Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Hampton Court

"Not many people could have done that", said the lock keeper as I pulled off a nifty bit of manouvering to get into Sunbury old lock. For some reason, he wanted us to use the old lock, when we were right up against the new lock gates. I used the trick Sue & Vic (Nb 'No Problem') taught me, to bring the bow around without any effort, then made a sharp left and right turn to avoid the telegraph pole and an unopened lock gate, which he couldn't be bothered (or was too busy) to sort out.

Sunbury Lock Bollard"Wow... that was ultra cool!", said an onlooker. "This guy's a real expert!". I was supremely chuffed with myself, and bored Sheena with it, for the rest of the day.

The Golden GatesPassed down through Shepperton, Sunbury and Molesey locks, before arriving at Hampton Court late in the afternoon. Where we got a nice mooring spot, right beside the golden gates of the palace. It's free for the first night, and then £5 per night after that. For a maximum of three days. An offer I think we'll be taking them up on, because there is so much to see and do around here. The royal park (dog friendly) is huge, with scores of deer roaming wild, through the trees, and over the golf course.

Hampton Court, as seen from the riverMust say that I'm really glad we've ventured down this far. Thought it would be much more built up than it actually is. What a nice surprise to find that it rivals the upper river for it's width, and variety of sights. If we do see another boat, it's rushing to get to the next lock, and then we have the river to ourselves again. There are quite a few free places to moor, as well. And people don't have their hand out as soon as you tie up, like they do in Henley & Remenham.

Highly recommended destination.


  1. I like all the river, each section is different but enjoyable, the rural,bendy top end. The straights below Maidenhead, Henley has its own charm and then Tedington/Hampton Court. All the big houses to look at, Marinas, Windsor. the list is never ending.
    Brian on Harnser who can't sign on to post sometimes

  2. Hi Brian.

    Agreed. It's only 11 miles from London here, but you would never know it. Reading was equally as surprising. Not a very nice place to walk around, but completely different when seen from the river. Don't know if we have a favourite reach yet, but this stretch is definitely a contender (apart from the constant rumbling of aeroplanes).