It is difficult to find a short term mooring in London for a barge the size of Wanderlust. Most of London’s temporary moorings are geared either to smaller boats or larger full-time residential boats. We were caught in the middle with few reasonable options. Our search ultimately led us to Hermitage Community Moorings, located on the Thames just downstream of the Tower Bridge.
An iconic part of the Thames scene is the Battersea Power Station. This Art Deco-style structure dates from the 1930’s. It is the largest brick building in Europe. With its expansive cathedral-style design and 338 ft high smokestacks, Battersea Station commands the view from the Thames. Continue reading
If you’re driving around Britain it is hard not to notice the numerous vehicles displaying a white plate with a large red “L” emblazoned in the middle. Displayed on a car, the “L-plate” signifies that the driver is a learner under instruction. On a motorcycle, the plate indicates that the rider has provisional entitlement to ride restricted motorcycles. A similar system is in place in France. In France, instead of an “L” for learner there is an “A” for apprenti. Either way, if there’s an “L” or an “A” on outside of the vehicle, you never quite know what you are going to get from the driver. Continue reading
After a long stay on the upper section of England’s River Thames, we at last headed downstream. When we pulled in our ropes at Thames & Kennet Marina it marked the beginning of our passage to France and the next phase of our life aboard Wanderlust. Continue reading
Runnymede Meadow is a most unassuming historical site. This modest grassy water meadow alongside the River Thames, several miles downstream of Windsor Castle, is the location of the signing of the Magna Carta. When King John penned his name to the Magna Carta in 1215 it signified the beginning of the limitation of powers of the English monarchy and set the stage for our modern laws and government. Continue reading
A very popular stop for boats on the Thames is the stretch of river between the neighboring historic towns of Windsor and Eton. There are numerous mooring spots both above and below the 19th Century bridge that links the two communities. Eton College and Windsor Castle are short walks away from the river. Continue reading
Leaving Caversham on the way to France, the first challenge is the Sonning Bridge. The bridge is just downriver from our former base mooring at Thames & Kennet Marina. Sonning’s narrow red brick bridge crosses the Thames allowing a single lane of car traffic through at a time. Passing under the bridge is also restricted; there’s enough space to allow one large boat to squeeze through at a time. Continue reading
Leaving Cleeve Lock near Goring we pushed upstream against the Thames’ current until we reached the historic market town of Abingdon. Abingdon claims to be the oldest continuously occupied town in Britain, an assertion that is difficult to dispute. Today the town is popular with tourists and boaters. And like our prior stop at Cleeve Lock, Abingdon has a place in modern music history. The band Radiohead formed when studying at Abingdon School. Continue reading
Gigi loves it when we spend the night tied to the bank below the Cleeve Lock. Step off the boat and her four furry paws are on her own expansive green grassy field. She now expects us to stop at Cleeve every time we cruise by. For Gigi there’s no reason for us to go any further. Cleeve is as good as it gets in the doggy world.