side of the river, that is to say on their own, no roads or bridges.  The house owners have their own wee boats for scooting across to the main town, they would have to bring over their own food and remove their own rubbish too.  Many people walk here in the summer, they go down to the first pedestrian bridge, or another further then walk their dogs up through the National Trust land here, have a drink or lunch then return.

I love the signs, one says "You are welcome to moor up but be prepared to be moored up against"  and another which says something like "You are welcome to use our loo even if you are not drinking here".  Now that is novel and "Muddy boots welcome".

This went past us later, I only just got the camera out in time to see it passing.

Supper was Lasagne with chips and salad, followed by Sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream which all was tremendous, and I had trouble waddling back to the boat.

The next morning, we walked back down to Cookham.  I wanted to visit the Stanley Spencer Gallery.  A sweet little place that currently has a special exhibition on with loaned works from all over the country.  This artist famously lived in Cookham most of his life.  He had a most colourful private life too.

Well worth a visit.

This runs until next year.

His second wife made this.

His childhood home, and later studio.

Back to the boat after a good snoop around Cookham.  These cows had access to the path too.

Just look how fearless David is.

Another beauty.

As we left Bourne End, I saw this cute place, I wonder how long it stays in its present form?

Would suit me.

Lots of trees on this next stretch towards Marlow.

Coming into Marlow and here is a "Big Blue"

Not stopping in Marlow, David offered as there was a space, but I said I would only want to go and look at the shops so he accelerated past!

Most attractive, I wondered if it was an "Arts and Crafts" house?

Marlow Bridge

Two years ago we moored here against this water outlet.  No signs about it then, its under the waterline too, it was late afternoon then when we had moored up and the noise was thunderous.  We stayed there as we had no other options of mooring, it was July and the river then was very busy.  I have to say I didn't sleep a wink.  The water gushing lasted 40 mins at a time, it stopped for about 15 to 20 mins so I just nodded again and then it exploded again.  They had tried to charge us £10 to have moored there, I told him I would see him in court after that night.
David slept though.

Moorings at Marlow.

This is Bisham Abbey   HERE

At the next lock we were alongside this boat.  Two ladies out for a last hurrah of the summer holidays with a whole bunch of precious children.  Not one had a life jacket on which surprised me.

This is for sale, Interested?   HERE  Got 10 Million?

Thank you to George and Carol for telling us about this mooring.  Medmenham on the meadows, £6 or 8 I think and it was even sunny enough to sit out for a hour or so until........yes, it rained again.

Going home again, ummm still no life jackets.

Life is good.


  1. I envy David his intrepidity (is that even a word?) with the cows - I am a bit of a wuss around them ... And I trust those teenaged steers even less ...
    Lovely photos, looks like you are having a great time on the Thames. Not so nice here in Beeston above the Trent, but OK. We're going to do the Thames again next year.
    Cheers, Marilyn (nb Waka Huia

  2. Hi Carol,
    I would like it if the sun shone a bit more but yes life is good.

    Hi Marilyn,
    I had my tongue in cheek really with that comment, he was raised with cows, but I wasn't. The first ever time I went to get the cows in with him, he marched off with the dog up hill and I waited at the bottom to have the whole herd come cantering down the hill towards me. I somewhat hid amongst trees but have never really been at ease. The youngest daughter had ponies and I wasn't much better with them!! I can handle dogs and rabbits.