As the storm warnings filled us with trepidation here in the UK yesterday, we took a morning walk around Dorney Lake. The first day of winter time.
The skies were bright but the wind was building up.
Walking along the south side we were relatively sheltered from the wind which was coming from behind or to the side of us. The finishing line pavilion here stands between the main rowing lake in the right and the return channel on the left.
I always like walking along this bit, with the water on both sides.
Down near the boathouse, three canoes give a splash of colour.
From the amount of water in the bottom of these boats, there has obviously been lots of overnight rain.
Walking back along the north side, the wind was whipping up waves and even white crested ones.
Some lovely autumn colours are developing as the swans hunker down.
The arboretum is also showing signs of autumn colour.
Dorney Lake has been one of my favourite spots for a brisk walk under vast skies for quite a time. To walk around the 4 km lake or through the arboretum is a good way of passing an hour, and it has always been free to park. Now they are introducing a hefty £2.50 parking charge, which is a lot, in my opinion. You can park all day for that fee, but most people only go for a hour or so, to walk the dog, cycle, run, walk and generally enjoy the fresh air and tranquility of the place. I suspect most people, like me, will seek alternative places to park, and many of them will not care that they cause obstruction on surrounding roads and to local residents. It seems to me an ill-thought out, money grabbing gesture and I don't like it one bit. What's more, you can only pay by credit card or by mobile phone, neither of which I am in the habit of taking with me when I'm just popping out for a breath of air. I do know of an alternative, legitimate car park nearby, so I'll still be visiting, but it will be interesting to see how many cars are in the car park at the lake in future.