On Sunday morning we travelled the 8 miles back down to Goring,
which was as gorgeous as ever. I have to admit I love the place.
Stunning location, beautiful walks and the best food ever at the Pierreponts Cafe.
So naturally that was our first stop once we'd moored up: a good lunch
before our 8 miles walk through the bluebells in Wroxhills Wood, past The White Lion
pub in Crays Pond and back to the boat. Then it was a quick drink with
some friends on their boat before dinner and bed. Breakfast on Monday
was at the Pierreponts Cafe - of course - and as it was a Bank Holiday I
was very decadent: french toast with bananas, bacon and maple syrup.
All in all, it was the most perfect weekend: glorious sunshine, great
food, beautiful countryside, amazing walks and not a traffic jam or
airline security queue in sight.
On Saturday morning we covered the remaining 7.5 miles to Shillingford and moored up by the Shillingford Bridge Hotel.
(It costs £10 to moor overnight and that includes electricity and the
use of the hotel's facilities, which I think is good value.) The
afternoon was spent walking up the river to Days Lock, enjoying lunch in
the sunshine at the Fleur de Lys pub
in Dorchester, walking back along the river to Shillingford and
relaxing on the boat in the evening. There's a word for days like this:
sorted out the problems with the motor (see below) and decided to take
advantage of the 4-day Easter Bank Holiday to go as far upstream as we
could: to Shillingford.
It's 50 miles there and back, which isn't far in driving terms. But in
boating terms it's quite a hike because you average about 3.5 miles
p/hour on the river (taking into account the speed limit and the time
spent getting in and out of locks). So we left London at 10am on Good
Friday, arrived at the marina 45 minutes later and set off on the first
leg of our trip: 17.5 miles to the The Leatherne Bottel
riverside restaurant just above Goring, where we had dinner and moored
overnight. It took 5 hours to get there, but as you can see from the
photo, it's a very picturesque journey.