Odney Lane, Cookham, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 9SR
Three cheers for whoever it was at the Environment Agency who thought it would be a good idea to use land at certain Thames locks for camping. This site, at picturesque Cookham, is typical in its unfussy appearance and pleasingly unsophisticated facilities. There are two areas in which to pitch tents, a sheltered one near the lock-keeper’s house, and a more scenic one on Sashes Island, wedged between the Thames and Hedsor Water. Birdlife abounds: visitors include kingfishers, red kites, parakeets, geese of all kinds and even the occasional hobby. Toilets are in an eye-catching hexagonal wooden building, and there is a water tap at the back of the shower hut. An onsite refreshments kiosk also stocks bread, milk, tea and coffee (10am–5pm, every weekend from Easter to September – weather dependent – and daily during the school summer break). To get to the lock, cross the bridge at the bottom of Odney Lane, take the wide path to the weir and then follow the signs. It should be stressed that, as with all Thames lock sites, Cookham is not accessible by car. Furthermore, campers must arrive an hour before the weir gate is locked (April 5:30pm; May 6:30pm; June to August 7pm; September 6pm). There’s a £10 deposit for the key. Cookham village, though small, boasts one Chinese and three Indian restaurants, a smattering of pubs, and the unmissable Stanley Spencer Gallery.
Please note: This campsite is not accessible by car.
The Owner SaysThree cheers for whoever it was at the Environment Agency who thought it would be a good idea to use land at certain Thames locks for camping.
Cookham Lock is a very secluded campsite. So secluded in fact, that it is hard to get to. But well worth it. The campsite is located adjacent to the lock. Which means that if you camp will small children, they WILL need to be supervised. The coming and going of boats is an attraction by itself. Although the aminities are very basic, this is a pleasant campsite conveniently located near London. My only frustration is that I wanted to visit Cliveden, which you can see from the lock, but which is only reachable by road. On the other hand you can see the campsite from Cliveden and think "so close, yet so far away". The lockkeeper lives in a cottage next to the lock. He is very friendly. The Bounty is a pub about 30 minutes walk. If you fancy a drink by the Thames, I can strongly recommend it. It is a nice, easy walk, and having a drink, on the bank of the Thames, on a warm summernight, is very close to my idea of heaven. I stayed two days, I wish I could have stayed longer.