Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Runnymede

Another scorcher of a day. Most of the boats moving were narrowboats, and the ubiquitous massive tripboats with their loudhailed announcements of things for people to look at. We cruised down past Windsor castle, and the royal estates, to Runnymede. Which was sadly dissapointing. I'd been told there were "loads" of moorings down here, but when we arrived, we found two. One of which was occupied by people who refuse to even acknowledge that we exist. Blanked us, like they did at Gosmoor two days ago. Their problem, not ours. We choose not to live life as paranoid robots, or have the attitude of uncaring automatons.

Further on downstream there are some slightly better places to moor, but they're right next to the A308, which is constantly busy with vehicles whizzing past at 60mph. The chances of anyone on a boat getting any sleep there are pretty slim.

So, we scrambled up the bank, dodged the traffic, and made our way through the meadow to the Magna Carta monument. Which is what we came down here to see.

Sadly, it was as unremarkable as I'd remembered it from my youth. The signing of the Magna Carta seems to mean more to the Americans, because they'd planted oak trees and paid for the temple like memorial. The National Trust's investment seemed to consist of mowing the lawn, and paying for a sign which looked like it had been crafted in the 1970's.

The grey brick road to the Steps of IndividualityThe JFK memorial was a little more impressive. There was a nicely paved road, up to some "Steps of Individuality". But, somebody must have pinched the "Seats of Contemplation", because we couldn't find them anywhere. The JFK memorial is a big chunk of carved stone. Impressive in scale, but pretty bland in nature. Sorry, no photos, there were kids climbing on it.

Then we enjoyed a nice stroll around the meadows, where the magna carta was probably really signed. Had a well deserved ice-cream, dodged the traffic, and made our way back to the boat. "We'll not be coming here again", said Sheena.

Bluebells in the WoodNothing was very welcoming about the place. For a national monument, it was a "jolly poor show". And a lady has just banged on the roof asking for six quid for the privilege of staying here. Neither of us are terribly impressed. The lady in the teashop was nice though. She offered to post our Easter cards for us. Thankyou..

Runnymede Wiki

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