Although this blog is about boating on the Thames, I'm going to include a story I wrote about boating on the Burgundy Canal in my RichmondReview blog. You see... one of the reasons we bought the barge is because we're thinking of doing 'the French thing' in a few years time. So our holiday was a bit of a recce. I know that to
compare is to despair, but I have to be honest and say that boating on
the Burgundy Canal is pretty boring compared to boating on the Thames.
And the 12 days we spent on the Canal between Tonnerre and Montbard in June were
probably our worst holiday ever. The fact that it rained every day
didn't help. And we had problems with our 'luxury' hire boat. I say
luxury in inverted commas because the boat smelt damp and musty, parts
of it were downright dirty and brown duvet covers have never been
synonymous with luxury to me (I was hoping for crisp, white cotton
sheets and plump, lavender scented pillows). Back to the problems: a
There are five sounds that say 'the Thames' to me:
1. The whoop whoop whoop of the swans as they take flight.
2. The (endless) honking of the Canada geese, especially when you're trying to have a lie-in.
3. The growl of bow and stern thursters in the locks and when boats are mooring up.
4. The 'kerchoomf' sound of rowing blades driving through the water (again, usually at the crack of dawn when you're trying to have a lie-in)
5. The ting, ting, ting of mooring pins as they're being driven into the bank with a mallet.
Although we've been to Goring many times - and have an ordnance survey map criss crossed with highlighted walks - we'd never done the Lardon Chase and The Hollies walk. So we put it on our 2017 Boating Season 'to do' list - and did it over the Easter Bank Holiday. It's a lovely walk and at just 3 miles long, the perfect length for a pre or post lunch stroll with friends.There's one thing I'd change though. Instead of starting at the car park, winding your way down through the Hollies and then walking up Lardon Chase at the end, I'd do it the other way around. I'd walk along the Reading Road, up through The Hollies and then down Lardon Chase. That way you can enjoy the view which - as you can see from the photo - is quite spectacular. Or better still, I'd pack some sandwiches, walk through the gate at the top of Lardon Chase, sit on the perfectly placed benches and have a picnic.