Out the gate

Out the gate

And away!

Into the wilds….


Brentford Lock

I’ve been at Brentford since Sunday.

I was expecting the odd boat to turn up, but so far none, and it’s now Wednesday morning.

Good job I booked my OWN passage this time.

I would have been sat here for a while… moored up on the Brent.

Here’s a picture of one of my neighbours.

Boat being worked on in Brentford
Boat in Brentford

In the mean-time

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday.

Visited Kew Gardens yesterday.

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Deep Lock Dead

Deep Lock Dead

For now.

I arrived there last night to find the place closed and my path north blocked

The picture is me at the closed lock entrance.

It’s called Denham Deep Lock. It’s above Uxbridge. As you can see on the map, it marks the end of LONDON proper.

Looking at the CRT Stoppages and Closures , it’s not just closed for a couple of days, more like 1 month or so. It’s due to re-open on the 10th of December!

Looks like I’ll be finding another way home!

Down, across, up

Yep, that’s it. More down (to Brentford Tidal Lock), Across (to Oxford), Up (to Banbury… again :[ ).

I was looking forward to living somewhere new.

Still every cloud.

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Leaving London

Leaving London

Now that I’ve completed the practical side of this trading course, I have one more assignment to do and the course goes off for marking.

Before I do that, I’m going to get out of London.

Much as I’ve enjoyed my stay here, I need to move out. I’m running out of firewood and coal and with a bike and no car, that’s going to be a ball-ache to arrange logistically.

No expense spared!

To be fair, every expense has been spared!

Apart from the Tube fares, I’ve lived as a Londoner this last 3 weeks.

Let’s have a look at what I would have spent:

In Hotel

Accommodation from booking.com: 17 nights – Cheapest £300 (dorm), Most expensive £6000. Average £1800 (B&B).

Food from The Savvy Backpacker: Lunch £5, Coffee £4, Dinner £15-20. Daily £30 x 17 = £510

So maybe £2000 for staying in a hotel and eating out.

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Alperton – Close to Wembley, London

Alperton – Close to Wembley, London

Here I am in London. Alperton.

It’s more countrified that Oxfordshire, at least in terms of noise. A lot quieter…

Apart from the mania cyclists, it’s difficult to know you’re in London!

It took me until Tuesday last week to get down here.

Tube trouble

When I took the first tube into London, Tottenham court road, it told me it was costing £13.90 return! Which I believed.

Last time I lived in London, it was £4 to zone 1-4, (central to suburbs). £13.90 came as a bit of a shock!

Due to this, my first day after going in to study, I looked into moving the boat.

But before doing this, I registered my Oyster card on the internet.

Turns out the card pre-charges you on journeys! Either that, or the machine was telling me completely the wrong fares!

One or the other, this is my journey history to and from.

As you can see, it’s no-where near £14.

Following on from that, I saw no reason to move the boat.

I like it here in…

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Bonnie goes to London – Teddington to Brentford Lock

Bonnie goes to London – Teddington to Brentford Lock

[Better late than never] Half 6 now….

Final stage on the Thames, taking in such fine points of interest as Teddington Lock, Richmond Lock and Brentford Lock.

Goldilocks. And the three bears.

Well, 2 bears.

Out of the 3 lock-keepers that is.

Teddington Lock

When I arrived at 7.40am. 2 hours after high tide, the lock-keeper told me the tide was ‘out’.

Having checked the times of the tides that day, I knew they were not ‘out’ but on the way out.

He then went on to say there would not be enough water beyond Richmond lock for me to travel beyond.

He then asked whether I’d booked the Brentford Lock.

A bit of a lecture really….

He wasn’t going to let me through because of the ‘lack of water’ at Richmond.

‘All the pontoons are paid for, you can’t use them’. I said there was a specific area for those waiting to use the lock (Hunters Wood), and I’d use them if I had to.

After running through the reasons not to let me through. Of which none turned out to be true, he opened the locks and let me and Bonnie go.


Wasn’t out.

Nowhere near.

I carried on down to.

Richmond Lock

Richmond Bridge

Got to Richmond. Loads of water. Not a thing to worry about.

Richmond is a low water barrier; at low tide it acts to prevent low levels at the stretch between Teddington and Richmond sinking to non-navigable levels.

There are 4 sluices that regulate the water.

2 hours either side of High Tide, these barriers are lifted, and river traffic can pass beneath the bridge.

At other times, shipping has to use the Lock at the side of the channel.

As I was a little late for the tidal lifting, I paid £8 to use the lock.

As I entered the lock, I checked with the lock-keeper about the water levels beyond.

‘Plenty there for you’ he said with a smile on his face. A narrowboat has 2ft draft.

I explained that the EA lock keeper had told me it was just going to be a trickle! Little more than a puddle! And that there was no chance of getting through Brentford.

When I got through RIchmond at 3 hours past high tide mark, there was about 15ft of water.

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Bonnie in London – Windsor to Kingston

Bonnie in London – Windsor to Kingston

Due to late night excesses yesterday, I didn’t manage to get things done as quickly as I would have liked which ended up in my setting off after eating (lunch).

That made it a non-stop afternoon.

I’m now in Kingston on Thames, where my wee sister was born all those years ago. Many, many years ago… 😀


Took very few pictures today.

Perhaps some of the more picturesque aspects of the Thames have dropped off as we’ve got closer into London.

No more rolling hills verdant woodland. More railways and high rise.

This is what I saw….

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Bonnie does London – Henley-on-Thames to Windsor

Bonnie does London – Henley-on-Thames to Windsor

Bonnie is all warmed up now, and ready to go…

So here we go, down to London!

A morning in Henley

Woke up and felt slightly hung over…

Not too bad, but delayed my setting off…

Did an engine check: This is where you 1) Check oil. 2) Check coolant 3) Grease…

You’re also going to notice any excess water in the engine bay.

You really need to do it every morning. Takes about 3 minutes.

If you don’t do it… and all your coolant’s boiled off, that will mean; your engine seizes, locks up and you lose steering, crashing into the next object in your path which will slow the boat down, from approx 5mph to 0 in 0ft.

It’s a 2-3 min check.

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