Thursday, 24 July 2014

Tidal Thames–24th July

Another really hot day so we set off early and motored the short distance to Kingston on Thames and moored up in the shade along the promenade. It was just a short walk into the town which to our surprise was a great shopping centre with its Thursday market stalls full of lovely fresh fruit and vegetables and all the big name stores including John Lewis and Waitrose at the side of the river and main bridge.

1 a

The riverside walk was really buzzing with people waiting for trip boats, restaurants with riverside patios and  groups of youngsters singing and playing instruments to advertise a forthcoming show.


We left Kingston and headed down to Teddington Lock for 1.40pm to enable us to lock down onto the tidal Thames and take advantage of the high tide at 2.08pm to take us down to Brentford. There are two locks at at Teddington and we entered the northern one which is double length and easily took 5 narrow boats and a cruiser in the first half of the lock.  It is the largest lock (The Barge Lock) and is 650 feet (198.12 metres) long and holds 1.75 million gallons (8 million litres) of water.

One of the narrow boats was going to Limehouse and had to make good time to reach it before the Lock keeper went off duty at 6pm.1c

We passed the National Trust Ham house, and then through Richmond again with all the busy trip and hire boats. A short glimpse of Syon Park was seen before we came to out turn off the Thames.

1 f

Next came Richmond Lock which we did not have to use as the weir is lowered for 2 hours either side of High Tide to allow boats to sail straight down river under the foot bridge. The Lock can be seen on the right hand side and as we went under the bridge we could see the guides where the weir is raised and lowered.

5 Richmond Lock

Isleworth came next with its church close to the river frontage and in the distance could be seen Kew Gardens.

6 River

We made a turn to port opposite Kew into the River Brent and up the short distance to Thames Lock manned by a young lady. Once through the lock we were brought back to reality after travelling on the lovely Thames for the GU here is shallow, narrow and weedy and lined with houseboats. The second set of 2 locks (the old Gauging Locks) are unmanned but are electrically operated and as a boat had just gone up we used the right hand lock.

7 Brent River

We immerged into the basin with its new properties and  restaurants at one end and the old Warehouse and Transhipment dock at the other. There is a new facilities block with pump out, showers, and laundry.

8 Brentford

All the visitor mooring in the basin were occupied so we moved a little way further on and found a nice mooring just before the main A4 road. Under the bridge was the weed cutting boat full of weed. It obviously still has a lot of work to do.

9 Mooring

After dinner we went a walk into Brentford along the High Street and found a Costcutter and Morrison's. Further on we came across St Pauls Church with its lovely steeple and turning down The Butts some nice old houses.

9 a Brentord

Just a few of the wonderful selection of boats we spied today on the river.

9 b Boats

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