The Tranquil Rose Cruising Schedule
Cruising Holidays – price per guest
|6 nights||7 nights||8 nights||10 nights||13 nights|
|Premium Single Cabin||£1360||£1570||£1775||£2190||£2810|
Walking Holidays - price per guest
|Premium Single Cabin||£1325|
14th April to 7th October
Cruise No.1, Godalming to Weybridge via the Basingstoke Canal
Thursday 14th to Friday 22nd April - 8 nights, 52 miles, 72 locks
Wey Navigation and Basingstoke Canal
This holiday has quickly become a favourite with our guests and is one of three longer holidays we have scheduled for 2022. Starting from Godalming at the top of the Wey Navigations we will travel through delightful countryside and flood meadows as we meander downstream, through the market town of Guildford, towards the junction with the Basingstoke Canal. This often-forgotten canal opened in 1794 and also passes through a variety of countryside; often wooded, sometimes open meadows, but always full of nature which can be a surprise when you consider how close we are to suburbia for much of the time. With 72 locks there is plenty of time to learn the dark art of lock wheeling and if you fancy a little exercise on your holiday – just ask a crew member, I am sure they will be happy to accept your help! There will be plenty of opportunities to wander along the towpath during the day and to explore the beautiful parkland in the afternoons after we reach our moorings at the end of each day.
Cruise No.2, Weybridge to Kings Cross
Saturday 23rd to Saturday 30th April - 7 nights, 38 miles, 20 locks, 2 tunnels
River Thames, Grand Union and Regents Canals
This cruise offers a great contrast between the beautiful open views of the Thames, the surprisingly green approaches into London, and the busy city environment of the Regents Canal. Starting at Weybridge we travel downstream to our first stop at Hampton Court. After passing through Teddington Lock onto the tidal river, we pass Richmond and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew where we leave the river to join the Grand Union Canal at Brentford. Here we lock up into the canal basin and make our way via the Hanwell Flight of locks to Bulls Bridge Junction where we turn onto the Paddington Arm of the canal and wind our way past Norwood and Kensal Green to arrive at our evenings mooring, the tranquil basin known as Browning’s Pool or Little Venice. From Little Venice we pass through Regent’s Park and London Zoo and catch a glimpse of the bustling activity at Camden Lock, before overnighting at Battlebridge Basin in Kings Cross. An early start sees us passing through the 877-meter Islington Tunnel and we continue through East London, past Victoria Park and the entrance to the Hertford Union Canal to reach our destination at the Limehouse Basin.
Cruise No.3, Kings Cross to Roydon Marina
Sunday 1st to Monday 9th May - 8 nights, 50 miles, 42 locks
Regents Canal and Lee Navigation
This cruise starts from the heart of London in Limehouse Basin. This basin was once Britain’s gateway to the canal system from the River Thames and is a great place to explore during the afternoon before joining the cruise. Our journey out of London takes us along the Limehouse Cut to the River Lee at Bow Locks and continues past Three Mills with an interesting detour around Bow Backwaters and the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park (the site of the 2012 Olympics). The navigation continues through the 10,000 acres of the Lee Valley Regional Park with its many reservoirs supplying much of London’s water supply, through Enfield, Waltham Abbey and Broxbourne before reaching the entrance to the River Stort. We will travel up this delightful river, as far as Sawbridgeworth where we will turn back to the junction with the River Lee and our destination at Roydon Marina.
Cruise No.4, Roydon Marina to Rickmansworth
Tuesday 10th to Friday to 20th May - 10 nights, 79 miles, 57 locks
Lee Navigation, Regents and Grand Union Canals
This cruise takes us on the surprisingly pretty stretches of the Lee Navigation, through the heart of London and out to the west where we join the Grand Union to our final destination at Rickmansworth. Starting at Roydon Marina on the River Stort, we soon join the Lee Navigation, cruising past Broxbourne, Waltham Abbey and the many pretty reservoirs supplying much of London’s water supply. We will stop for the night at Limehouse Basin beside the River Thames before joining the Regent’s canal to cross London, through Islington, Kings Cross, Camden and Regent’s Park to an overnight mooring in Little Venice. On the way we hope to stop at the London Canal Museum and Camden Market, and will pass “blow up bridge” in Regents Park with its interesting but unfortunate history. We continue west along the Paddington Arm to the junction with the Grand Union Canal at Bulls Bridge where we turn northwards, passing Cowley Peachey, Denham Deep and Black Jacks locks to finally finish at Rickmansworth.
