4th August 2010
I had promised Belle a morning looking at Hampton Court. If fact I distinctly remember making it a highlight of the trip, but in the end I let her down.
The thing is that I had overlooked the whole tidal thing below Teddington Lock and very nearly ended up being stuck at Hampton Court for a whole day. Mind you, there are much worse places to be stuck but its not what you want when you are on a tight timetable.
Hampton Court Palace
It all started to dawn on me when a veritable flotilla of craft came tearing up the river at sunset, their navigation lights blazing into the night. I sat there wondering why the sudden enthusiasm to move and then it dawned on me - they had come in on the flood tide which peaked at about eight thirty. That means that to leave on the top of the ebb we need to be at Teddington at about 9.00am tomorrow. I tossed and turned all night, dreaming of disintegrating Centreflex couplings and the relative effectiveness of Darnforth anchors on the tideway, eventually calling the lock keeper at 7.00am who cheerily confirmed by guess and advised us to arrive at 9.45am.
Whilst we didn't get to see Hampton Court gardens, we did stroll round the front the evening before, capturing some good photos as we went. Whilst the loss of Hampton Court was a blow it was softened by the realisation that we could moor up at Brentford and go and visit Kew Gardens instead. But that's another story and another days blog post.