A classic paddle – St Patrick’s Stream, 6th May, report by Ed Edwards

Once again we were lucky to have a blue skies paddle on the Thames. Starting at the Wokingham Waterside Centre at Dreadnought Reach we made our way towards Sonning where of course we were obliged to pull up at the pub where ice creams were being sold by the riverside.

By now the temperature had risen and we were pleased to enter the quiet sheltered waters of St Patrick’s Stream, a backwater of the Thames. What makes this a classic paddle of course is the drop in height of the river which creates a twisting gentle moving water paddle on St Pat’s. It was idyllic floating past the large houses and garden and seeing wildlife. We had received a warning from local paddlers that there was a tree down causing a passable obstruction. Any excuse for getting the pruning saw out!

Exiting St Pat’s brought us to Wargrave Boat Club where we were warmly greeted and offered tea. We couldn’t stay long though as the club doesn’t admit dogs onto its site so we moved down river and had lunch on the bank outside the George and Dragon.

The final leg of the journey took as down another backwater, this time Hennerton Water. Again lots of house with enormous riverside gardens, wildlife and by now very welcome shade from the sun.

As it was bank holiday weekend there were many boats on the river which meant queueing at the locks but everyone was in good humour. We arrived at the Eyot Centre in Henley to the sounds of a brass band playing in the park. We felt we were being welcomed to the town. All agreed it was a lovely paddle and it was great seeing so many enjoying the river either on it – in a variety of boats – or on the river banks.

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