Maldon U3A - Maritime Group Trip to Kingston-upon-Thames, Windsor & Runnymeade

A 8:00 am start from Maldon got us to Kingston-upon Thames by 10:15 am, where we met our Blue Badge Guide James, who gave us a brief overview of the plan for the day and then escorted us to The Rose Theatre café where there were very welcome teas, coffees and biscuits waiting.

Following this, James took us on a very interesting one hour walk around Kingston-upon-Thames, showing us the Guildhall, where in 1850 a large stone recovered from the ruins of the chapel of Saint Mary, which collapsed in 1730, and regarded as the Coronation Stone, is situated. We then visited Market Square and finally crossed Clattern Bridge (this name refers to the noise made by horses’ hooves clattering across the bridge) before re-joining the coach. James explained that Kingston was granted a charter by King John in 1200. Kingston was built at the first crossing point of the Thames upstream from London Bridge and a bridge still exists at the same site. It was this “Great Bridge” that gave the town its early importance in the 13th century.

We left Kingston and went by coach to Windsor, following the Thames past Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, en route James gave us an excellent commentary on the various villages and their history. At Windsor, we had free time for lunch before joining our river cruiser “Hampton Court” at 3:00pm, for our two hour cruise to Runnymeade. The river cruise took us through three locks passing the Queen’s vast parklands with views of the castle, through Datchet Mead and Edward the Confessor’s Old Windsor before arriving at Runymeade in time to purchase ice-creams before boarding our coach for the journey home. We arrived back in Maldon by 7 pm.

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Last revised 10th September 2017