Maidenhead – Windsor – 26.04.2013

The afternoon walk started out from Maidenhead Station and was to take me into Windsor. From here I took to the road, rather walk along the Thames Path, towards my desired goal. The long highway I begun to walk along was the “Braywick Road”, which eventually led to a small side street known as “Hibbert Road”. This much smaller lane was to take me towards the little village of Bray. I found walking this more precarious than traversing some of the bridges over the river Thames! Particularly as in one part the lane did not have pavements and the traffic was a lot less caring of the pedestrian! Once I had negotiated quite a difficult junction, the road became much quieter as I turned into must have been Bray Village, which was rather quaint with its beautiful old Tudor style buildings.

I passed by a lovely little pub called the “Fat Duck”. In fact this is a 3 Michelin Starred restaurant, but I did not have the time and was certainly not dressed for the occasion! Just opposite to the restaurant was war memorial cross, which looked like it was brand new. However, the cross had been there since 1920 and was only restored approximately 10 years ago, it must have been the white Portland Stone which shine! I did not continue to explore the village any further and turned off to walk down Ferry Lane, where I was hoping to reach the the Thames Path once again. Unfortunately, once I reached the Waterside and I could not find the path at all, just a small jetty onto the River 😦 Just I turned away I noticed some Chauffeurs taking some people away from the “Waterside” restaurant, I really did feel under-dressed once more, I hurried away very rapidly. As I was unable to locate the Thames Path, I continued my walk to Windsor alongside the roads.

From 2013 – 26.04.2013 – Maidenhead – Windsor

The route I was now taking did not really have pavements, just a rather unkempt path amongst the trees. It was not long before I approached a large bridge which was to take me across a very busy main road, which in fact was the M4! Once I was over the bridge I realised that the roadway I had been walking along a had very unusual name “Monkey Island Lane” and just as I was pondering where the name came from, I spotted a sign for the “Monkey Island Hotel”. It was such a pity I was unable to see the hotel, as some of it would have been similar to the temple folly I had seen near Henley. This was because during C18th the Duke of Marlborough also built a fishing lodge on an island and the folly included a room with quite a number of paintings of monkeys! The lodge buildings still survive today in the hotel. There are several other tales as to where the name “Monkey Island” derives from, one tells of a small monkey named “Jacko” who used to live on the Island’s Walnut Tree, to promote the hotel, when he escaped and scared all the local residents of Bray Village!

The road continued on and took me past a small marina and out on to the main road. Strangely, it was the original roadway that I had diverted from in the first place to walk to Bray village! It was not overly pleasant walking down this main thoroughfare, but at least the sun was shining. As I strolled along I came across a large clapperboard sign for “Bray Studios”. From the roadside I was not fortunate enough to see them, but I am aware that these studios have been the home to the Hammer Horror movies and a some of Dr Who episodes. As I carried on, there was a large expanse of grass and trees and if I had I been lucky enough I would have been treated to the sight of a large Gothic Mansion! Therefore I was unable to take a lovely photo of it 😦 . The rather imposing building was “Oakley Court”, which is currently a luxury hotel. However, as it is so close to Bray Studios, it was often used for filming for Hammer Horror Movies where it would have been Dracula’s Castle, used as St Trinian’s school and Frank n Furters castle in the Rocky Horror picture show! Maybe if I had more time to investigate I will go back and get that elusive photo!

From 2013 – 26.04.2013 – Maidenhead – Windsor

Whilst I continued along the road the sun continued to shine and the pleasant surroundings took my mind off the noisy traffic! It was not long before the scenery around me changed becoming more urban, particularly, when I approached a very large roundabout which was chockablock due to the Friday Rush hour! Finding a way across the road I continued into Windsor and I finally found a route toward the Thames, which I was very happy to see 🙂 Just by the river I spotted a huge plane, which seemed odd placed on riverside gardens rather than in an airfield. The plane is a full size replica of a “Hawker Hurricane”, which was designed by Sir Sydney Camm. Sir Sydney has been commemorated here as he was born and grew up in Windsor. This “new breed” of fighter plane in the late 1930’s which Camm had designed gave Britain a head start in the war of the skies in World War II, the Hurricane was known as the “workhorse” of the “Battle of Britain”. Little did the boys at Eton College who were buying Camm’s model aeroplanes realise that he was going to turn his talents to design and build real ones!

It was here I ended my walking for the day and will need to return to Windsor at some point to continue the Thames Walk! Please note that this is the route for the Walk –

Unfortunately I did not take as many photos for this part of the walk, but please feel free to look at the ones I did take:

2013 – 26.04.2013 – Maidenhead – Windsor

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