Windsor & Eton circular
If I remember rightly, the weather forecast for Saturday 11 February was for sunshine after the morning mist has lifted. Well, there was no mist nor any sunshine, but the clouds were up high and so was our spirit when eventually twelve of us came together on Windsor Bridge. Those of us who came from the Central station were greeted by a few of the King’s swans en-route to the bridge.
Negotiating first the narrow pavements to Eton College, we branched off through narrow lanes towards fields leading us to and beyond the viaduct, then on to Eton Wick from where we made our way to the Jubilee River. Over the last 20 or so years this river has been cultivated into a Wetland area. Following the path along the river towards Dorney we spotted Cormorants sitting on boulders by a weir and the sound of other birds and water fowl accompanied us along the way. The many shrubs and trees that were planted along the river many years ago have by now become more dense and taller, obliterating much of the views we used to enjoy across the river. That’s one of the reasons I chose to go up and walk along the top of a little mount to enable us a better view.
Lunch stop was at the very busy but friendly Palmer Arms pub in Dorney, where two more members were already waiting for us.
Fortified, and one more addition to the group for the afternoon, we continued to Court Lane past the driveway leading to Dorney Court – just before reaching the Dorney rowing lake we turned left into an enclosed parkland following the cycle path rather than the muddy bridleway, where along the way snow drops and other signs of spring were spotted.
When we reached St. Mary Magdalene’s church in Bovney, it was very disappointing to find it locked, probably due to a lack of volunteers, but luckily it was open during my recce. This church was threatened with demolition but was saved and is now maintained by the Friends of Friendless Churches
From the church we joined the Thames Path and arrived soon at Bovney Lock, perfect for a short rest and water stop, before continuing along the Thames towards Windsor & Eton. Before reaching the town, the path leads across a large meadow with a splendid view of Windsor Castle and St. George’s Chapel rising up in the distance.
Back on Windsor Bridge our, hopefully still high-spirited group divided to return in the same manner whence we came. Those walking back to the Central station were bidden farewell by a bank of King’s swans.
[Photos: Sigrid, and my thanks to Christine M and Christine R]
*[history of Dorney and Dorney Court https://dorneycourt.co.uk/about/history/]
**[info about St. Mary Magadalene’s Church, Bovney https://friendsoffriendlesschurches.org.uk/church/st-mary-magdalene-boveney-buckinghamshire/]
***[info to visit Windsor Castle https://www.rct.uk/visit/windsor-castle]