Cruise No.5, Rickmansworth to Warwick
Monday 23rd May to Thursday 2nd June - 10 nights, 94 miles, 107 locks, 2 tunnels, 3 aqueducts
Grand Union Canal
This cruise is ideal for the lover of the history of our canal systems. We pass many reminders of the importance as this last bastion of canal transport between London and the Midlands, and the last-ditch attempt to expand its carrying capacity in the early 1930’s. We start with the ascent to Watford and the beautiful wooded Cassiobury Park, through Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted (Hemel and Berko to the working boatmen) to the first summit of the canal at the intriguingly named Cowroast Lock. After passing the old waterway works at Bulbourne, we start the long gradual descent of the Chiltern foothills, down the curling flight of locks at Marsworth. There follow many miles of open countryside before we arrive at Milton Keynes. If you have ever considered visiting Bletchley Park, home to the WW2 codebreakers, this would be a great opportunity to do so. Spend half or a day at this brilliant exhibition or remain on board as we cruise around Milton Keynes, past the old villages of Simpson and Great Linford. Beyond the railway town of Wolverton, we reach Cosgrove, which is a delightful place, with a secret horse tunnel under the canal and its ornate Solomon’s bridge. An early start sees us ascend a flight of 7 locks to reach the canal village and museum of Stoke Bruerne.
An 8am start from Stoke Bruerne will see us travel through the 2,813 metre Blisworth Tunnel. After a quick stop for breakfast (we are not allowed to cook whilst passing through the tunnel) the day continues as we travel towards Braunston via lovely open countryside and the 7 lock Buckby Flight. The following day sees another early start as we travel through the 1,867 metre Braunston Tunnel and down the 6 lock Braunston Flight into Braunston. At Braunston Turn we join the Oxford Canal for a few miles before turning northwards again back onto the Grand Union Canal at Norton Junction, once more heading towards Warwick and Birmingham. We descend the three locks at Calcutt, and then yet another flight of locks at Stockton. After a final flurry of locks at Bascote (including a short set of staircase locks) things settle down as we pass under two historic roads: the drovers’ Welsh Road and the Romans’ Fosse Way, before passing Royal Leamington Spa and finally arriving at Warwick.
Cruise No.6, Warwick to Marsworth
Saturday 4th to Tuesday 14th June - 10 nights, 70 miles, 63 locks, 2 tunnels, 3 aqueducts
Grand Union Canal
From our start in Warwick, we cross the River Avon and skirt Royal Leamington Spa towards the locks at Stockton and Calcutt. At Napton Junction we join the Oxford Canal for a short stretch, re-joining the Grand Union at Braunston, with its village situated on a hill above the canal and well worth a visit. An early start finds us entering the Braunston tunnel, which has a wicked kink part way through – hold on tight! The summit pound is at first tree-lined, then opens out to rolling countryside before we reach the Buckby flight of seven locks and descend towards Weedon with its Napoleonic barracks, Blissworth village, and the long cutting to the Blisworth Tunnel. A second early start takes us through the Blissworth tunnel (straight as a die but it often leaks!) and on to Stoke Bruerne. Continuing south and east through Cosgrove we reach the outskirts of Milton Keynes. Whatever your perceptions of Milton Keynes, you may be surprised how pretty the cut is as we travel through mature parks and woodland and around the Medieval Village of Great Linford. If you do not mind leaving the boat for a few hours, the Code Breaking Museum at Bletchley Park would be an interesting visit. We leave Milton Keynes and head south through Leighton Buzzard to our final destination, the delightful village of Marsworth.
