Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Henley to Beale park.

Sunday three boats set off up steam, the lockie had Marsh lock ready for us, the three boats stayed in a line across the back of the lock while it filled. Water was taken on and the dumpables sorted above Shiplake lock. Mary H headed Ferndale with FL bringing up the rear

At Reading Mary H pulled in to use the Tesco Superstore while Ferndale & FL made use of Better Boating's discount offer of 5p.per.ltr. off diesel through Towpath Talk free paper.

Caversham lock landing was full of boats, a widebeam, various cruisers, and ourselves tried to hold station in the blustery conditions (never easy on a narrowboat). Eventually Ferndale found a piece of bank to tie to and a thankful FL breasted against her.

In good time we all reached Tilehurst where we moored for the night, chairs came out and beer, wine and Pimms were consumed. Ray & Diane came aboard FL for a promised Sunday roast.

Some seesaw fun on a bouncy tree limb at the start of the day.

Diane made apple & blackberry crumble with lashings of custard.

Monday we set off from the bank at 09:30, for once we had a destination in mind, Beale Park, not for the nature park, but for the National Trust property Basildon Park, Diane is an avid fan of national trust properties and has ticked off quite a lot on her to see list, on this occasion the property was about 1.5 miles from the river. As Sue and I are both NT members we thought a trip to a property long overdue, this will be our second year of membership and only our second NT property visit.

While Ray was doing what Ray does through data signals to the other side of the world, Diane went off on a reconnaissance mission on her own, Sue was finishing off what she does, baking. 

We duly got a call from Diane that the route to Basildon house is half mile shorter if we climb the railway embankment, climb over a wire fence, through a restricted area and over a metal security gate. We didn't follow this advice when we went to join her but she made us go back that way as it missed out a busy pathless road during rush hour....safety first.

Basildon Park was built between 1776 & 1783 had various owners, requisitioned by the Army and RAF in both World Wars and completely restored by the Iliffe's's in the 1950's. Lady Rennee Iliffe handed it over to the National Trust's protection in 1979. 

The house, rooms and gardens have been used in many films including 'Pride & Prejudice' and the TV drama 'Downton Abbey'.

 Sue and Diane at Downton Abbey.

Rear aspect.

Part of the Grounds

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