Reading – The Big Smoke – 19th August 2022

We are now half way to London.

Our cruise down the Thames took just on four hours.

We negotiated three locks on the way and then when we turned onto the Kennet and Avon Canal, and we had another double one there.

Whilst still on the Thames, a very lovingly kept boat house with thatched roof. Maybe it had a heritage listing in which case the thatch roof was compulsory.

We came across this very peculiar find on a substantial retaining wall which supported a rail line and dropped straight down to the river. Not too sure how a postie would collect the mail or how one might post their mail in it. Maybe it was there for boaters but one would doubt it. Whoever put it there would be the Banksy of the post office world.

We came off the Thames river onto the K&A canal to find some more comfortable moorings and as we would be here for two nights, a little more secure. This picture is of the Abbey Gateway which was originally the inner gateway of Reading Abbey, which today is a large, mostly ruined abbey in the center of the city.

We wandered around the central area of the city and into Forbury Gardens. The Maiwand Lion is a massive sculpture and war memorial in the Forbury Gardens, a public park in the city of Reading. The statue was named after the Battle of Maiwand and was unveiled in December 1886 to commemorate the deaths of 329 men from the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot during the campaign in the Second-Anglo-Afghan War in Afghanistan between 1878 and 1880. Hmm, you would have thought they would have learnt about fighting wars in Afghanistan from this experience. It is sometimes known locally as the Forbury Lion.

It was then into the pedestrian area where the city has made a monumental effort to embrace the Kennet and Avon canal as it wends it’s way through the shopping district.

Quodos to them for doing such a good job. We have done the Kennet and Avon canal back in 2019 which takes you all the way west to Bath and Bristol. The canal starts as the Kennet river and then progresses into a canal format.

We are moored up in Reading for the next two nights. Without giving any spoilers away, we can tell you that in the next few days we have two huge ticks to mark off against our bucket list.

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