Friday, 24 February 2012

Thames Walk - Windsor to Runnymede

Date of Walk:  28 January 2012
Approx Distance of Walk: 7 km (4.5 miles)
 Parking/Transport: 2 cars, one start point, one at finishing point.
Starting Point: Home Park Car Park, Windsor
Finishing Point: Runnymede National Trust Car Park

A few weeks ago we had a walk along another part of the Thames Path, this time between Windsor and Runnymede. The start of the walk, from the Home Park in Windsor, gave an unusual view of the North Terrace of Windsor Castle. You really appreciate the size of the castle from this angle.


We enjoyed the company of my brother-in-law and his wife on this walk. Having 2 cars meant that we didn't have to retrace our steps.


First stop was Romney Lock.



I plan to take pictures of all the Thames Locks (there are 45 of them) and gather them together in some way.
I haven't decided how yet, but I've got quite a few to go!


We notice how much bigger this lock is than those further upstream.


From here there is a good view across the river of Eton College Chapel....


... and also a view of the Round Tower at Windsor Castle.


From the Home Park, the views of the river are wintery calm.


We cross the river at the Victoria Bridge...


I managed to edit out the drinks can from this picture....


... and from the eastern bank, once again, we get another perspective of Windsor Castle. (I was born and raised on the western side, so that is the view I am used to. I could see it from my bedroom window when I was a child.) This view is, for me, one that I have not seen before.


We continue our walk on the eastern bank of the river, looking across to the private area of the home park.


Eventually we reach the village of Datchet, where the path diverts away from the river onto a busy road for a while.


After a while we rejoin the river...


... a watery sun peeps through and shows us an ideal spot to stop for lunch!


There are quite a few ducks, geese and swans having a feed as well. I'm afraid they didn't get any of our picnic - we ate it all up ourselves!


We are very close to Heathrow Airport here, right on the flight path..


.. and a plane goes over every few minutes. After a while, we notice that they have changed direction - they must have swapped to a different runway.


Passing through the village of Datchet, we turn in towards the river again and approach the Albert Bridge, where the spring colours of the gorse are showing already.


Crossing the bridge takes us back onto the western bank of the river, and into more open country once again.


It was quite a chilly day, so this fisherman's headgear, although unusual, must have been cosy.




We pass by as quietly as we can, and look back towards the bridge. Originally, the river was spanned by a bridge in the centre of Datchet. That bridge was demolished in the 1850's and two new bridges were built - the Victoria and the Albert - in order to make a private park for Queen Victoria.


A little further on, we spot in the distance, over the rooftops, the imposing statue of the Copper Horse. This statue of King George III on horsback, stands at the end of the Long Walk, which is a  long straight path linking the statue to Windsor Castle, and is nearly 3 miles long.


As we continue along the river we approach another lock, Old Windsor Lock. The house in the middle of this picture is one that we once viewed to rent when we first moved back to this area from abroad. It was a really cold, dank day when we saw it, and I think we were partly put off because it felt so cold by the river.



Once again, this is quite a large lock.


Another lock house for my collection.


The afternoon has really brighted up by this time, and the blue sky is reflected in the river as we pass the many pleasant riverside houses.


My fellow walkers patiently wait whilst I take photographs.


We are nearly at Runnymede now.


Runnymede is, of course, known to be the place where King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215. This 'birthplace of Democracy' has now a memorial in place, erected in 1957 by the American Bar Association, to acknowledge the debt that American Law had to Magna Carta.



A little rest for the weary legs.


There is also memorial at Runnymede to John F Kennedy.
A stairway of uneven granite steps - 'the steps of individuality' - one for every year of Kennedy's life...


....leads up to the Portland stone memorial.


The memorial stands in an acre of ground given to the USA in memory of the asassinated president, and the area is landscaped, with some 'seats of contemplation'.


These two are contemplating their forthcoming pub meal, which we were looking forward to after a nice walk on a chilly day.


We return to the car park which is adjacent to these two attractive lodges, design by Sir Edwin Lutyens, one of which houses a popular tea-room.

And after an enjoyable meal at a nearby pub, it's good to get home and snuggle up by the fire!


Time to plan which part of the Thames Path we'll tackle next!

3 comments:

  1. A wonderful walk along the Thames path. Imagine being able to see Windsor castle from your bedroom window! I used to be able to see St Pauls cathedral in the distance from my childhood home. It will be really interesting if you can get pictures of all the Thames locks. Maybe you could publish a little booklet of them? Now there is a project for you if you are looking for something to do!!! x

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  2. Thanks for another lovely walk along the Thames...Here's my funny story about Windsor Castle -
    As a visitor to Windsor one quiet day, the entrance gate to the castle was open and unmanned so I rode my bike inside thinking I could leave it safely inside while I explored. However it was not long before a policeman confronted me and wanted to know what I was doing there! I pleaded the innocence of a colonial visitor and was forgiven. It was a different world then...

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.

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