Living so close to the Thames can be a hinderance and a joy. Attempting to cross the river during rush hour either via a bridge or the M25 can be a nightmare. But on a sunny day it is wonderful to walk along the side of the Thames.
I am very fortunate that a good friend of mine has a small motor boat, and he invited me to go for a spontaneous trip up the Thames. It was such a beautifully clear and sunny evening, and even though we set out just before 8pm we still had over an hour of sunlight left.
We joined the river near Runnymede and headed up river towards Old Windsor. Even though the Thames has had a bad history of being polluted and even these days the dark waters aren’t exactly inviting, it is still home to a lot of wildlife. We came across many marine birds including a family of swans with some adorable signets, a group of lively ducks and a Cormorant drying its wings out in the setting sun.
It was heart warming to see the camaraderie between those who travel up and down the river as people on the boats wave to each other in passing. It was such a pleasant evening, and my friend even managed to add to his ever growing collection of fenders, large plastic buffers that attach to the sides of the boat to avoid damaging the boat when mooring up.
I even had a go at steering the boat for a little while, which even after many years experience of driving a car, was a rather different experience but great fun.
I can really see the appeal of spending so much time traveling by boat, as even though the world around you is still so noisy and busy, there is a sense of calm and tranquility you feel when you head out on the water, which I hope to experience again soon.
Have any of you spent time along the Thames? What did you do? Can you recommend any other places to visit?