Thames Path 2 – Day 8 Henley-on-Thames to Marlow then Maidenhead

Another early start because the weather promised to be up to 21 by lunchtime. It took time to park up the car at the second car park I tried at Maidenhead station only to then find out the train was delayed by 7 minutes, that still left me with plenty of time to get across platforms at Twyford to catch the train to Henley on Thames.

I set out from Henley station in glorious sunshine at just after 0800. There was lots of activity going on as I walked from the bridge at Henley towards Marlow, they were setting up for the annual Henley royal regatta. The women’s Henley regatta was also in progress as I walk past clearly they have started early because they had quite a lot of races to get through. The race seem to be timed rather than one against another with one boat leaving about once a minute or once every two. Whilst I walked the length of the course there was double scull, single scull and 4 person scull.

As you leave the regatta area the tarmac path runs out and you’re back on grass and it’s not long before you come across Hambledon Lock. The weir just beyond is probably one of the largest I have seen on the Thames it was in full flow due to the rain in the past two weeks it was quite spectacular.

At Aston the thames path head inland on a road then you turn left at the Flowerpot inn and go uphill where there are great views over the thames. As you pass the grounds of Culham court you go through a extensive wildflower meadow which was full of pink vetch type flowers and large daisies.

I made good progress to Hurley lock passing Danesfield House hotel high up on the bank as the Thames turn to the right. Unfortunately the tea shop at Hurley lock did not open till 11 so I carried on walking towards Marlow where I hope to get coffee and a snack. The footbridge across the the river just before Temple Lock which had been closed up until only a few days before definitely had some flex and the repairs they done look like they were coming away already.

Just outside Marlow i came across a fisherman who has caught a very large carp. He was trying to take a selfie using his mobile on a stand I helped him out by taking the photo for him, I also took a few with mine to email on. In Marlow I stopped in Copia Coffee for an americano and scrambled eggs, Asian early lunch. I was 8 miles in so past halfway, but it wasn’t getting any cooler.

After Spade Oak it’s pretty much pasture land for quite away you pass Spade Oak and Bourne end. I managed to get an ice cream at Bourne end. I did the section fairly quickly because just outside Marlow I saw a guy walking fairly fast and slowly over a couple of miles I caught up and overtook him. at Cookham I decided to leave the Thames path and take a slightly longer route through the National Trust Cliveden estate. It looks like there was less road but it turns out that the footpath was pretty close to the road anyway. It did give me an opportunity to have a nice national trust coffee before the final few miles through the cliveden estate and then onto a road into Maidenhead and to my car at the station.

I realised when I finally got to Maidenhead at mile 17.5 that I had not marked the route back to the Railway Station, and annoyingly I had another mile and a half to ge to the car. I grabbed some dinner from a Waitrose. It had been a long day walking from 08:00 to 16:30.