Thames Path - Maidenhead to Windsor

27 August 2007

A pleasant August Bank Holiday Monday saw Stephen and George take another walk along the Thames Path, today from Maidenhead to Windsor.


After an unexciting walk from Maidenhead station, we reach the Thames at Boulter's Lock, a busy boating scene even relatively early in the day, though as yet hardly any spectators - no doubt that will change dramatically by this afternoon.


Looking downriver as the boats from the lock make their way through Maidenhead


We have now crossed Maidenhead Bridge, which carries the A4 and the Thames Path across to the east bank, which we will maintain all the way to Eton. The bridge was designed by Robert Taylor and built in 1777 at a cost of 19,000


A short way further downriver, we pass under Brunel's railway bridge. Brunel needed to get the railway across the Thames with sufficient clearance for sailing barges while avoiding raising the railway too high which would cost more to build high embankments and increase the gradient of the line. Completed in 1839, the bridge's audacious design has what remains to this day the widest flattest brick arches in the world: 39 metres across with a rise of just 7.3 metres giving 8.5 metres clearance above the water.


An impressive looking barge approaches Bray Lock


The Thames Path passes the end of the gardens of some attractive large houses


The towpath itself is also well maintained in this affluent area


Here the towpath spreads out into a broad grassy area


An unidentified building on the west bank in Water Oakley


The Victorian Gothic Oakley Court, now a hotel


The entrance to Windsor Marina


The church of St Mary Magdalene at the hamlet of Boveney: the earliest parts are 12th and 13th century.


Boats and gongoozlers at Boveney Lock


Approaching Windsor, and the Castle is now in view as we walk through Brocas Meadow


A close-up of Windsor Castle - the largest inhabited castle in the world (floor area around 45,000 square metres) and the oldest in continuous occupation (since the late 11th century).


Crossing the pedestrian-only Windsor Bridge from Eton into Windsor. It was opened in 1824, but closed to vehicles in 1970 when cracks were found in some of the cast iron segments.


From Windsor Bridge, a last look down at the Thames before we wend our way through the busy town to the Royal station and a train to Slough.

Total 15.5km (11.6km on the Thames Path) in 3 hours 20 mins (including 23 minutes stopped).

previous Thames Path walk - Cookham to MaidenheadThames Path walks next Thames Path walk - onwards to Chertsey
 

 

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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson