Easter Holiday closure dates

The Foodbank will be closed on Good Friday (29 March) and Easter Monday (1 April).

Jane’s Walk 2022- Day 10

Moses and I found ourselves alone this morning as Tom had an important appointment with an eye specialist in Oxford. We started off by passing the stretch at Henley where the Royal Regatta takes place every year. I have only been once – it was a long time ago and I can’t say I remember much about the racing (except it was good!) It’s a lovely straight stretch of river and apart from the footpaths being strewn with swan droppings, it was a great start to the day. I think the swans must sleep there at night as there was no sign of mess further along.


Both sides of the river are immaculately kept, and the species trees are stunning. I have noticed that the weeping willows have been particularly fine over the past few days, it’s so much their natural habitat by a river. The place was alive with rowers, some racing against each other. I was surprised to see a two-man boat streak past much faster than a boat of eight rowers – I wonder if this is due to the skill of those in the smaller boat or the weight of the larger boat? At the top of this straight stretch of river is an island which appears to be the start and end point for the rowers before it bends to the right. It has a large mock temple on it and is obviously used as an event venue as there was a large marquee behind it. Not surprisingly it’s called Temple Island. It would make a great, romantic setting for a party!


At Aston the path leaves the river and passes through the private grounds of the Culham Court estate. I imagine that when the Thames path was opened in 1996 there must have been a lot of negotiations between the organisers and the landowner to make this possible. The footpath runs past a beautifully kept cricket pitch into a fine park with beautiful species trees and then past the front of a classic Queen Ann Mansion. In the park, I spied some intriguing modern sculptures on the hill as well as an interesting large building that looks like a museum or folly with a working clock tower. I asked various walkers what it was, but nobody seemed to know. Further on, was the walled garden and gardener’s cottage, but unfortunately I couldn’t see whether they’re still in use. I hope so.


We returned to the river, where Moses enjoyed lots of swims. On the outskirts of Hurley, I spotted a surprisingly large number of prefab homes, probably dating from the 1960/70s, all beautifully kept and sitting on a prime site overlooking the river – which must be worth millions! Walking into Hurley, I was amused to see a sign saying, “People using the picnic park are permanently banned from having picnics and barbecues”. There was no explanation why, despite the fact there are numerous seats along the river and an open grassy space. Very odd, it sounds like a monumental parish council row to me…


I stopped at the Old Bull pub to wait for Tom and Richard’s return. Tom had a very successful appointment and was in good spirits to join me for the final three miles to Marlow. Along the way, we spotted a rather stunning twelfth-century church on the opposite bank – All Saints, Bisham – built in an unusual light-coloured stone. According to the noticeboard, it’s full of Tudor treasures with links to Henry VIII, the nobility of the time and Shakespeare.


On arrival in Marlow, we spent a few minutes in the fine Georgian Church by the river and lit a candle in memory of our queen.

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Patrons: The Rt Revd Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford and The Revd Canon Geoff Baylis, Vicar of St James and St Francis Churches, Oxford