OUR belated post this week pays tribute to Cliveden Reach and a famous stretch of the Thames that has featured from time to time in these pages.
Renowned as one of the prettiest spots on the Thames, this is a glorious section of the river that runs alongside the famous Cliveden Estate, nowadays owned by the National Trust.
Set high above the Thames with far-reaching views, Cliveden’s impressive gardens and majestic woodlands capture the grandeur of a bygone age, and past articles have focused on the outlook enjoyed by the late Duke of Sutherland from his lofty perch among the trees at Cliveden and the peaceful war cemetery to be found in the grounds.
While visitors to the estate can wander in the footsteps of dukes, earls and royalty, in the summer months guests can venture out onto the water and view the estate in the way that so many past generations have seen it.
Boating on the Thames was a late Victorian and Edwardian craze in most social classes. And sitting on one of the prettiest stretches of the river, Cliveden Reach had the heaviest traffic of any up-river lock: on one single day in 1894, a record 129 launches and nearly 1,000 smaller craft passed through it.
Today that view of Cliveden House is every bit as spectacular. But more about that next week in the second of our series focused on this extraordinary stretch of the Thames.