Cruise No.7, Marsworth to London/Little Venice
Wednesday 15th to Thursday 23rd June – 8 nights, 54 miles, 59 locks, 2 tunnels
Grand Union and Regents Canals
This cruise starts from the pretty village of Marsworth, just north of Tring. The first half of this cruise is a lock wheelers paradise. We immediately jump in at the deep end with the 7 lock Marsworth Flight to the Tring Summit, where we begin our decent into London via the wonderfully named Cowroast Lock. The locks come thick and fast as we descend through Berkhamsted with its castle remains and pretty high street. After a few miles we pass through Hemel Hempstead and continue south under the M25 to Cassiobury Park and Rickmansworth. Below Rickmansworth we work through Jacks, Denham Deep, Uxbridge and finally Cowley locks where we begin a 19-mile lock free pound into London. At Bulls Bridge we turn off the main line onto the Paddington Arm and continue our journey to moor at the Canal Museum in Battlebridge Basin, Kings Cross. On the final full day, we will take the short trip from Kings Cross via Camden and the Maida Vale Tunnel to finish at Little Venice, where there will be time to explore this oasis of calm in the middle of London.
Cruise No.8, London/Little Venice to Godalming
Friday 24th June to Friday 1st July – 7 nights, 47 miles, 37 locks
Regents and Grand Union Canals, River Thames and Wey Navigations
The start of our journey out of London takes us along the Paddington Arm, a 13-mile lock free pound to the junction with the main line of the Grand Union Canal at Bulls Bridge. Here we turn south and descend the Hanwell Flight of locks to join the River Thames at Brentford. Traveling upstream we pass Richmond, Hampton Court and Sunbury before reaching Weybridge and the junction with the Wey Navigation. From the rush and bustle of London and the mighty Thames, everything suddenly calms down. Joining the navigation, we pass the grand houses and ‘back gardens’ of Weybridge as we travel upstream past Coxes Mill towards Pyrford. We are now cruising through lovely open countryside past the unusual turf sided lock at Walsham Gates, the deserted priory at Newark, and Papercourt Lock, perhaps one of the prettiest locks on the navigation. Arriving at the busy market town of Guildford, we will moor at Dapdune Wharf. This once bustling wharf is now a visitor centre for the National Trust and full of information and displays explaining the history of the Wey Navigations. A short cruise takes us to our final destination at the lovely town of Godalming which is well worth wondering around before leaving us the following morning.
Cruise No.9, Godalming to Reading
Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10th July - 8 nights, 62 miles, 34 locks
Wey Navigations and River Thames
This cruise features the Wey Navigation, a little-travelled jewel of a waterway which is managed and run by the National Trust. Despite its closeness to London, this is a picturesque and rural waterway that should be on everyone’s canal bucket list. Leaving Godalming we soon pass through the market town of Guildford and continue downstream through flood meadows to the open countryside. We work through the pretty locks of Bowers, Triggs and Papercourt, before reaching Newark Lock where the remains of the priory can be seen in the distance. Passing through Walsham Gates, a rare turf sided lock, we enter the last 5 miles of cut before re-joining the River Wey and locking down onto the River Thames at Weybridge. The second part of our journey reads like a list of ‘must see’ locations on the ‘Royal River’; Runnemede - the sight of the signing of the Magna Carta, Windsor - with its castle, Maidenhead and the picturesque Cliveden Reach, Cookham, Marlow with its fine suspension bridge, Hurley, Henley, Sonning ...... and on it goes until our final destination of Reading. We may not be able to stop at all of these locations, but fingers crossed we can moor at some of them at the end of each day.
