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  1. #31
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire
    Posts
    259

    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
    Posts
    4

    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 https://www.thamesvisitormoorings.co.uk/map/, 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
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    4,215

    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...

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    More great advice. Thank you. We have been to Cornwall. Now in Salisbury. Cathedral magnificent. Evensong and service wonderful. You will laugh at our rental car choice especially if you have been down Cornwall roads. Asked for a mid-sized SUV with Auto transmission and they put us in a Jag F-Pace, almost new. Driving Cornwall roads has been a bit of a challenge. At least the Sat-Nav has been excellent. On to Oxford and the Thames tomorrow. A very Happy Easter to you.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sussex
    Posts
    4,215

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    A sudden thought (well a couple) -

    You've been on tne Thames before, thus may have discovered that there's quite a community spirit between the Lockies and some boaters, something quite British (?).
    If your so inclined feel free to exchange pleasantries (a wave and a 'good morning / afternoon' never goes amiss). The lady lockie at Benson (if she's on duty, never seems to be when we pass by ) is friendly as are most of the others - one is a bit gruff at **** ****, but he can be warmed up...
    It helps of you can throw your line accurately (rather than dump a tangle of PolyProp - hire companies don't use polyester) and neatly over the bollard will certainly show that you're a cut above the rest, and that includes private boats....

    The resident at Goring has a good singing voice to comment on and he'll help you with a mooring if you're staying overnight.

    Some of the locks may be unmammed but easy to operate. READ the INSTRUCTIONS if you've forgotten how they work.

    Enough...

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueBlue View Post
    A sudden thought (well a couple) -

    You've been on tne Thames before, thus may have discovered that there's quite a community spirit between the Lockies and some boaters, something quite British (?).
    If your so inclined feel free to exchange pleasantries (a wave and a 'good morning / afternoon' never goes amiss). The lady lockie at Benson (if she's on duty, never seems to be when we pass by ) is friendly as are most of the others - one is a bit gruff at **** ****, but he can be warmed up...
    It helps of you can throw your line accurately (rather than dump a tangle of PolyProp - hire companies don't use polyester) and neatly over the bollard will certainly show that you're a cut above the rest, and that includes private boats....

    The resident at Goring has a good singing voice to comment on and he'll help you with a mooring if you're staying overnight.

    Some of the locks may be unmammed but easy to operate. READ the INSTRUCTIONS if you've forgotten how they work.

    Enough...
    Thanks. We will look for the lady you describe. We overnighted at new Hilton Garden Inn in Abingdon before going on to Benson today. Brand new rooms. Last night we visited Abingdon Lock and very nice Nags Head Pub. Many boats moored along shore and great numbers of people everywhere. Looks like everyone taking advantage of great weather. Got some training on Abingdon Lock Procedures as lockies had gone but many boats transiting after 5:00PM. Assisted a couple with their lines. If Abingdon is any indication, your River will be busy this holiday period. Lots of very pink bodies enjoying this quite nice weather. Crew getting very excited to get on the River.

    After seeing crowds at Abingdon decided we will motor this first afternoon down river from Benson for a couple hours then stop early so we don’t have problem finding a good mooring location. Will use your advice on first night stop.
    Last edited by djones18; 20-04-19 at 05:31.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    Enjoyed great overnights at Goring and Sonning. Then our luck turned. Upstream of Marsh Lock the crew heard screeching sound from engine followed by all the warning lights and warning buzzers activating. Nowhere to stop except on private very, very expensive properties. Popped open the engine compartment as we had much experience with this engine on Canadian Rideau Canal cleaning water filters. A bolt had worked off one of the engine alternators, letting it come loose which led to belt failure. Decided to limp down to Marsh Lock watching engine start to overheat. Got to top of the Marsh Lock and decided engine had enough. With Lock keepers Paul and Stuart we decided entering the lock with a very sick overheating boat was dangerous to us and others so we parked close to lock entrance. You might imagine the disquiet and puzzled looks of boaters on a very busy Lock wondering why these Americans in a 45 foot long “Le Barge” were blocking their entry. So here we sat for two hours during peak lock operations time waiting for engineer. As fellow boaters entering lock understood our predicament their sympathy and best wishes were welcome and comforting. As if to say “we have been where you are mate”.

    One of your forum members who goes by Lee from the boat Mary Lee I believe passed by and we had a nice long chat as they waited to pass through. We met many other very gracious boaters. After three hours and by the efforts of a very skilled engineer we were off again. We found a mooring spot at Henley, moored, and popped open our bottle of English Sparkling Wine. We had been saving it for a special occasion and decided this was the Special Occasion.

    Once again we find the boating community and lockies to form a tight understanding and helpful community. The adventure continues.

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Medway
    Posts
    19,496

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    It would appear that "HM" will be entertaining a certain President during the month of June. ?
    Last edited by oldgit; 23-04-19 at 07:47.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimborne, Dorset
    Posts
    3,005

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    Quote Originally Posted by djones18 View Post
    Enjoyed great overnights at Goring and Sonning. Then our luck turned. Upstream of Marsh Lock the crew heard screeching sound from engine followed by all the warning lights and warning buzzers activating. Nowhere to stop except on private very, very expensive properties. Popped open the engine compartment as we had much experience with this engine on Canadian Rideau Canal cleaning water filters. A bolt had worked off one of the engine alternators, letting it come loose which led to belt failure. Decided to limp down to Marsh Lock watching engine start to overheat. Got to top of the Marsh Lock and decided engine had enough. With Lock keepers Paul and Stuart we decided entering the lock with a very sick overheating boat was dangerous to us and others so we parked close to lock entrance. You might imagine the disquiet and puzzled looks of boaters on a very busy Lock wondering why these Americans in a 45 foot long “Le Barge” were blocking their entry. So here we sat for two hours during peak lock operations time waiting for engineer. As fellow boaters entering lock understood our predicament their sympathy and best wishes were welcome and comforting. As if to say “we have been where you are mate”.

    One of your forum members who goes by Lee from the boat Mary Lee I believe passed by and we had a nice long chat as they waited to pass through. We met many other very gracious boaters. After three hours and by the efforts of a very skilled engineer we were off again. We found a mooring spot at Henley, moored, and popped open our bottle of English Sparkling Wine. We had been saving it for a special occasion and decided this was the Special Occasion.

    Once again we find the boating community and lockies to form a tight understanding and helpful community. The adventure continues.
    That would have been Lady Lee.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    39

    Default Re: USA Visitor Boating your Thames (Again)

    M
    Quote Originally Posted by Brayman View Post
    That would have been Lady Lee.
    Yes, so sorry for the mispronounciation, we again cruised by the Lady Lee today and had a good wave to them. So delightful a couple. They did mention you yesterday as we awaited our fate at Marsh Lock.

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