Considering the bad weather and rain we have been experiencing just lately, and forecasted for the day of our outing, (all in the week that the water companies had declared an official drought and imposed a hosepipe ban) we were very lucky to have the sun shining for our spring cruise on Old Father Thames.
After a pleasant coach trip to Maidenhead we boarded our cruise boat for a four hour cruise to Henley. The master of the boat gave us a commentary during the trip, pointing out the varied wildlife that has returned to the Thames since the environmental clean-up of the upper Thames. The upper Thames is now one of the cleanest rivers in Europe.
Not only did we see the usual swans and mallards, but a host of other water fowl that have made the Thames their home. Some of us were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the beautiful, but elusive, Kingfisher.
Our cruise took us through several locks and riverside towns and villages, passing some of the most expensive real estate in the country. As our guide pointed out to us, if one has to enquire about the price of these riverside mansions, one cannot afford them!
One of the most spectacular homes on this part of the river is Cliveden House perched on the hill as the terrain plunged down to the river to the Cliveden Deeps. Cliveden house was the home of the Astors and the ‘Cilveden Set’ of the 1920’s, and the setting of the events of the notorious ‘Profumo Affair’ of the 1960’s.
On arriving at Henley we had time to have lunch and explore this lively riverside town before heading for home.
Many more pictures in the ‘Photo’ section