Thames Path - Cookham to Maidenhead
3 February 2007
Continuing the Thames theme that seems to be starting to pervade this year's
outings, Stephen and Ellie went for a circular walk from Maidenhead, first
walking across fields to Cookham, and then back along the Thames Path to
Boulter's Lock at Maidenhead. The walk was described in the Walks Along the
Thames Path book Lucy gave Stephen for Christmas, but was modified to have a
different start point, allowing a finish along the Thames rather than the Thames
being the first section.
As we leave the northern edge of Maidenhead, an interesting sculpture of a hippo
and baby greets us. There was no information to explain or put the hippo in
context. Perhaps hippo fossils have been dug up here???
We make our way across fields away from Maidenhead along the Green Way.
Ellie on the Green Way
Farmland in the Thames valley
A flooded quarry which the path skirts as it leaves Maidenhead.
We pass a boundary stone, marking the edge of Maidenhead. Sadly this stone is
not only buried in a hedge (which is not unexpected in a boundary stone) but
hidden behind the modern kissing gate
Ellie about to cross White Brook
Footpath along the edge of the Moor Hall estate
We then reach the village of Cookham
From Cookham we follow a minor road, which forms the first part of the Thames
Path of today's walk. This takes us to the bank of the river itself. The
concrete jutting into the river is the remains of the landing stage for My Lady
Ferry: this was the last ferry operated by the Thames Conservancy, linking the
towpath on the far side to its continuation on this side. The ferry ceased
operating in 1956, and as a result those following the Thames nowadays have to
make the diversion through Cookham village and regain the Thames here, as there
is no link between the two banks.
Ellie by the Thames
Looking across the river from the same point, to Seven Gable Cottage
Cattle grazing by the river on this beautiful February morning
The path was largely firm but just muddy enough to be slippery
The Cliveden reach of the Thames
Another Maidenhead boundary stone
As we continue along the Thames Path, we reach the edge of Maidenhead, and
moored boats start to appear
Looking straight into the low sun, we see the weir of Boulter's Lock
Boulter's Lock, and journey's end. A grand winter's morning walk, and made much
better by the change in start point: it seemed very odd to have a walk centred
around the Thames, and then to finish with the river a third of the way through
- much better to have the river as the fitting climax to the walk.