November 1st sees the start of major lock works so now is my last chance to explore east of Windsor for a few months. A fairly long trek to Hampton Court, 7 hours with 8 locks. Surprisingly the locks east are much wider. I did ask one keeper why, he thought it may have been due to the density of traffic when they were built, tourist boats. Not a problem except there’s more room to drift about before I get the ropes sorted.
On leaving Windsor I get another view of the castle and have been warned not to moor or breakdown on the castle grounds or be swiftly met by the security services.
This route is much more built up, after passing Runnymede and the home of the Magna Carta I went under the M25 and M3.
The river becomes wider the further east I go. Through Staines, close to Thorpe Park and past Shepperton there’s a short cut which I took, I’ll explore the longer route on my way back. As I pass Sunbury the river bank is covered in Houseboats. They look charming, each one different but all are trying to make the most of their beautiful surroundings.
As I passed through the last lock (Molesey) before Hampton Court I went under the A309 which made me smile as I’d crossed this bridge many times in a car going the same speed I was doing in Angela Dawn.
The mooring for Hampton Court are almost deserted. Right next to the Palace with manicured pathways.
The trees are full of squirrels for Nutty to chase and beautiful green Parakeets chirping away. Miles of park and country riverside to walk along although Nuts had to be on the lead at times inside the Royal Park as it was full of deer.
The mooring at Hampton Court is free for 24hours then £5 a night, not bad at all. I’m staying for 2 nights before slowly moving back to Windsor. Lovely pub close, The Mute Swan with Wifi, great beers and dog friendly.