Family fun on the Thames

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NOW that the Thames Path has finally dried out, it’s the perfect place for an evening stroll – especially with so many feathered families out and about on the water.

On the section from Bourne End to Marlow, the ducks and geese are out in force alongside the walkers, sailors and rowers.

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The hawthorn blossoms are in full bloom, the goslings are learning to swim and, a couple of fields away, the baby bunnies are out playing too as dusk falls.

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Popular circular walking routes here include riverside sections of the Thames between Cookham, Bourne End and Marlow, with the option of letting the train take the strain if you fancy a jar or two in one of the welcoming hostelries along the way, or a restaurant meal in Marlow or Cookham.

The branch line to Marlow is a single-track seven-mile line via Bourne End to Maidenhead, and very picturesque it is too. Passenger services are operated by the Great Western Railway using two-coach diesel multiple unit trains, normally every half hour, but hourly after 9pm.

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Back in steam days the train used to be known as The Marlow Donkey, normally taking the form of a one-coach train powered by a small pannier tank. Although the exact derivation of the term is unclear, a pub near the station in Marlow is named after it.

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