Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Visiting a Tiny Island

I'd planned to spend all last week working, but the late September sunshine was just so glorious that it seemed a shame to waste it. So, I squeezed in a couple of mini local trips in between the stuff on my work To Do list

I visited Windsor Castle one morning to take the Conquer the Tower tour, where you can climb the Round Tower (click here for a video about the tour). This was highly entertaining, and the views were wonderful - we could see all the way to the skyscrapers in the City of London!

I also took a short trip to Guards Club Park, which is a small park just 20 minutes walk from my local Post Office. I'd never visited it before but had been meaning to for ages because it a) was a location in one of my all time favourite films, Kind Hearts and Coronets and b) the park includes a tiny island! How cool is that?

Not much remains of the old Guards Club - though the spire from the boathouse was rescued and now sits atop a shelter in the park. The ornate footbridge, built in the late 1800s, was saved and restored by the local Civic Society so you can still use it to cross to Guards Club Island when it's open (the island is closed from December - June to protect nesting birds).

As you walk over the bridge to the island, if you look to your left you can see Maidenhead Bridge (which you might remember from my walk along the river earlier this year).

Looking to your right, you can see the Sounding Arch - one of two arches that make up a railway bridge designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel

The island itself is tiny, narrow and totally lovely! It takes just a couple of minutes to walk from end to end but there are benches to sit on and lots of nice views to enjoy along the way.

This is the view from the island, across to the other side of the river:


And this is the view back to the park from the base of the Sounding Arch:


Guards Club Island was a magical little place to visit! I'm so glad I finally decided to tick it off my "local stuff To Do" list, and I'm very much looking forward to spotting that bridge next time I watch Kind Hearts and Coronets.

P.S. If you ever visit Guards Club Island, make sure you walk along the river to visit Ray Mill Island and its aviary!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for theses pictures which have taken me back to my childhood over 30 years ago. My sister and I used to love exploring this magical island. There were a few local islands we used to visit and I could never remember the name of this one (to this day!) First glimpse of the iron bridge would tell my childish brain we were bound for one of my favourite places though. Your pictures have helped me to identify one of my favourite childhood haunts. Thank you!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks so much for your comment, it was really lovely to hear this! :)