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UK Boating Holidays on the River Thames

Cruise the River Thames under bridges and through historic villages

The River Thames is known the world over as the river passing London’s famous landmarks – the Houses of Parliament, the Tower of London, and the unique Tower Bridge.

A Thames cruise takes you close by some of England’s best attractions – Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Eton, Henley, and Legoland near Windsor. It passes historic towns, typical English villages, and riverside pubs set in beautiful green countryside.

From West London the River Thames can be cruised for 200km on a non-tidal section via Oxford to rural Gloucestershire. Allow 2 weeks for London to Oxford and back.

Windsor Castle

Our four boat bases on the River Thames give you a full range of boating holiday options – you can cruise one-way between our bases at Chertsey and Benson near Oxford, or out-and-back from these and our bases near Windsor and in Reading. Short break cruises pass many sights.

The locks on the River Thames are normally operated by lock keepers, with moorings in towns and villages mostly free. There are many riverside eating places.

East of our Chertsey base is Hampton Court, Henry VIII’s riverside palace, open daily. Don't miss the gardens and the famous maze. Cruise past Runnymede with its memorial to President Kennedy. Kingston-on-Thames offers shopping, theatres and restaurants, whilst world-famous Kew Gardens are not far.

Hampton Court Palace Maze

Going west, our base at Datchet is close by Windsor and its famous 900 year-old castle, open except when the Queen is at home. Perhaps see the ‘Changing of the Guard’. Nearby is the leading family theme park of Legoland and the elite Eton College.

The river continues west to Maidenhead and its historic railway bridge built by Brunel. Pass Cliveden House and Cookham village before reaching elegant Marlow and Henley-on-Thames, noted for its famous Regatta in July.

Oxford and its colleges

Near our Reading boat base the Kennet and Avon Canal meets the River Thames. The river becomes more peaceful as it winds through Wallingford to our boat base at the riverside village of Benson.

From there is is a short trip via the ancient market town of Abingdon to Oxford. Home to the historic University, Oxford is the city of 'dreaming spires'. Perhaps go punting on the river or seek out Inspector Morse TV locations.

History by the waterside

Above Oxford, the Thames flows through rolling countryside with more frequent locks to reach Lechlade. Narrowboats from our Lechlade and West Oxford boat bases can travel the river (Thames licence is payable) or continue northwards on the Oxford Canal to Cropredy and Banbury.

A boating holiday on the River Thames takes you on an unforgettable cruise through some of England’s most scenic and historic highlights.