How to get there -
From junction 10 of the M4 travel north west on the A329(M). Continue on the A329 until it ends in a roundabout. Clearly a new road is planned but at the moment take the first exit from the roundabout (turning right) into Thames Valley Park Drive. The car park entrance is immediately on the left. BEWARE OF HEIGHT RESTRICTION!
For those with SatNav the postcode is RG6 1PQ.
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(enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site -
The car park faces the Thames (see photo). Launch over the bank or a few yards to the left from the pontoons at Wokingham Waterside Centre.
Set off to the left towards Reading. After a few hundred yards (similar to metres for our younger readers!) you will pass the entrance to the River Kennet on the left.Half a mile further on is Caversham Lock. You can usually pass through the lock but if needed there are portage steps at each end of the lock.
Pass under Reading Bridge and after half a mile Caversham Bridge. If you want to get away from the cruisers, racing from lock to lock, you can take the right hand channel after Reading Bridge which will take you past the back of the boatyards and past a riverside park.
Immediately after Caversham bridge there is an alternative launch site on the left (for those that wish to by-pass Reading atogether). If you want to use this, park in the free car park in Richfield Avenue - next to the Crown Plaza Hotel (see map
). With some justification the swans and geese think they own this stretch of the river.
The next mile is parkland to the left and expensive houses to the right. A mile further brings you to Tilehurst. We had lunch on Poplar Island and turned round for the return journey.
If you wanted to you could continue for a further mile and a half to Mapledurham House and Watermill.
If in need of liquid refreshment look for the Riverside imediatley after Caversham bridge on the way back and if you have the time consider a detour to Blakes Lock on the River Kenet, the site of an undervalued (and free) museum.
8 miles and 2 locks without diversions.