Thames Path – Weybridge to Windsor

A walk along the Thames Path from Weybridge to Windsor, on 7 April 2018.

This section of the path gets off to an exciting start, with the Shepperton ferry. My previous walk had ended short of the target when the river was too fast-flowing for the ferry to operate, but this time I phoned in advance to check that it was running.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

A ferry service has operated here for around 500 years, albeit with a gap from the 1960s. It runs every 15 minutes, costs £2.50 single, and it only takes a few seconds.1

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

The Thames Path returns to dry land, and then follows one or other bank of the river for almost all of its route to Windsor.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

It was a gloriously sunny May bank holiday Monday, and a lot of people were out on the river…

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

…or buying ice cream ashore.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

There were lots of boats on the river, some with silly names.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Boats crusing along the river.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Dumsey Meadow is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and apparently the only undeveloped water meadow on the Thames downstream from Caversham.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Next comes Chertsey Bridge.

1783-85. Architect James Paine. The least altered of his Thames bridges. Five principal segmental arches centre widest, with flanking single flood arches in slight breaks. Drip over arches. Coursed and dressed rubble with band at base of ashlar parapet, cornice above. Cast-iron panels in parapet over spandrels and breakwaters (pointed in plan with round tops at springing of arches). Numerous tie rods. 1930s lamps.2

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

A brief stop at the Kingfisher pub, then onwards to the somewhat less pretty M3 motorway bridge.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Boatyards always seem a lot more picturesque than other types of industrial sites.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

A – well, what is it? – with the City of London arms.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

A typical view along this stretch of the Thames.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Old boats often seem prettier than newer ones.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

The lock keeper’s house at Penton Hook Lock.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Boats using sail power.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Plane, train and boats at Staines. Or Staines-upon-Thames as it now is. No-one mention Ali G.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

A type 4d coal duty post next to the railway.
Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

The Swanmaster statue, by Diana Thomson. Unveiled by the Mayor of Spelthorne on 4 November 2014.3

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

A replica of the London Stone which once marked the limits of the City of London’s rights on the river. The original is now in the Spelthorne Museum.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

The Thames Path crosses the river, and at the other end of the bridge there is another coal tax post, this time a type 2* with a correction plate

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Passing under the M25 orbital motorway at Runnymede Bridge; the path finally leaves everything which might in some very informal sense be seen as “London”.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

“…the memorable Charta, known as Magna Charter on account of the Latin Magna (great) and Charter (a Charter); this was the first of the famous Chartas and Gartas of the Realm and was invented by the Barons on a desert island and in the Thames called Ganymede”, as the book 1066 & All That put it.4

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

“Magna Charter was therefore the chief cause of Democracy in England, and thus a Good Thing for everyone (except the Common People)”.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Some queens.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

That’s good to know.
Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Mind the gap.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

Albert Bridge, I wonder what the next bridge will be called?

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

The Thames Path diverts away from the river briefly at Datchet.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

And Windsor is reached. Had the Normans known where Heathrow airport was going to be, they might have rethought the location of the castle.

Thames Path - Weybridge to Windsor

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