Great Western Railway did their best to deter people from joining this walk, due to essential engineering work there were no trains out of Paddington to Slough on this Sunday morning. Despite that, and the fact that the clocks went forward that morning, nine of us made it to the start point in Marlow. We were joined along the way by one member, who shall remain nameless, who forgot to put her clock forward!
We weaved our way through Marlow to pick up the Thames path and set off to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Thames. This section of the Thames is lined with an array of beautiful houses from all schools of architecture. There was even a house with mock turrets and battlements! Arriving by midday in Cookham we stopped for a short break, with some of the group opting to visit the Stanley Spencer art gallery and the rest repairing to the pub. Stanley Spencer is well known for his depiction of biblical scenes happening as if in Cookham. He described it as "a village in heaven" however at £4 for a small sherry glass of pistachio nuts in the pub, St. Peter must be making a fortune.
Leaving Cookham we carried on towards our lunch stop in Maidenhead, picking up our latecomer on the way. Lunch was taken in a café on the outskirts of Maidenhead, as it was thought that many of the finer hostelries in the area would be packed with families celebrating Mother's Day. Food arrived very quickly, alas it was not ours but another table 11? I took the last portion of fish and chips, depriving Teri, one of our American friends who joined the walk from Meetup, of this traditional British delicacy. However I was able to assure her that she wasn't missing much, as the fish might as well have been caught from the Thames.
Refuelled, we continued on, taking in the sight of Eton Dorney lake which was used as a venue for the 2012 Olympics. Eton College private property signs help to keep the riff raff out these days. Eventually the majestic sight of Windsor Castle came into view. As we completed the last section of the walk we saw a plaque that marked the spot where Eton schoolboys used to bathe in the Thames. Bathing was governed by strict rules, including standing behind a screen when members of the fairer sex went past in boats. Punishment for infringement of the rules, they were warned, would be severe. On arriving in Eton we crossed the bridge to Windsor and made our way to the station. Having about a 45 minute wait for the next train we took tea and cake in one of the multitude of cafés in Windsor station. Great Western had got their act together by then and trains were running normally back to Paddington.
Thank you to Anna, Emma, Brian, Natalie, Humay, Marzena, Nina, Teri and Robin.
Report by Dave
Start of walk - Photo by Brian
Marlow riverside - Photo by Brian
Colourful Thames Path - Photo by Brian
Crossing Thames at Bourne End - Photo by Brian
Cookham churchyard - Photo by Brian
Lunch near Maidenhead - Photo by Brian
Rowing club busy today - Photo by Brian
Path near Dorney Reach - Photo by Brian
View towards Windsor - Photo by Brian