Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Thames Trip: Motivation and Route

The genesis of the idea of the boat trip was a visit by my brother and his family to Goring (the lock there can be seen in the photo above).

Here they found a lovely village, with great pubs and restaurants, all next to the beautiful Thames, flowing gently through green meadows. And the idea came - why not see the region as it should: from a boat.

And from that seed discussions were held and bookings were made, until we all met at the Reading boat yard on-board the Caversham Queen. And from here we headed up river, back to Goring.

On the way we also stayed at Pangbourne and travelled up to Shillingford, before returning stopping at the same places. In total over the long weekend we went through 10 locks and travelled about 33 nautical miles or 62 km.

There was of course the alternative to go down river to Henley, Marlow etc, but we couldn't do both and as well as being more pastoral we had arranged to meet another relative at Shillingford, so upriver it was to be.

And as it has been said many times before, there is nothing quite like simply messing about in boats - and in this case it was in a motor boat.

On the way we'd experience the Thames of the Wind in the Willows, passing what was the inspiration for Toad Hall and visiting the last home of its author, Kenneth Grahame.


Carol Anne said...

Beautiful countryside. The place where I stayed the year I lived in England is just on the edge of that map -- I was on the southern side of East Hagbourne, on the Blewbury Road. I went to school in Wallingford; the bus I took went through Brightwell and Cholsey and a bunch of other villages.

Carol Anne said...

Oh, and before any of my fellow Americans comment about how that seems to be an awfully indirect way to get from one point to another, let me add that the bus route went meandering around and about all over the place. All of the wandering added to the enjoyment of the journey. It was fascinating to see all of the changes of the seasons in the fields and woods.

Besides, the British don't go in straight lines anyway. It's sort of like a sailboat ... one tacks a lot.

ChrisP said...

I don't suppose you are returning to Pangbourne for the Thames Boat Show this weekend? Always fun.

Tillerman said...

Carol Anne is probably familiar with G.K.Cheserton's The Rolling English Road which starts...

Before the Roman came to Rye or out to Severn strode,
The rolling English drunkard made the rolling English road.
A reeling road, a rolling road, that rambles round the shire...

JP said...

Carol Anne: buses are like that aren't they? I remember arranging to meet someone at Heathrow and took a bus there and it seemed to go all round Hounslow before arriving.... I was rather late :(

And the line (if you follow Carol Anne's link)

"The night we went to Glastonbury by way of Goodwin Sands"

- lovely!

Chris: alas not, we just had the boat for the bank holiday weekend. Another time....