Our first walk of 2019 started in Windsor on a cold and crisp morning, perfect for a brisk stroll. After crossing the Thames from Windsor Riverside Station, we followed the Thames Path westwards to Dorney Lake. The private property of Eton College, the ‘lake’ was used to host canoeing and rowing events in London 2012, and became the fourth Olympic venue ‘longer walks’ have visited. (The others are: Box Hill – cycling road race, Hadleigh – mountain biking and Stratford’s Copper Box – handball/fencing). Our way continued along the Thames, past the settlement of Bray on the opposite bank and beneath the roar of the M4, before we cut across farmland to reach the Jubilee River. Although the Jubilee is in fact a flood alleviation channel, it provided an attractive waterway to walk alongside, despite being on the borders of Slough! As lunchtime approached, we took a short detour from the river bank into the village of Dorney, and refreshments at The Palmer Arms. Suitably fortified we crossed a spinach field to return to the Jubilee River.
Turning to face east, we headed towards Eton, meeting as we did so a pack of friendly beagles, which we were informed were the ‘Eton Hounds’ by a very polite young man with a hunting horn around his neck, who appeared to be in charge of them. Arriving at the town, our final stretch took us south through the Eton College quarter, before we met the High Street and headed back to the end of the walk on Eton Bridge.
Photographs © Alison Miller and Julian Osley