Off the grumpy Thames and onto the wonderful Wey

Yesterday we left Windsor early and headed off down towards Shepperton where the Thames joins the Wey.

LeavingWindsor

Taking our leave of Windsor – no crowds around at this time of day!

 

As it was before 9am, the first few locks were unmanned and there was time to take a look around while waiting for them to fill and empty. While being totally different sizes, the locks on this section of the Thames are all incredibly well groomed. I must admit I find this a little dull. The same flower beds at each lock provided by the same garden centre. I think I prefer the wilder CRT locks, even if the grass is a little long on occasion.

PentonHookLock

Ewn Ha Cul looking rather lost in Penton Hook Lock

Travelling on The Thames is a bit like motorway driving but with better scenery. Everyone seems to be in a bit of a rush and there are more grumpy people in evidence. We managed to meet two lots of them at the same lock. We got shouted at when we tried to join a boat in a lock thinking he’d just gone in. Turns out that he was leaving – oops! Serves him right for having a boat where the front is the same shape as the back. On exiting the same lock there was a cruiser coming upstream to enter the lock. He was positioned right in the middle of the rather narrow (by Thames standards) channel. When we moved to try to pass him on the correct side he moved the same way. We’re not that maneuverable so when we changed direction to avoid him we didn’t leave him a lot of room. He expressed his displeasure and we smiled benignly not wanting to get into a shouting match. This left both Gordon and I feeling more than a little growly! So much so that we decided against making a planned stop at Runnymede. One for the way back to Reading I think.

We did see some more lovely boats along the way.

SLNuneham

Steam Launch Nuneham – one of the competitors of the Alaska on the Oxford to Kingston run

NiceBarge

What a beautiful old Dutch Barge

Our equilibrium was restored when we turned off onto The Wey Navigation. It’s managed by the National Trust and you have to buy a separate licence to navigate it costing a rather hefty £75 for a week.

OntoTheWey

The very helpful lock keeper divested us of our money, gave us some paperwork, and saw us through the first lock.

EnthusiasticGateSluices20140701_110608Straight away we could feel the difference between the two waterways. While the Thames is all rush, The Wey is incredibly relaxed. Not many boats moving at all and nobody seeming to be in much of a hurry.

PrettyWeyWe moored up in a lovely spot without having to fight for a space despite being outside The Anchor in Pyrford, a very popular pub.

LovelyMooring2We just had to sit in the beer garden and unwind with a bottle of wine.

20140701_145746

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses to Off the grumpy Thames and onto the wonderful Wey

  1. nbEpiphany says:

    As a result of LindaH comment I am now following you – interested in the Bassy! Interesting to see you are from Newlyn – so must keep up with fellow Cornish boaters;)

    • ewnhacul says:

      Hi Fiona, although we’ve seen loads of boats around with Cornish flags, we haven’t actually met anybody from home, except in passing. There does seem to be a fairly large Cornish contingent on the waterways though!

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