During June and July the river really belongs to the rowers, or at least they act as if it does. But thankfully we left Henley before the Regatta officially started. But we we still had to follow the course.
And although we followed the arrowed signage the way ahead looked clear. What we hadn’t realised was the imminent attack approaching from behind. Traveling fast at 4mph (which is a rare occurance for Firecrest) we felt like we were taking our elephant for a stroll around the Ascot race track as the rowers had to slow down from their charge to avoid hitting us. Apparently a men’s 8 averages 14mph. Things weren’t helped by a single non competative rower, (eg the donkey) had ignored the signs and was travelling the wrong way. For us it turned what should have been a dignified dwardle into a fraught furlong.
But we survived to reach Temple Island which is where the Regatta races officially start.
The eyot with it’s temple, (a folly orignially built as a fishing lodge in 1771), now belongs to the Henley Royal Regatta who forbid anyone to moor or step foot on the island unless the committee gives written permission, can be hired for the day for £1750 plus the hiring of boats to transport your guests.
We decided not to linger, and to be honest breathed a sigh of relief to be off the course. We enjoyed a few nights wild mooring before we reached Marlow, home to the worlds most revered rower Sir Steve Redgrave.
There was plenty to see in Marlow, a pleasant stroll along the river path takes you to All Saints church, part of historic Bisham Abbey
But as we have found all along this river some views are tantalising close… if you can swim, but bridges are few and far between. But then again when you do find a bridge, its usually quite special. The current Marlow bridge was built circa 1830 by William Tierney Clark who went on to build the larger Hungarian Széchenyi Chain Bridge that crosses the Danube
We enjoyed Marlow, although its the first place we have been “disturbed” by several noisy groups who had drunk a little too much champagne (is there such a thing as too much champagne?)
We’ve become used to seeing some impressive forms of transport on this part of the Thames but this mini caught my eye and made me chuckle
And whilst a lot of the enticing looking restaurants were out of our price bracket, the farmers market made up a bit of variety.
A good few days, Sir Steve is wondering about the emerging talent.
But we dont think the doggy paddle will win any golds