The best way to explore and to truly understand the world is on foot. I think it enhances your senses like no other method of travel, plus it’s easy [most of the time] and cheap with the comparison to different modes of travelling.
We were on a roll with our walking and were in no hurry to let go of our enthusiasm to get fitter.
With that thought, it was another warm Spring day, the sun was shining, and it was Bank Holiday Weekend. It is one combination that many people living in the UK don’t usually experience altogether. Well, the spring day and a long weekend with unpredictable weather is the concoction that is dealt each year to all those that live in these parts of the world. If some of the conversations in the last weekend are anything to go by. Most included on more than one occasion, “I’ve decided to work, as it always rains during long weekends”, they must be cursing now about that having that sceptical view of the weather.
Could a long weekend with sunshine bring more walking opportunities to explore another part of the UK we have yet to enjoy?
The answer was yes.
While driving to where we were housesitting which is not far from Guildford we happen to drive through this part of the country. We made a mental note to check it out further. This occurred on a day where we just felt like walking with no other significant distraction for an hour or so than water and perhaps on the odd boatie.
Then it was a stroll through the town, all looking very festive with a string of small flags in the national colours of red, white and blue.
With the warmer weather, there seem to be more creative people selling their art, usually in a collective group within a community hall. We enjoy, well I say we very loosely, I should say “I” enjoy finding these little gems. Unfortunately, large paintings aren’t something we collect, for obvious reasons, as we go from one place to another. What I do love buying is cards, which hopefully I will frame when we buy our next home. I keep my collection in a tin box, not a large one, though it does hold a few!
Now back to our walk along the river of Henley-on-Thames. It is only a step and a hop from having a wander around the shops, a well-deserved cup of coffee with an even yummier lunch to again walking along the river.
The combination of all were the makings of a good day out.
Walton-on-Thames – Our second destination.
Driving through the township, had us wondering if we had made the right decision. Then we viewed the river, with rows of houses and an assortment of boats moored outside with a tree-lined path to follow for a few miles. We wondered no longer, it would do as a destination to wander around another community by the river.
A significant positive was the free parking. That instantly took this visit to the next level and received a big thumbs up from us. Parking is sometimes like finding a needle in a haystack. With free parking basically unheard of in many places around this part of the world.
The second positive was the path. It was a well maintained and level. On that said path we turned right to start our walk. Which took us along the way to two gastropubs, the Swan and the Anglers in which to indulge in something to eat and drink.
On the return walk back to the car we chose The Swan. The food and coffee was nothing to rave about, the view and the opportunity to relax in comfortable chairs were something to enjoy. There is another activity we find quite intriguing, and that is people watching the conversations that can be heard as they compete to be heard. Another distraction in between bites of food is the inclusion of dogs that are allowed in eateries in part of the world. Most are very well behaved, and as dog walkers, we love that we are able to take our chargers with us while out exploring. Not always is this possible though we do include the ones that would enjoy a different view and a longer walk.
With the beautiful weather and a holiday to boot, people were out to enjoy this unusual combination. With picnics spread out as well as people sprawled out capturing the sun on their so white bodies. I was thinking quietly to myself that I hoped they had sunscreen on. Then there were the more energic and younger members of the community rowing down the river.
What I did notice is very few people were receptive to a cheery hello from strangers. Was it because we were closer to London? Maybe. In other areas, we have housesat a hello was part of our walk, not the day we strode down by the Thames.
The people who were chatty did add a few laughs to our walk. Like the owners of this character. A small dog and a long stick. Apparently, this isn’t the largest one he has been known to run off in haste with it in his mouth.
There you have it, how we spent our sunny Bank Holiday in May on the River Thames. As our newly acquainted mate above would say, “Just Grab it and Go with it”.