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
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
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
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
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