|Harry moored in welcoming Abingdon|
Abingdon was the last town that welcomed boaters with open arms and no demand for mooring fees. As a result this delightful riverside town was thronged with boating visitors spending money in its stores and coffee shops. (It's not just boaters who get the 'welcome' treatment; cars are allowed two hours free parking in the town car parks.)
It's a pity Henley doesn't offer the same welcome. Attempt to moor to visit this snooty town and before you have tied your ropes someone will have arrived with a demand for eight quid. We left and did our shopping in Marlow instead, a much more cheery and welcoming place. It's our old home town where the house we bought 30 plus years ago for about £30,000 is now worth £630,000!
But that's nothing compared with the price of a riverside home anywhere within striking distance of London. It's depressing to discover that hereabouts even a lottery win wouldn't buy you a fancy home. In Henley, for example, a riverside building plot with planning consent for a large modern house will set you back £3 million. That's before you start building. A big plush pad would probably be beyond even a Euromillions winner.
|Glass and steel modernity at Wargrave|
Same goes for the boats. Quite why anyone needs a boat so tall you need an elevator to reach the steering wheel I just don't know. Boats that might be at home on the Med spend their time burbling and bow thrustering around the Thames simply being bigger than the boat next door.
|Even a Euromillions win wouldn't get you this one!|
So with blog updated, Tillergraph column written and shopping done we're off to visit the Queen in Windsor before moving on to Teddington where the tidal river begins. We'll run down this to Brentford then turn back onto the canals for the trip through central London.