Cruise No.10, Reading to Devizes
Monday 11th to Monday 18th July - 7 nights, 54 miles, 58 locks, 1 tunnel
Kennet & Avon Canal
This is a gentle cruise along some of the finer sections of the Kennet & Avon Canal, featuring the River Kennet as well as the winding and lockless Long Pound through to Devizes. Leaving our mooring on the Thames we immediately enter Reading with its unusual traffic light-controlled town centre section. Beyond Reading we pass through water meadows and continue through to Aldermaston, Woolhampton (often a bit of an adventure!) to arrive at the market town of Newbury. Still surrounded by open countryside we pass Hungerford and Great Bedwyn on our way towards the Crofton flight of locks and get a glimpse of the magnificent, restored steam pumping house. Built between 1807-09 it was used to supply water to the summit of the canal. The top lock of the Crofton Flight announces our arrival at the summit and the 459-meter Savernake tunnel, after which we start our decent through a flight of locks to the charming village of Wootton Rivers. Onwards past Pewsey Wharf, we meander along a 13mile lock free pound past isolated hamlets such as the quaintly- named Honey Street, (with its pub the Barge Inn, home to the intriguing phenomenon of crop circles) before reaching our final moorings in the market town of Devizes.
Cruise No.11, Devizes to Bristol
Tuesday 19th to Tuesday 26th July - 7 nights, 36 miles, 50 locks, 2 aqueducts
Kennet & Avon Canal and River Avon
This leisurely cruise takes in the Kennet & Avon Canal as well as the River Avon, with plenty of opportunities to explore the local towns and countryside our way. We start the cruise with a rush as we descend the Caen Hill flight of 29 locks, an energetic start to the week for our crew. If you would like to lend a hand, just ask, the more the merrier! After working our way down the locks, this first day’s cruise finishes at moorings in the garden of the Barge Inn, Seend, for a well-earned pint! We continue through relaxing landscapes to Bradford on Avon with its huge old tithe barn and interesting local shops. The scenery just gets better and better as we cruise through the Avon Valley where the canal clings to the sides of the hill, twice crossing the river on stone aqueducts at Avoncliff and Dundas. We approach Bath through the charming Sydney Gardens and catch glimpses of the magnificent crescents of grand houses, all constructed from the local sandstone. From Bath we descend a flight of six locks to join the picturesque River Avon (keep your eyes open for Kingfishers) and on to the Floating Harbour at Bristol, where time is available to wander and perhaps visit Brunel’s SS Great Britain, harbour side cafes or the Clifton Suspension Bridge before you depart.
Cruise No.12, Bristol to Reading
Tuesday 2nd to Monday 15th August - 13 nights, 90 miles, 108 locks, 1 tunnel, 2 aqueducts
River Avon and Kennet & Avon Canal
This is a new cruise for our schedule, and it gives an opportunity to travel the complete length of the Kennet & Avon Canal and River Avon from the heart of Bristol to Reading, on the River Thames. If you have not visited Bristol before, take this opportunity to arrive early and enjoy the many delights of this famous city, including Brunel’s iron steamship, the SS Great Britain. After our initial cruise through Bristol’s floating harbour we sample the pleasures of the River Avon, (most of it set in an impressively wooded valley), before arriving in Bath. At this point we join the Kennet & Avon Canal, and continue to cruise along the Avon valley. The scenery is amazing as the canal clings to the side of the valley, crossing it on stone aqueducts at Dundas and Avoncliff. Bradford on Avon follows, with a little time to visit its huge old tithe barn and wonderful local shops. We will journey on through isolated locks and rolling countryside past Semington and Seend, and then prepare for the incredible Caen Hill flight up to Devizes. It’s all hands to the pumps (or windlasses) as we tackle the 29 locks to the summit and moor for a well-earned pint. Leaving Devizes, we begin 13 lock free miles, meandering our way to Wootton Rivers before the final three locks to the summit of the K&A at the 459-meter Bruce Tunnel. Descending the Crofton flight with its massive pumping house, we continue “downhill” through Great and Little Bedwyn to the town of Hungerford, famous for its antique shops. Beyond Hungerford we are immediately in open countryside as the canal takes us past Kintbury, through parkland to the market town of Newbury. From here we are back in open countryside again, past Thatcham and then Monkey Marsh Lock, one of the last turf sided locks on the K&A and listed as an Ancient Monument by English Heritage. Continuing eastwards, we pass Aldermaston, through wooded fields and join the winding River Kennet for our final descent into Reading.
