Canoe Days Out

Berkshire - River Thames - Bray to Cookham Lock (& return)

This page was submitted by Keith Day (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Bray is just a mile or so south of Maidenhead bridge. From the M4 it is best approached from Junction 8. Take the Motorway spur (A308M) signposted to Maidenhead and at the roundabout take the third exit (A308 towards Windsor). Take the fourth left (as you go under the motorway) into Upper Bray Road. This will lead into High Street, Bray. Ferry Road is the fourth on the right and the slipway is at the far end.

For those with satnav the postcode is SL6 2AT.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - The slipway is at the end of Ferry Road, next to the Waterside Inn (considered by many to be the countrys best restaurant). Parking at the slipway is purely for the temporary use of the slipway so I suggest you unload and then park in the village car park at the junction of Old Mill Lane and High Street. (Use the link to the map and zoom in.)

General Description - Once launched, go north (turn left) towards Maidenhead Bridge. This part of the Thames is charachterised by the riverside homes of the rich and famous.

Maidenhead railway bridge was built by I K Brunel for the Great Western Railway and has the distinction of still being the worlds widest single span brick build arch bridge. North of Maidenhead bridge is Boulters Lock.

Once through the lock and the short lock cut (which features the home of the Richard Dimbleby the founder of the famous broadcasting dynasty) is a two mile stretch of the river known as Cliveden Deep. This is beautifully rural with many small islands which are ideal for a secluded picnic. The right bank is dominated by Cliveden (scene of the infamous Profumo Affair in the 1960's) with several attractive riverside cottages.

At the far end of this stretch of river is Cookham Lock, a convenient place to turn around or go through the lock to the pub if you prefer.

Comments on this trip

25 Jun 2013
The car park opposite Boulter's Lock is no longer free.

28 Mar 2007
I understand the slipway at Bray is closed (March 2007) due to nesting swans. If you experience this see above for Sarah's suggested alternative launch point.

24 Aug 2006
We love this stretch of river and saw an otter near Cookham Lock last year. BTW, a possible alternative launch point is just upstream from Boulter's Lock where there is a free carpark across the road from the lock cut which has a very easy put in.


Waterside Inn
Bray Village
The Thames Path
Thames Conditions

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson