2 Mar 2017

A walk by the river in Reading town


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



Reading 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.




Caversham Lock


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,
Linda :)

28 comments:

  1. Thank you Linda - a most enjoyable walk!
    Great photos of the Caversham canal!
    We've been watching and enjoying Timothy West and Prunella Scales canal series on TV!
    After doing a canal trip in France one year when we visited our daughter, we would love to do one of the English canals. Maybe we've left our run too late!

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    1. Dear Shane. It's good to see you here. Thank you for your visit. We've been watching the Timothy West and Prunella Scales canal series too. They are so informative and relaxing to watch. Bless this lovely couple. The canal trip in France must have been wonderful. My late mother and I went to Bruges some years ago and enjoyed going on the canals in and around the area. You would love a boating holiday on the Norfolk Broads or a canal trip somewhere else in England, I'm sure. For us that would be too strenuous with all those locks to deal with, but you are experienced sailors. Wishing you well, Linda :)

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  2. that is the nicest foot bridge I have ever seen. I love the shot of Fry's Island, it speaks to me, I love that house. as always your photos are just spectacular and I can see why walking there would be relaxing.

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    1. The cycle and pedestrian bridge is beautifully designed. You can see a time lapse clip on YouTube of its construction. I would like to see it at night when it's lit up.

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  3. It's lovely to see the hints of spring in your photos! Jx

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    1. Yes, it's uplifting to notice buds on the trees, Spring flowers bursting into flower.

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  4. What an interesting walk, always so much to see along the water. Tea at Dick Wittington's sounds good.

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    1. It'll be good when Whittington's Tea Barge is open for the Spring season.

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  5. This is a walk I would enjoy. Your photos take us nicely along with you. Glad you could have this nice leisure time with your grandson. The shot of the heron is great!

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    1. Thank you Ellen. I was pleased to get a shot of the heron.

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  6. Oh my goodness Linda, these are such beautiful photos you have shared with us today. I feel as though I've been on the walk with you. It's lovely seeing the beautiful settings, the wildlife and surrounding area. I'm so happy for you that you had a wonderful day with your family. Hugs, Pat

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    1. Thank you Pat. I'm pleased you enjoyed the walk.

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  7. Those houses on the banks of the river look idyllic. But I hope they've never been flooded!

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    1. Living by the river looks idyllic. I don't know about those houses here, but they must be vulnerable to flooding. The river level got very high during the 2014 floods at the weir. King's Meadow was flooded as was other low lying land along the river banks in the Thames Valley.

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  8. Dear Linda,

    What a beautiful place Reading is and the perfect place to walk.
    So lovely that you were able to catch up with your family. I often lag behind too taking a photo of something that has caught my eye.
    Have a lovely weekend and you must be enjoying Spring days there.
    hugs
    Carolyn

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    1. Reading is quite built up now so it's good to have this quieter side to it by the rivers Thames and Kennet where people can walk. The weather is still variable, but hopefully we will enjoy warmer days soon. Have a good weekend yourself.

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  9. Good old Reading, it looks great in your photos, looks like you had a lovely walk. x

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    1. I agree CK - good old Reading - I love my home town. It was good to get there and take a look around. The walks were great - relaxing and interesting at the same time! Have a good day CK.

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  10. I really enjoyed joining you on your walk, it is an area that I don't know and have never visited so it was good to see it in your photos and read about your childhood memories. The new bridge looks interesting and your heron photo is wonderful:)

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  11. So many interesting things to see in such a relatively small area. I'm sure your grandson loved getting to hear your memories!

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    1. I'm thankful that our grandchildren want to hear about what Mr. P and I remember of our lives when we were young and are interested in family, local and social history.

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  12. Wat a lovely walk. I loved seeing the "tea barge" too. You will need to have a cream tea in the summer I do believe. I was fun to see the river life and the beauty along the way.

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    1. I thought you would appreciate the tea barge Marilyn! My daughter was interested so perhaps we'll plan another visit to Reading to have that cream tea!

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  13. Beautiful pictures of a lovely walk, thank you. The new Christchurch bridge is a wonderful shape. It is great how the old waterways are now such an important part of leisure and access in our busy towns and cities and provide habitats for wildlife too.

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    1. It was an enjoyable walk, especially the part where we walked on the new footbridge and then saw the wildlife in the sheltered backwaters around the little islands by the weir.

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  14. What an interesting post - thank you. I know what you mean about lagging behind because I'm always doing that, too! x

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  15. I'm glad you found the blog post interesting. Yes, my husband, children and grandchildren are very patient and understanding when we go out for a walk! At least they enjoy seeing the results of my photography! Linda :)x

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