Cruise No.13, Reading to London/Little Venice
Tuesday 16th to Wednesday 24th August - 8 nights, 76 miles, 33 locks
River Thames, Grand Union Canal and Paddington Arm
We start our journey heading downstream, passing through Sonning with its lovely 18th century bridge to arrive and moor at Henley. We will have time to visit the town or excellent Rowing Museum, before continuing our journey. Further down river, we work through Hurley and Temple Locks and on to Marlow with its fine suspension bridge and large curved weir. Three miles below Marlow we arrive at Cookham, a pretty village with its Norman church and the Stanley Spencer Art Gallery. Cookham is a very popular mooring, but we will try to moor within walking distance of the village. Beyond Cookham, we come to Cliveden Reach, a long deep wooded valley leading to the well photographed Boulter’s Lock. After marvelling at Brunel’s railway bridge at Maidenhead, we arrive at Windsor with time to explore the town. We will skirt round The Home Park, (best seen from the river), before winding our way past Runnymede, Staines, Chertsey, Weybridge and Shepperton to arrive at Hampton Court. Dependant on tide times we should have time to sample the palace, gardens or even tackle the famous maze. At Teddington, we join the tidal stretch of the Thames for five miles before turning onto the Grand Union Canal at Brentford. We ascend the eight locks of the Hanwell flight (plenty of opportunity to learn the dark art of locking here!) to Bulls Bridge Junction, where we turn onto the Paddington Arm. There follows a 13-mile lock free pound as we pass through a surprisingly green West London before arriving at our destination, the tranquil Browning’s Pool at Paddington, also known as Little Venice.
Cruise No.14, London/Little Venice to Berkhamsted
Thursday 25th August to Thursday 1st September - 7 nights, 46 miles, 35 locks, 2 tunnels
Paddington Arm, Regents Canal and Grand Union Canal
This cruise takes us along the lower section of the Grand Union Canal with constant reminders of the last days of working boats on the canals between London and Birmingham. But before leaving the London area we will take a short detour to visit Kings Cross and the London Canal Museum. This is a great little museum, and the Kings Cross area has been brilliantly rebuilt in recent years; both are well worth spending a little time exploring. Returning to Little Venice via Camden and Regents park Zoo, we begin to leave London along the Paddington Arm. This once busy commercial arm takes us through a wide variety of environments as we travel west towards the junction at Bulls Bridge, the main layby for working boats awaiting orders from the Thames to be taken to the Midlands. At this point we join the main line of the GU, travelling northwards as we start to climb up the Colne valley and Chilterns Hills and begin to leave the outer suburbs of London behind us. After reaching Uxbridge Lock with its turnover bridge, we continue through Denham Deep, Jacks, and Copper Mill locks before reaching Rickmansworth. Beyond Rickmansworth we pass through the beautifully wooded Cassiobury Park, with its ornate bridge and (hopefully) kingfishers. For those who enjoy lockwheeling we now work through 28 locks on our way to Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted (Hemel and Berko to the working boatmen), where we will finish the cruise.
