The Reach

autumn rowingGGBC enjoy the use of an excellent reach of the middle Thames. Between Whitchurch and Purley locks there is a quiet stretch of ~4km of wide even and fairly straight water.

The Oratory boat house is the only rowing user of this stretch. There is a thriving canoe centre at Pangbourne – The Dolphin Centre – both sports work very well together.

Pleasure boats tend to moor along Pangbourne meadow – just watch out for them if you venture up that way. It’s also a popular fishing spot along the meadow and down stream from the boathouse – always be co-operative and watch out for their gear.

Other areas to be wary of are:

  • the toll bridge, and beyond this the weir and lock cut – never row above the bridge.
  • the weir and lock at Mapledurham – turn well before you reach this area.
  • the small island down stream of Mapledurham
  • various corners along the reach – just ensure you remain on the correct side!
  • riverside trees which have a tendency to jump out at unsuspecting scullers and entangle them!


Birds on the river
Birds on the river

Keep a good look out for wildlife along the reach – kingfishers, cormorants and herons¬†are common, barn owls¬†are often seen quartering over the meadow, red kites and buzzards ride the thermals overhead ….it’s a lovely spot.