Hello everyone. I hope your week is going well. Thank you for your recent visits to my blog and for your comments.
Today I'm sharing the walk along the river in Reading when our grandson had the day off from work. He's the one that's the sous-chef de cuisine working in the restaurant of an hotel in the St. James's Place district of London. He works hard with long hours working and travelling and, therefore, time off is spent resting. A walk was a good way to relax and for us to enjoy his company after not seeing him for a long time. Once more our daughter drove us and she parked in Hills Meadow car park, which was convenient for our walk along the north side of the river and then along the tow path on the south bank. We used the new Christchurch foot and cycle bridge to cross the river (not shown on the map below as it was only opened in May 2016). Then we crossed the river again at Caversham Lock to get back to the car park.
the towpath in Christchurch Meadow
The building with the blue spiral staircases are the offices of Thames Water and there are other modern offices and apartment buildings along this stretch of water on the Reading side of the river.
We walked across Christchurch Meadow playing fields. I remember the small building in the above photo and the open air paddling pool from when I was a child. I vaguely remember coming here with cousins and our parents in the warmer weather. Summer always seemed to be sunnier back then! There weren't any leisure centres with swimming pools and I remember we would take a bus with these relatives out to a neighbouring town to an open air swimming pool which we favoured over the one here as it meant a day out with a picnic.
The new Christchurch Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists must make it convenient for commuters to get across the river from Reading railway station which can be accessed through an alleyway on the south bank, although it doesn't solve the problem of traffic flow and congestion at certain times on Caversham Bridge and Reading Bridge. I expect the footbridge was built to encourage walking and cycling rather than using a car if you lived locally.
Mr. P. and daughter waited for grandson and I to catch up since we were taking photos. I'm always lagging behind on these walks!
Fry's Island taken from the bridge
and below a view of the river and Caversham Bridge
a good view of the span of Christchurch Bridge
a view of Caversham Lock and weir through Reading Bridge
We walked through the arch of the bridge and on to Caversham Lock.
Across the river is Hills Meadow and the car park.
The yellow and green barge, 'Whittingtons Tea Barge', is static although it can be used for cruising and for occasions such as for parties and wedding events. It's run by a couple, Andrew and Lesley and Andrew is a descendant, apparently, of the famous Dick Whittington. They do cream teas and other refreshments as well as catering for small groups. A place to remember as it must be pleasant in the Summer months. The boat was actually built in 2012 and is a wide beam canal barge.
I was pleased to see the monkey puzzle tree as I'm sure as a child we used to call the island on which the lock keeper's house and the Thames Environmental Agency buildings are located 'Monkey/Monkey Puzzle Island'. Our grandson comes here quite often on his way to a place where he goes fishing further down the river at Sonning-on-Thames (Sonning Eye) and enjoys seeing the wild life in the area. I think he was interested to hear what I remembered of past times.
View Island and Heron Island can be accessed by walking along the path of the weir.
The water is so calm on this side of the weir looking back to Reading Bridge.
rushing water on the other side
The wooden bridge leads onto View Island where the vegetation being kept in its natural state encourages wild life.
the back water and houses on Heron Island with View Island (to the right)
This is a good habitat for water birds and other creatures to live and breed and is a quiet spot for ramblers yet not far away are the recreational grounds of Hills Meadow.
In one corner is Hills Meadow Skate Park which was being well used during the school half term.
I hope you enjoyed the walk. Wishing you a good day. Speak soon, hopefully,