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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Reading, Berkshire

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    Quote Originally Posted by djones18 View Post
    I appreciate all the excellent information members here have provided especially your individual suggestions and the links to mooring and planning websites. We have seven nights on the river and I'm already seeing I can't do everything I originally planned.

    So, I put this question to you. If you were taking out-of-town family members (in their 60s) down the river for 7 nights from Benson (leaving 1st day at noon) to Penton Hook (arriving last day at 9:00AM) with mandatory overnights at Henley, Windsor and Hampton Court what other overnight stops would you consider? Assume your family members can walk/hike up to about 6 miles per day and in fact want to walk to sites they visit. Assume they want to moor in quiet, beautiful, historical surroundings. Assume they can moor on river banks or at designated moorings. Assume they like good pubs/restaurants but can eat/drink onboard. Assume you won't get fed up with them and send them packing on the second day.

    Okay...can you recommend mooring locations you've loved providing some variety with a pub/restaurant recommendation which might fit within the schedule I describe? Am I asking too much?
    Not sure anyone has really answered this. It does depend upon how long you want to cruise each day, you could do the whole trip in about four days fairly comfortably if you needed to. I assume as well that you will need to stop near or at Penton Hook so you can be there for 9am on your last day. Here is my suggestion, but easily amended to fit your timetable:

    Benson to Goring. Nice little town on the river. Only three locks, one being Benson right by the boatyard and one being Cleeve almost on top of Goring and only a small lock, so a relatively short day. As an alternative you could press on to Beale Park and stop at the moorings there, only about another 40 minutes or so and no additional locks to navigate

    Goring to Pangbourne. Just a short hop. Alternatively press on to Sonning

    Pangbourne to Henley. Five locks including Marsh which is just before Henley. Lots of places to moor there

    Henley to Cookham. A possible lunch stop in Marlow. A bustling little town which may appeal to any shopping fans in your party, plus there is a selection of shops, restaurants, coffee bars etc

    Cookham to Windsor

    Windsor to ?? Possibly Runnymede, but you may need to push on to Penton Hook. Quite a long day though, but I am a bit lost for any nice stops in between

    Hope this helps. I think others are right that the river tends to be fairly quiet this time of year despite the holiday, the main pinch point being around Bray which is a small lock with three marinas nearby. It's all perfectly achievable though and if the lock is on self service they all now have out of hours power which may not have been fitted at the time of your last visit. Just push a couple of buttons rather than winding the handle so really no drama there

    Have a great time.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Mar 2019

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    as in earlier replies Reading is best avoided and we live there too ! We often stop at Coppa club by Sonning Bridge opposite Uri Gellers house 10 to charity and Coppa club do a nice full English , The St Goerge and Dragon on the Wargrave side if space and Henley is good and some mooring just past Marlow lock. By Bourne End is the Ferry if you can find space then Broccas but I would plan to be there no later than 4 if you want a spot . There is a website called Thames Moorings, I think the old tradition of Swan Upping is happening tis weekend too so you may see some boats with people in Red jackets . We are off to Windsor on Friday then Back Sunday so if you see an Old Princess32 then wave ;-)
    The Explore the Thames app has a route planner so is good to get a feel for timing , Reading to Windsor is a good 7hr trip , make sure you look behind you at Cliveden for a view of the House going down. Past Windsor no mooring on the Royal estate but great views .
    Have fun weather looks fantastic .

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Apr 2004

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    No-no-no-no - The swans get their upping in the week of 15th. July - so you'll miss it, a shame 'cos it's a good bit of truly British daftness. It has a purpose and an excellent public draw with all sorts of 'normal' folk dress up in red fabric (Not 'pink' - that's reserved for the unspeakable chasing the uneatable, not that there are many Hunts left... My local hunt satbles and kennels have long since been knocked down and turned into flats. )

    It's worth going into Windsor Castle - I've not tried it (other than going in for Evensong) but somethingin me says that you might get in free if you say you want to spend a short while in the Chapel...

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