Thursday, 4 July 2013

Maidenhead to Windsor

At last I have managed to complete a major part of the Thames Path. This last section from Maidenhead to Windsor was the remaining part I wanted to complete the trek all the way from Oxford; that is 73 miles in all according to the Thames path web site. There is a further 25 miles of the path East to London and 54 miles West to its source near Lechlade. I have not much interest in going further into London - too many cyclists. The walk is quite a contrast from the last walk up and down the highest hills in the area to a dead flat riverside walk. Here is a Google map of the 8 mile walk:

View Maidenhead - Windsor in a larger map

This was another walk that can be easily done as a one way walk as there are railway stations at Maidenhead and Windsor. This is the clock tower as you come out of Maidenhead station.

Maidenhead clock tower

The path to the river is a mile through built-up Maidenhead. The town does not have many interesting buildings, it looks pretty modern, so the next view is from the A4 road bridge looking south-east down the river.

rivre thames,Maidenhead bridge

Now for some flowers, there were more than I expected in general, the path had a fair few places left for wildlife to prosper. The first shot is of a garden plant though, a large flowered hypericum (Hypericum calycinum).


At one point the path was strewn with wool like material. I started to think of reckless littering. It is in fact 'fluff' from poplar trees.

poplar fluff

Geraniums (or Crane's bills) were flowering well at various spots along the way.


There are quite a few grand houses along the Thames, mainly on the other side - including the village of Bray, famous for the Fat Duck restaurant - considered the best in the U.K.. Unfortunately in the evening sun they were mainly in shadow. I think this is Oakley Court where some sort of celebration was going on.

river thames,Oakley Court

Perhaps the most impressive flower along the route was a large 'vetch'. I am guessing it is goat's rue.

goat rue

Very few boats were on the water, surprisingly few considering the Henley Royal Regatta was taking place upstream.

river thames,boat

Another garden flower now. This is the orange form of honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens 'Magnifica').


The native wild flowers like tufted vetch (Vicia cracca) were equally pretty.

tufted vetch

Some views along the river Thames in evening light were attractive.

river thames

With the light beginning to fade and shadows lengthening it became a bit of a sprint to get to Windsor before sunset. One last wild-flower had to be stopped for. It is meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) with its pleasant sweet smell.

meadowsweet,Filipendula ulmaria

And at last, after passing under the Eton bye-pass Windsor castle came into view. It is one of the largest castles in the world. Sited on a chalk inlier it is the only prominent 'lump' in this part of the Thames valley. I think we were a few minutes late to catch the view at its best.

windsor,windsor castle

Finally as the sun disappeared a view below the castle in Windsor itself.

windsor,windsor castle

The evening marked the likely start of a long, dry, hot spell of summer weather. Poor weather for walking, so it may be a week or two before my next walk.