Dorney Lake to Bourne End : 8 miles, 3 lock
To date : 455 miles, 267 locks
What a lovely day today. I was awake by 6am so made the most of it with doing some work. We decided to go for a walk after breakfast to check out Dorney Lake. It's the location of the rowing events for the London Olympics and is owned by Eton College. The surrounding area is very pretty and along the way we saw a lovely rural property with a sign out front advertising free range eggs. We bought a dozen and got chatting to the lady. In the end she was showing us around her property and we were checking out the chickens, chicks, ducks and horses. What an enjoyable half hour... it really set us in a good mood for the day.
It was 9am by the time we got back but when I called out through hatch of nb Winton's Folly it was a familiar sight. Two sleepy heads blinking like owls in their dressing gowns. Fay... if you leave a comment with your email address (I won't publish the comment) I'll send you the photo. I promised not to put it on the blog! So it was a good hour later before we went anywhere.
This was certainly the loveliest day we've had on the Thames and must surely be up there as one of the nicest cruising days we've had. The sun was out this morning, the weather was mild, there was barely a breath of wind and the scenery along the way was just gorgeous. There are such grand houses along this stretch of river. There is less boat traffic than there was further back on the river and we're more used to handling the boat in the current so we're relaxed about the river now. Perfect.
We had an island mooring marked in our book. There was a cruiser moored there but what a fantastic spot that would be to moor. On the next tiny island there were half a dozen lads larking in the water. They had a tent pitched and were having a great time. We saw Cliveden House in the distance above some trees. There was a couple of cottages that you can rent for accomodation and what a lovely place for a little holiday overlooking the river.
At Cookham Lock we renewed our Thames licences. It was fairly quiet so the extremely helpful lock-keeper dealt with the paperwork and payment while the boats were sitting in the lock. We asked him for a suggestion of where to moor for a couple of hours so we could have lunch and a look around Cookham village. He kindly allowed us to breast up at the very end of the lock layby. It was a picturesque spot with a little bridge just beyond that led to a path into the village. Mick and I sat on the the steps outside the boat to enjoy our lunch in the sun. I'd struck it lucky finding some delicious marinated herring in Waitrose the other day. Reminds me of my mum. The walk into the village was worth the trip. Our guide book said there were antique shops but not any more. Nevertheless we enjoyed the walk around and the village boasts some very nice buildings and church.
Shortly after Cookham in our Thames guide we saw that Sue had marked a pub with moorings. We hoped to get in there but it was busy with boats. Instead we moored a little further along at Bourne End near The Spade Oak pub. We'd been lucky at Windsor the other day with nobody collecting mooring fees but this time a fellow knocked on the galley window while we were preparing our dinner to collect the 5 quid. It's a pleasant spot with rolling green hills opposite so we certainly don't mind paying to moor here.
There's a resident goose at this mooring. I was inside working and looked out to see him beside Mick, Barry and Carol while they enjoyed the sun. While I was cooking he knocked on the kitchen window for attention. The rent collector said he'd been here for years.
After dinner Carol called out to come and watch some sail boats practicing on the river. That passed a pleasant half hour with a bit of chat with other spectators.
In all it's been a fabulous day.