I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Monday, 17 April 2017

Marlow (River Thames) – Sunday 16th April

It was a lovely sunny morning so we decided to make the most of it and get going early.  Shiplake College looked lovely in the sunshine though a bit dead as, of course, it’s the school holidays.  We used the services at Shiplake Lock and headed on down to Henley.  There were masses of mooring places in Henley – we just can’t understand where everyone is.  Preparations have just started for the Henley Regatta at the end of June – it was nice to have the whole river to ourselves instead of being pushed to one side or going down the course itself!

It was very cold going down Henley Reach – well for Richard anyway.  I made my excuses and cleaned the bathroom!

When we came this way last year the top of the folly on Temple Island was surrounded by scaffolding to it was nice to see it today looking resplendent. 

Hambledon Lock was uneventful but we had quite a long wait at Hurley Lock but nothing as bad as Temple Lock which was on self-service.  We waited 50 minutes to get through – it just goes to show that a lock keeper on duty certainly pushes the traffic through.

We weren’t too sure where we going to stop tonight but there was plenty of space at Marlow so we pulled over – right next to an ice-cream van!!

We went for a short stroll over Marlow Bridge.  I’ve been under it often enough but never over it, in fact I’ve never been to Marlow before! 

There has been a bridge on the site since the reign of King Edward III which was stated in around 1530 to have been of timber, though an original crossing to the Knights Templar of Bisham may date from 1309.  In 1642 this bridge was partly destroyed by a Parliamentarian army. In 1789 a new timber bridge was built by public subscription with a contribution from the Thames Navigation Commission to increase the headroom underneath.  The current suspension bridge was designed by William Tierney Clark and was built between 1829 and 1832, replacing a wooden bridge further downstream which collapsed in 1828. The Széchenyi Chain Bridge, spanning the River Danube in Budapest, was also designed by William Clark and it is a larger scale version of Marlow bridge.  On 24 September 2016 the bridge suffered 'potential structural damage' following an incident where 37-tonne Lithuanian haulage lorry exceeding the weight limit attempted to pass over the bridge.  The bridge was closed for two months to allow Buckinghamshire County Council to undertake a series of stress tests on the suspension bridge hangers and pins, together with ultrasound and magnetic particle tests. No significant damage to the bridge was found, and had given the all-clear to reopen the bridge on Friday 25 November.  (From Wikipedia.)  Apparently the lorry driver blamed his satnav – he no longer works for the haulage company!

We were waiting for Steve and Diane to join us on their new boat Clarence (well they bought her last year but we hadn’t seen her before).  Some readers might know Clarence as she used to be owned by Derek and Sheila Mills.  They arrived about 5pm and we were duly given the guided tour.  She is a lovely boat and will suit Steve and Diane when they finally get to be continuous cruisers.  We will be with them now until we get to Shepperton.

Overheard at Marlow.  Small child passing Mary H - I wish I had a caravan like that. Grandmother to Granddaughter who wanted to stroke Muffin – don’t dear it might be a guard dog! (If you don't know Muffin he is a small Cockapoo)

Here are a few photos that I took from Marlow Bridge this afternoon.

12.96 miles
5 locks


  1. Hi,
    We might pass you soon. We are rejoining the Thames tomorrow and heading up river, after a week on the Wey Navigations.

    1. That would be nice. Our plans are for Cookham tonight, Windsor on Wednesday and Laleham on Thursday with Shepperton on Friday.