On one of my last sunny days of the summer holidays this year, I stumbled across Ray Mill Island in Maidenhead. We were looking for a play park but this island turned out to be a great outdoor fun alternative with my kids.
There’s no parking on the island so if you’re driving you’ll need to use a pay and display just over the road. The day I visited I still had a roof box on my car from holidays and there’s a height bar restriction. We ended up parking ages away on a residential street and trekking back to the island in the heat but it was definitely worth it.
Ray Mill island is not huge but it’s so wonderfully tranquil. Once you cross over the footbridge at Boulters Lock, you enter a lovely chilled out world with mature trees, grassy areas and the highlight being all the ducks and geese.
We had an ice cream at Franca & Son’s café on the island and a little play on their apparatus. I also bought a toasted panini for me which was not the greatest so I’d stick to just ice creams but they could have just been having an off day. The café is open 10am-5pm daily in the summer and at weekends only during the winter and toilets are available too.
The café had duck food for sale so we bought a big bag and took it to the water’s edge. The ducks and geese loved it and so did my boys so we had to go back and buy another couple of bags of duck food!
There was also a very moving installation, the Berkshire SANDS Memorial Tree. It has been erected as a special place in memory of all babies who died to soon: before, during or after birth. There are also a couple of statues dotted around the island including ‘Vintage Boys’ by Lydia Karpinska and ‘The Companions’ and ‘Maiden with Swans’ both by Eunice Goodman.
Ray Mill Island in Maidenhead is perfect for a chilled out nature exploration.