We are moored in a most idyllic location about a mile above Boulters Lock in Maidenhead.
View from ‘Futurest’s side hatch
The River Thames here is wonderfully wide, festooned with a string of narrow islands thick with trees and shrubbery. These are strewn in a long straight line down the centre of the river and with the grand house that is Cliveden at the top of the high and steep Beech covered hillside on our right and the flat patchwork plain of Berkshire stretching away to our left, this must be one of the most beautiful parts of the Thames. It certainly is for me.
The weather remains fine for us which helps make any scene more beautiful of course, but so far we’ve spent two nights tied up here in this lovely quiet spot.
‘Roots and Wings’ being of a shallower draft, is nearest to the land with her stern touching the bank, tied to a convenient tree and close enough for our safe access or egress. However the bank here is decidedly not a straight one and consequently her bow though hidden by overhanging foliage, tumbling down from the hillside above, points out into the river so that two mooring ropes bent together are needed to reach a convenient tree and return back aboard for making fast. ‘Futurest’ is then sedately breasted up to ‘Roots and Wings’ on her offside and the two of them look like a pair of rather genteel ladies quietly dozing in the Sun on a summer’s afternoon. It is simply quite wonderful.
We arrived here at this National Trust property from Windsor on Tuesday afternoon and the weather being so pleasant, we climbed the hill and began exploring the gardens and woods immediately. But the estate is so extensive that we needed to spend the whole of yesterday there as well in order to see everything.
The long walk up. We are well strung out
The rear aspect of Cliveden from the south
After the days the evenings have been quiet, just sitting in our deck chairs watching the Sun go down and the swift approach of twilight. In silence, with a cool gin and tonic in hand we’ve listened to the calls of the birds settling for the night across on the islands and marvelled at the ‘vee’ formations of the many parties of Geese flying swiftly south east and the flocks of Starlings passing overhead, off to some roosting ground to the north east high above us. As the darkness of night descends we’ve found ourselves irrationally unnerved by unknown rustlings in the bushes behind us and instinctively ducking as tiny bats seem to fling themselves at us and then dodge swiftly past. But oh they are so close. However we have slept well and long at night.
Today the girls have gone off again, this time to find a shop to buy bread and milk, though I’m not too sure where they will find it; the country is so rural around here.