Sunday, 21 September 2014

Home Counties Cruise: Day 16

It was very sunny this morning, and has been most of the day -- although there's been a stiff breeze which has made it feel quite chilly at times.  We set off from Runnymede at around 9.15, turning round so were were heading south again.  The first couple of locks were staffed, but Chertsey Lock was on self service.  Below Shepperton lock we opted not to take the more direct route of the Desborough Cut, and instead follow the longer, natural channel of the river.  It's rather nice round there, with some parkside moorings and a sailing club.

We stopped for lunch at Walton on Thames, having done a u-turn in the river to moor upstream.  It proved to be a good place for plane spotting, including one of BA's new Boeing 787s.

We've seen every shape and size of boat today.  On the approach to Sunbury Lock we saw The Love Shack, which is a houseboat which actually seems to move.  We then shared with a lovely little wooden boat, which in spite of appearances is only about twenty years old.

When we got to our intended destination, Hampton Court, the moorings looked fairly busy, so we tucked into the very first space -- this time facing downstream so the side doors are on the water side.  The rings are poorly spaced, so we've had to be quite inventive with ropes at the stern.  It's important to be secure here particularly, as there are dozens of trip boats, and they go past fast.  We walked across the bridge to Hampton for a walk up the busy little shopping street, and looked back at the moorings.

The steps up from the moorings are a bit odd.  It's actually a slope, but a few stones have been laid flat to form steps.

We then had a walk round Hampton Court Palace -- but decling to pay more than £18 each to go in, stuck to the publicly accessible bits.

In the open part of the grounds, there were parakeets in the trees, and a squirrel posed for photos.

Returning to the boat, we found that we were pretty much on our own.  Obviously all the people who were out for the weekend have headed back to their moorings.

14 miles, 6 locks.  (203 miles, 127 locks)

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