#21. Guildford to Henley, 6 nights

Unfortunately, this route is booked.

For many years boaters have been encouraged to visit the Wey. Those making the visit are never disappointed.

We depart Guildford and soon see open countryside, passing Triggs Lock and the National Trust Workshops. Turning, we reach the pretty Papercourt Lock and Pyrford beyond. Byfleet and Weybridge appear, then it’s onto the Thames at Shepperton.

River Wey

View on the River Wey

At Shepperton Lock we may see Nauticalia, the National Trust ferry operated for walkers – note “Droves of sheep are carried at one shilling per score, but the shepherd must clean up afterwards”. That’s still good value – 5p for 20 sheep!!

The Thames twists and turns to Chertsey. Look out for the colourful and sometimes eccentric holiday chalets, bungalows and houseboats. Near Holm Island we pass the London Stone, which marked the jurisdiction of the City of London over the river. In medieval times, this was the highest point of the tidal Thames. It was also the next bridge upstream after London Bridge, some 20 miles away.

Soon we reach Runnymede and can visit the RAF Memorial, Kennedy Memorial and, of course, the Runnymede Memorial marking the sealing of the Magna Carta in 1215. On the north bank are the remains of Ankerwycke Priory. As we pass Old Windsor and the Albert and Victoria bridges, there are fine views of Windsor. We also pass close to Queen Victoria´s former boathouse, seen only from the river.

Our schedule allows a lengthy stop at Windsor & Eton. Notable places of interest are the famous royal Castle, Victorian Railway Station, Legoland, Savill Gardens, The Great Park, Eton and its famous College or even a horse-drawn carriage ride.

Temple Lock

View near Temple Lock

At Maidenhead the river is attractive and busy and we see Brunel’s magnificent arched railway bridge. Boulter’s Lock is reputedly the busiest on the river, as depicted in old paintings and photographs, so let’s hope for somewhat less river traffic when we arrive! As we approach Bourne End through the wooded hillsides of Cliveden, the river is wide and popular with sailors from the nearby Scouts Boating Centre and Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

At Marlow, we are greeted by the elegant suspension bridge across the river. This is a very lively and handsome Georgian town with literary connections to Shelley, Mary Godwin and T.S. Eliot. We will also see Hambleden, one of the most attractive villages on this stretch.The old mill near the Lock is now converted to apartments.

Beyond Hurley, we encounter Henley Reach, home of the famous annual Regatta and where the Brent geese have “made their mark”.

The journey is 52 miles with 30 locks.

Join us on Kailani at 1pm and we set off cruising at 2pm. Departure on your last day will be at 10am.

There are convenient railway stations at Guildford and Henley.

 

 

Unfortunately, this route is booked.

Hotel Boat Kailani