Last Monday we said goodbye to our travelling companions, Karen & Martin on Aria, and headed down the Grand Union towards the Thames.
Not much of note along this stretch apart from the Hanwell flight (6 consecutive locks), which run along the side of the former County Asylum now called Ealing Hospital. Asylum Lock & Asylum Dock are the eerie names given by the boatmen who delivered coal & collected surplus produce from the market garden. If you look carefully you can see a bricked up archway which was the entrance to the dock.
Having made it to the Thames we moored up just above Teddington Lock & had a meal at a pub called Tide End Cottage (apparently Rudyard Kipling’s explanation for the derision of the name Teddington). Whilst away from the boat the bankside cleat at the front of Aylmer was ripped from the boat, completely sheering the bolt & bending the metal!
We suspect the culprit was one of these as they charged past the moorings way to fast.
As it rained pretty hard we stayed put a 2nd night & took the bus into Kingston.
Our next stop was Laleham, a small town badly hit by the floods earlier in the year. We dined at the 3 Horseshoes, a very well run pub we would recommend, where they had live music. http://3horseshoeslaleham.co.uk/ Then back to the boat for Nashville.
The sun came out and the views improved, as we travelled through Walton-on-Thames, Windsor, Bray & Maidenhead. Sunday we woke to a beautiful summers day and started off at the infamous Boulters Lock (more of that later). Next came the very pretty stretch at Clifton Reach and later Cookham where there is an abundance of mooring places.
Today we made Henley-on-Thames and found a spot, by the park near the town centre, where we had lunch in the Anchor. The promised thunderstorms did not materialise but we had a little rain late in the afternoon. Forcast is good for tomorrow though :)