Cruise No.15, Berkhamsted to Stoke Bruerne
Friday 2nd to Friday 9th September - 7 nights, 37miles, 37 locks, 1 aqueduct
Grand Union Canal
The holiday begins with a gentle climb towards the first summit of the canal at the intriguingly named Cowroast Lock. There next follows the deeply wooded Tring cutting which is a masterpiece of engineering, and a place of tranquillity (and hopefully kingfishers). After passing the old waterway works at Bulbourne, we start the long gradual descent of the Chiltern foothills, down the curling flight of locks at Marsworth, and passing the reservoirs built to feed the summit pound via the Wendover Arm. The reservoirs are worth a visit if you would like to break your day with a little exercise. We continue ‘down-hill’ through open countryside, passing Leighton Buzzard to reach Milton Keynes. Its over 50 years since this ‘New Town’ was born, and in those intervening years the canal sides have transformed into a green corridor and you would hardly know the town was there. We pass close by Bletchley Park, the home to the WW2 codebreakers, and this would be a great opportunity to spend a few hours exploring this historical location. As we leave Milton Keynes, we pass the old villages of Simpson and Great Linford and the old railway town of Wolverton before reaching Cosgrove, which is a delightful village with its horse tunnel under the canal and ornate Solomon’s bridge. Finally, we will ascend a flight of seven locks to reach the canal village of Stoke Bruerne with its interesting and informative museum.
Cruise No.16, Stoke Bruerne to Winkwell/Hemel Hempstead
Monday 12th to Monday 19th September - 7 nights, 43 miles, 47 locks, 1 aqueduct
Grand Union Canal
For those of you who enjoy your canal history this trip is a must, as it features the Grand Union Canal, the last viable canal of the short canal age, and two excellent museums. To start your holiday, you may like to arrive early and visit the Canal Museum at Stoke Bruerne and spend a couple of hours wondering around the exhibits. Leaving Stoke Bruerne we descend a short flight of locks before travelling through peaceful and open countryside past Cosgrove with its amazing iron trunk aqueduct, to Milton Keynes. Here you will have the opportunity to visit Bletchley Park, the home of the WW2 Codebreakers, and see the amazing work they carried out. Leaving Milton Keynes, we commence a gradual climb up the northern slopes of the Chiltern Hills via Soulbury, Leighton Buzzard and the Marsworth flight of locks. If you care to walk up this flight of locks you will see the huge reservoirs feeding the Grand Union Canal as well as the junctions with the Aylesbury and Wendover Arms, before we reach the summit at Bulbourne. The heavily wooded Tring cutting takes us to the curiously named Cowroast Lock, where we commence our descent to the historic market town of Berkhamsted with its motte-and-bailey castle remains and interesting high street, including 173 High Street, the oldest jettied timber building in the UK and now a shop. Our last half days travelling takes us from Berkhamsted to our final moorings at Winkwell.
Cruise No.17, Winkwell/Hemel Hempstead to Teddington
Tuesday 20th to Monday 26th September - 6 nights, 34 miles, 43 locks
Grand Union Canal, Paddington Arm, Regents Canal and River Thames
Easy to access, Winkwell is situated 5 minutes from Hemel Hempstead mainline station and consists of a dozen or so cottages and the Three Horseshoes, a great pub beside the canal. If you arrive early, it should be easy to find the crew! If you are feeling energetic, this cruise gives our guests an excellent opportunity to learn the dark art of ‘lock wheeling’ with locks coming thick and fast. Of course, you can just sit back in the well deck and take in the views with a cuppa instead. The first lock arrives within 400 meters of our departure as we travel ‘downhill’ through Hemel Hempstead and out into the countryside towards the wooded Cassiobury Park on the outskirts of Watford. We continue down the Colne Valley through Rickmansworth, with locks at Copper Mill, Jacks, Denham Deep (the clue is in the name), Uxbridge and Cowley before arriving at Bulls Bridge, once the main layby for working boats awaiting orders from Brentford or Limehouse to be taken to the Midlands. Continuing southwards we will descend the Hanwell flight of eight locks to join the River Thames at Brentford and finish our cruise with a short journey up the tidal Thames to Teddington.
