How to get there - From junction 7 on the M4 head north to the A4 then west to a round-a-bout. Turn left, B3026, over motorway. Go through Dorney village then take the right fork labelled Boveney. (Beware free range cattle on common). The road marrows right down. After a sharp turn left look for the car park sign on the right.
For those with SatNav a nearby postcode is SL4 6QQ.
Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)
Suggested Launch Site - The car park has no facilities, but is free. From the southern end of the park take the boats along a path, through a small gate and on past an interesting old church to the Thames. Launch where convenient.
Description - Head upstream and across the river. Look for the white marina sign, one entrance to the Mill Stream is just past this on the south bank.
Paddle along the tree lined Mill Stream to the Racecourse marina. At the marina keep straght on towards the race track. The Mill Stream narrows between the racetrack and the marina. The Mill Stream then becomes more variable, sometimes wide and once almost blocked by a fallen tree. There are several foot bridges and one vehicle bridge over the stream. When the stream forks take the right hand stream. Finally you will come to some moored (& sunk) trapped motor boats and a bridge with obstructions in front of the weir/sluice gates. Go back a few metres just past the wire fence at the beginning of the houses. Get out where convenient on the south bank in the trees of Clewer Park.
Portage about 300 metres. Follow the fences on your left to a tarmac path and then between houses to a road. Cross the road ahead and then follow round to the left to a small slipway below the former mill.
Paddle on down to the Thames. At the Thames go downstream inside the long island and on down to Windsor Road Bridge. There is a nice view of a residence on the hill. One can turn here and go upstream on the right of the river. After the rail Bridge turn right under a green bridge into the backwaters. Follow the right hand stream through the trees. On the left, near the second exit to the Thames, is a swan rescue centre.
At the Thames carry on upstream to Boveney Lock. The portage is on the left (rollers). After the lock continue to your start point.
Total distance is about 4 miles with only one lock, but a long portage. The trip can be extended along the Thames in either direction, or shortened by omitting Windsor bridge.
Comments on this trip
Mal Grey 21 Aug 2009
I recently combined this trip with a foray upstream & up The Cut towards Maidenhead. This makes a great combination.The section behind the racecourse is excellent.
Fran Faulkner 22 Apr 2007
Living in Eton, we used this information to paddle from Windsor Canoe Club today. I knew it should be possible to get down the Mill Stream and portage round, but this took the headache of looking for it.
I've posted our version of the round trip from Windsor Leisure Centre / Windsor Canoe Club. Measured it on Google Earth, and it comes out at 4.5 miles!