Long day today and I have to admit to my feet protesting a little at being put into walking boots again after their day off! On my day of rest I visited the castle in Windsor with the lovely Hobarts and returned to St George’s Chapel there in the evening for evensong, when the choir sang ‘The Magnificat’. Fabulous day.
Setting off it was bright but chilly and throughout the day layer after layer came off as it became much, much warmer.
With my best foot forward I set off at a bit of a gallop, confident that I was going in the right direction. When I came across the full-sized Hawker Hurricane hoisted up into the air however, I realized that direction isn’t everything .. you also need to be on the right side of the river!
But then I wouldn’t have seen the aircraft nor the beautifully woven arch into the park ..
To return to the correct side I had to negotiate the A332 and discovered art worthy of any gallery.
The walk was quiet and restful for a while. Just beyond Boveney Lock I came across the tiny little 12th century St Mary Magdalene Church. A plaque told me that it had been rescued by the Friends of Friendless Churches, who acquired it in 1983 to save it from demolition or decay. What a brilliant idea.
Around the next bend was Eton’s boathouse and rowing lake. It was extraordinarily impressive and in fact had been used for the 2012 Olympics. No wonder we did so well!
Just beyond Dorney Reach the path goes beneath the M4, the road we take out to Cirencester each time we arrive back in UK. It’ll be fun to watch out for this point next time I’m driving!
Today was the day of complete Foxtrot Oscar houses but this was probably my favourite somewhere along the Maidenhead Reach.
I stopped for a bite to eat just after the bridge in Maidenhead at Jenners Cafe. Best egg and salad sandwich ever!!
On to Cookham, where the war-time painter Stanley Spencer lived. The gallery of his work was food for the soul, in the way that the egg sarnie had sustained my body. The village features strongly in his work, particularly the churchyard. On show, at the jewel of a gallery, was the permanent exhibition and also one of horticultural scenes. It was a huge treat to see some of his works.
Lovely Marlow was the next town. Very pretty. And then, a while later, the FO house to beat all FO houses: Clivedon, the glamorous setting for the Profumo Affair back in the 1960s.
The last couple of miles of the day were tough on the feet but there were lovely little spring sights to see ..
Crossing the little but very steep footbridge, I turned inland into the village of Hurley. It was as if time had stood still there for decades, if not centuries. It was a place my sweet Grandma had spent time in her youth and it wasn’t difficult to imagine her there. I stayed at The Olde Bell where she had actually worked, fittingly enough in the annex called The Malt House. Dinner was especially good in the evening but nothing could cap the soak in the deep, hot bath! My feet virtually sang out with gratitude ..
Dog of the day had to go to Queenie .. yes, really .. a corgi I met a couple of miles out of Windsor.