Cruise No.18, Teddington to Lechlade
Tuesday 27th September to Friday 7th October - 10 nights, 122 miles, 43 locks
This cruise gives the opportunity to explore the complete length of the navigable non-tidal River Thames. Within half an hour of leaving our mooring in Kingston we are passing the royal palace of Hampton Court, the first of many reminders that we are on the ‘Royal River ‘. After passing through Sunbury, Shepperton and Staines (where the first lino factory was established in 1864!), we reach Runnymede, where in 1215, King John met with rebel leaders to sign what became known as the Magna Carta. Continuing the Royal theme, we are soon approaching Windsor, with The Home Park and the castle in the distance, and finally the town itself. The classic locations continue, with Boulter’s lock at Maidenhead followed by the lovely, wooded stretch of Cliveden Reach. Arriving at Cookham, we may have time to visit the Stanley Spencer Art Gallery. Continuing upriver, we pass through Marlow with its fine suspension bridge and Hambleden with its picturesque mill, to moor at Henley. Here we will have time to visit the River and Rowing Museum or some of the fine shops in the town. Leaving Henley, we continue upriver past Sonning, a delightful and peaceful riverside village, and then Caversham and busy Reading. A particularly attractive stretch of the river takes us past Mapledurham and Goring and on to Wallingford. After passing through the ornate bridge at Clifton Hampden, we will moor at the lovely little town of Abingdon. From here, the river becomes narrower as we pass Sandford, the boat houses at Christ Church Meadow and The Head of the River pub at Folly Bridge, before arriving in Oxford, the city of Dreaming Spires. We cruise gently through Oxford, and as we leave the city, the river changes character - becoming totally rural. We are now on the picturesque upper reaches of the Thames, which are quite unlike the more familiar downstream parts of the river. This is an idyll of water meadows, sleepy waterside villages and inns. The river twists and turns passing the old manor at Kelmscot (once the home of William Morris), and Buscot lock. Finally, we pass a fine statue of Old Father Thames reclining proudly by the side of St John’s lock before arriving at our destination of Lechlade.
Cruise No.18, Winkwell (Hemel Hempstead) to Teddington
Tuesday 21st to Monday 27th September – 6 nights, 34 miles, 43 locks
Grand Union Canal
Easy to access, Winkwell is situated 5 minutes from Hemel Hempstead mainline station and consists of a dozen or so cottages and the Three Horseshoes, a great pub beside the canal. If you arrive early, it should be easy to find the crew! If you are feeling energetic, this cruise gives our guests an excellent opportunity to learn the dark art of ‘lock wheeling’ with locks coming thick and fast. Of course, you can just sit back in the well deck and take in the views with a cuppa instead. The first lock arrives within 400 mtrs of our departure as we travel ‘downhill’ through Hemel Hempstead and out into the countryside towards the wooded Cassiobury Park on the outskirts of Watford. We continue down the Colne Valley through Rickmansworth, with locks at Copper Mill, Black Jacks, Denham Deep (the clue is in the name), Uxbridge and Cowley before arriving at Bulls Bridge, once the main layby for working boats awaiting orders from Brentford or Limehouse to be taken to the Midlands. Continuing southwards we will descend the Hanwell flight of eight locks to join the River Thames at Brentford and finish our cruise with a short journey up the tidal Thames to Teddington.
Cruise No.19, Teddington to Lechlade
Tuesday 28th September to Friday 8th October – 10 nights, 10 nights, 122 miles, 43 locks
This cruise gives the opportunity to explore the complete length of the navigable non-tidal River Thames. Within half an hour of leaving our mooring in Kingston we are passing the royal palace of Hampton Court, the first of many reminders that we are on the ‘Royal River ‘. After passing through Sunbury, Shepperton and Staines (where the first lino factory was established in 1864!), we reach Runnymede, where in 1215, King John met with rebel leaders to sign what became known as the Magna Carta. Continuing the Royal theme, we are soon approaching Windsor, with The Home Park and the castle in the distance, and finally the town itself. The classic locations continue, with Boulter’s lock at Maidenhead followed by the lovely wooded stretch of Cliveden Reach. Arriving at Cookham, we may have time to visit the Stanley Spencer Art Gallery. Continuing upriver, we pass through Marlow with its fine suspension bridge and Hambleden with its picturesque mill, to moor at Henley. Here we will have time to visit the River and Rowing Museum or some of the fine shops in the town. Leaving Henley, we continue upriver past Sonning, a delightful and peaceful riverside village, and then Caversham and busy Reading. A particularly attractive stretch of the river takes us past Mapledurham and Goring and on to Wallingford. After passing through the ornate bridge at Clifton Hampden, we will moor at the lovely little town of Abingdon. From here, the river becomes narrower as we pass Sandford, the boat houses at Christ Church Meadow and The Head of the River pub at Folly Bridge, before arriving in Oxford, the city of Dreaming Spires. We cruise gently through Oxford, and as we leave the city, the river changes character - becoming totally rural. We are now on the picturesque upper reaches of the Thames, which are quite unlike the more familiar downstream parts of the river. This is an idyll of water meadows, sleepy waterside villages and inns. The river twists and turns passing the old manor at Kelmscot (once the home of William Morris), and Buscot lock. Finally, we pass a fine statue of Old Father Thames reclining proudly by the side of St John’s lock before arriving at our destination of Lechlade.
