About Benson

Benson is located at the quiet and rural end of the Thames where the river is flanked by rolling countryside and farmland and quaint villages. Moorings are easy to find and the distance between locks is slightly greater than at the river’s eastern end – which means more cruising. The dreaming spires and universities of Oxford is a 6hr cruise to the west of Benson. Or, head east and in 6hrs you’ll be in Henley-on-Thames, home of British rowing. Royal Windsor is 12 hrs from Benson.

From Benson it is:

  • 15hrs (22 locks) to our base in Chertsey

What you get on the base





Extras & options for your cruise

The following extras are available to prebook or purchase locally at this base. A reduced fee will apply to items that are prebooked. Please see 'Prepare for your departure' for more details about each extra. Restrictions apply.


Practical extras

Early & late check-out

Boat cleaning

Parking - (see 'Travel info' tab)

Car transfer (see 'Travel info' tab)

Eco cleaning pack


Top-deck cushions

Fun extras

Bike hire

Special occasion gift baskets

Opening hours

Mon - Sat 9am - 5pm


Le Boat Benson Waterfront Benson
OX10 6SJ
United Kingdom


+44 (0) 1491 824 067

Travel to Benson

To book a taxi to or from the base you can contact the number below.


Triple A Cars’ (+44 (0) 1189 504 030 | [email protected])


Approximate price (4 passengers) from:


  • Heathrow Airport £76
  • Gatwick Airport £106
  • Reading Train Station £39

If you are doing a one-way cruise (i.e. returning your boat to a different base), we can transfer your car from your departure base to your end base.


Our staff are insured to drive your vehicle on your behalf. Please bring with you your car registration document and car insurance certificate. Our base teams can transfer hire/lease cars, but you should check with your hire/leasing company first as the terms of your agreement may not permit this. If it is permitted, your hire/leasing company may charge you extra to add a member of our base team as a named driver. We may not know the name of the driver until the week of your departure, so you should check with the hire company to see if they will add an additional ‚un-named‛ driver to the hire agreement. All the cars can be transferred except: cars heavier than 3.5 tonnes, cars pulling trailers or caravans, trucks, bikes, motorbikes, camping cars and red license plates.


Car transfers are available for a charge, must be pre-booked before departure and are subject to availability. Please contact the sales team for more information and prices.

By Road

Be prepared

It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with local road rules and abide by them. Most European countries have a list of compulsory equipment that you must take with you. For driving advice and a list of the equipment you'll need, please visit https://www.theaa.com/european-breakdown-cover/driving-in-europe



The Benson base is situated on the A4074 between Oxford and Reading. From London take the M40 and head west, exiting at junction 7. Turn left onto the A329 and follow signs towards Wallingford. Stay on the A329, passing through Little Milton, Stadhampton, Newington and Warborough. At Shillingford, turn left at the roundabout onto the A4074 towards Reading. Follow this road for 0.9miles until you reach another roundabout (you’ll see a McDonalds and a BP garage ahead of you). Go straight over and continue for another 0.4miles. The entrance to the base is on the right hand side, look out for the sign that says ‘WATERFRONT’.



Secure parking (pre-bookable extra – fee applies).

By train

Closest train stations:

  • Cholsey: 8km
  • Reading: 20km
  • Oxford: 20km
  • Didcot: 16km

By air

Closest airports:

  • London Heathrow : 61 km (M25)
  • Gatwick : 120 km (M25)

Arrival at Benson

When to arrive

Your boat will be ready to depart for 16:00 - 18:00. We recommend that you arrive 60 minutes earlier for check-in and instructions. If you have booked an Early Check-in Service, please arrive at the base ready to depart between 11:00 and 12:00 or from 14:00.

Late arrivals

If you are going to be arriving at the base late, you will need to inform the base directly or our sales team. When you arrive at the base there will be a note on the reception door informing you where your boat is. The boat will be left open for you to stay on board that night. The base staff will do the full briefing the following morning.

Upon arrival

Our base staff look forward to welcoming you to their cruising region and aim to make your arrival and vacation as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

When you arrive our base staff will:

  • Take a deposit to cover the fuel and gas you use during your vacation as well as engine wear and tear. Any extra fuel used will be charged on your return or we will refund the difference for fuel you have not used.
  • Take a refundable collision damage deposit. This will be refunded if you return your boat and its inventory undamaged at the end of your vacation. The amount collected (and thus your liability) can be reduced by purchasing a Collision Damage Waiver in advance. Please contact our sales team for details.
  • Familiarise you with your waterways guide, maps and other helpful documentation provided to help you plan where you want to go and where you’d like to stop.
  • Brief you about your boat, the equipment on board, and the cruising area (places to visit, etc.).
  • Give you a boat handling demonstration on the water with one of our technicians.

Your return

Your boat should be returned and unoccupied by 09:00 on your last cruising day (or by midday if you have booked a Late Check-out).

Local info

Payment Means

Please note that payment of fuel, deposit & any extras booked and paid locally are required in the local currency of the base. Our bases accept Visa & Mastercard, but not American Express. 



The Crown Inn - Tel: +44 (0) 1 491 838 331.

The Three horseshoes - Tel: +44 (0) 1 491 838 242

The George Hotel - Tel: +44 (0) 1 491 836 665

The Boat House - Tel: +44 (0) 1 491 833 188

The Opium Den - Tel: +44 (0) 1 865 248 680



The Three Horseshoes – Tel: +44 (0) 1 491 838 242

The George Hotel – Tel: +44 (0) 1 865 340 404

Stoneys – Tel: +44 (0) 1 491 836 249

The Opium Den - Tel: +44 (0) 1865 248680



There are restaurants, shops and a greengrocer all nearby. There is no bank at Benson but there is a cash back facility at the supermarket.


Supermarket opening times: Monday – Thursday 8.00am to 7.00pm Friday – 8.00am to 8.00pm Saturday – 9.00 to 6.00pm Sunday – 9.00am to 5.00pm



Fishing is allowed but the close season is between 17th March – 16th June. A Fishing License is required and is available from any main or sub post office, it is recommended that you obtain your license before you leave home. Cost is approximately £6.50 for a licence covering 8 days (children under 12 do not require a licence).