Friday, 14 April 2017

Weekend Trip to Teddington - Day 1

Even though we first holidayed together on the Thames in 1986 (aboard Thames Capri from Bridge Boats, which was a Hampton Safari 25 I think!) we'd never ventured as far as Teddington (the official limit of the non-tidal thames). So we decided to head that way from Windsor and while we were at it we could pop into Walton Marina for a night or 2.

We set off from Racecourse Marina at lunchtime and were soon passing through Boveney lock (on self service) and then past Windsor.

Romney Lock was also on self service and very busy, it took a while to pass through here.

Romney Lock lay-by

We passed by Datchet and gave Kris Cruisers a wave (have I mentioned before that in our opinion they are the best people to hire holiday boats from?). It was nice to find Old Windsor Lock was manned and we were through just after 3pm.

Old Windsor Lock

The river passes Runneymede and the Magna Carta monument, Bell Weir Lock is next (which was also manned) and then under the busy M25.  After passing Staines is was nice to find Penton Hook Lock was manned and we were through here by 4:30.

Penton Hook Lock lay-by

Penton Hook Lock
We were soon passing underneath the M3 and into Chertsey Lock which by now was on self-service.

Chertsey Lock and M3 Bridge
Not far to go now, we gave Barry a wave as we passed his lovely house on Chertsey Meads, past Pharaoh's Island and into Shepperton Lock (which we had to operate ourselves). Immediately after the lock is the entrance to the River Wey, a National Trust managed river that we went on in 1990 - so somewhere to return to sometime. We passed Desborough Island using the Channel (it's shorter!) and turned right, under the low bridge into Walton Marina, it was now 6pm.

We had phoned ahead to book a mooring 'just in case' and we had been told where this would be (on the pontoon near the slipway, but we were surprised that someone else was already in this spot and the marina office was closed so we weren't really sure what to do.  Luckily Sue (the assistant marina manager) was still on site and noticed us looking for somewhere to moor. Turns out that the other boat had been mistaken for ours and directed to moor there, Sue soon found us another place and were were moored up in no time.

It's a lovely little marina and it was only a short stroll into town for a curry! In the morning we found 'Amazing Darling' moored at the marina, a very nice Shetland 27 owned by Alan and Debbie whom we'd met previously whist on holiday with Kris Cruisers. They weren't there at the time but we've since made contact and will catch up sometime.

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