Friday 8th to Saturday 23rd October
With a busy schedule organised for 2022, our walking holidays are planned for the Autumn. As usual, the concept is simple; we will provide your accommodation and meals throughout your stay, (mooring at different locations each afternoon), and you will be free to walk as much or little as you would like, safe in the knowledge that you are never too far away from somewhere to rest and put your feet up. If you stay to the towpath the mileage will be as indicated, but there are plenty of detours you can take to extend the distance if you are a hardier walker, just ask the crew who will be pleased to offer suggested changes to your route.
Your day will start with a continental or cooked breakfast, whilst we prepare a pack lunch for your departure around 10am (after confirming our afternoon mooring location of course!) We have maps and guides to help you plan your day, but if you change your mind, just ring and we will arrange to meet you mid walk at a convenient location. Following your day’s exertions, a hot shower, freshly prepared three course evening meal, and large saloon with a warming stove and a fully licenced bar will help you recharge your batteries for the following day.
Walking Holiday, Cruise No.19, Lechlade
Saturday 8th to Saturday 15th October - 7 nights, 10 to 13 miles per day
This cruise is the first of two planned to enable guests walk the non-tidal section of the Thames Path, and takes you from Lechlade, within ½ mile of the limit for power craft on the River Thames, to Reading, a distance of approximately 70 miles. If you care to arrive in Lechlade a couple of days earlier, you can trace the Thames Path back to the source of the River Thames, which can be found beside an old ash tree in a Cotswold meadow not far from Kemble. A stone marker identifies this point, although for most of the year there is no water at all. We start our journey travelling along a very isolated, rural stretch of the river, meandering through meadowland, with little contact with the outside world. After a couple of days, we will have reached Swinford, close to the outskirts of Oxford, and move on to Abingdon by the end of the third day. Where possible, our evening moorings will be located close to “civilisation” allowing time to explore the surrounding area, if you have #enough energy left! The second half of your holiday will take us close to or through larger towns including Dorchester, Wallingford, Goring and Pangbourne, before we finally arrive in Reading, and a well-earned rest.
Walking Holiday, Cruise No.20, Reading
Sunday 16th to Sunday 23rd October - 7 nights, 8 to 12 miles per day
This walking holiday, our second along the Thames Path, has slightly shorter days of between 8 and 12 miles per day. This should allow for the occasional detour to wander around the many riverside towns, or to find a Costa (other coffee shops are available) for your daily coffee fix. We will be mooring for the evenings at locations including Henley, Marlow, Windsor and Hampton Court and, if all our guests agree, we can allow a ½ day for sightseeing at one of the many historic landmarks on this section of the Thames. Your walk will also take you past Sonning, Marlow, Cookham, Maidenhead, Cliveden Reach, (which will be full of autumn colour at this time of year), and Windsor which needs little introduction. Leaving Windsor behind we continue through Runnymede, Staines and Weybridge before arriving at Hampton Court. Your last days walk is shorter and brings us to our final mooring at Teddington.