About The River Thames

Boating on the Thames, you discover historical cities and untouched countryside.

Boating vacations on the Thames are a pleasant way to travel through South East England, a region soaked in history and luscious nature. As you gaze at magnificent Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace or the Bridge of Sighs in Oxford, you feel transported back in time.

The river meanders through large towns and cities with shops, pubs and museums. You’ll also stop in small villages where the pace is slow and the living is easy!

 

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Map showing where the Thames boating region is in England

The perfect boating region for...

Thames Region map

 = Le Boat Base           = Navigable river           = No navigation beyond this point

The perfect boating region for...

History & heritage

British guard soldier

The Thames River is perhaps one of the world's most historic waterways. That becomes obvious as you travel to Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace and Cliveden House. But the history and heritage is everywhere! Often you'll dine in a pub that was built 500 years ago!

Family

Family on Horizon on the Thames

Kids will love LEGOLAND Windsor Resort with its fun rides and live shows! While the family is seeing Hampton Court Palace near Kingston-upon-Thames, why not build time in to enjoy Chessington World of Adventures. It's perfect for kids under age 12!

Fishing

Fish and Lemon segments

The beautiful Thames River boasts gorgeous reaches where the riverboat fishing is superb! There are free fishing sites set up for anglers anxious to land roach, perch, barbel, chub, pike or carp! Fish free at Oxford and Reading!

2020 season for this region
In light of the current Coronavirus pandemic, please check the latest opening information for each of our regions, or search for a vacation below. The 2020 season ends on October 31, 2020.

2021 season for this region
Starts on April 1 and ends on October 31, 2021.

2022 season for this region
Starts on April 1 and ends on October 31, 2022.

  

Useful information

Download our region guide

Check out our region guideWe've produced a handy PDF guide for this region to give you an overview of all the stops and things to do along the waterway.

Download our region guide

The River Thames has been England’s most important river for millennia. It served as a major artery for shipping goods at home and abroad, and as a protected base for the British navy. It’s still busy in places. From its source in the Cotswold Hills it flows 346 kilometres (215 miles) to the North Sea. Only the Severn River is longer. At its mouth, the Thames is five miles wide and home to delta wetlands teeming with birds and marine life. It helps to have this general Thames River information to get an idea of the size of the waterway. Your Boating Vacations on the Thames will take you from just above London to lovely Benson. You’ll find it’s a perfect stage for a River Thames boat rent! The river flows past meadows, woodlands, mediaeval villages and castles, and it’s simply delightful!

Great rivers almost always spawn great cities, and the Thames is no exception. The first settlers to arrive were probably Stone Age nomads, based on the discovery of Neolithic manmade shards. Bronze Age wanderers also came. In A.D. 43, Roman legionnaires occupied England and built a seaport they called Londinium near present-day London Bridge. The Thames became the lifeblood of England from then on, assuming its important place in world history.

The Thames River is easy to navigate and suitable for beginners. Traffic can be heavy at times.

We've partnered up with some of the best local businesses from the towns and villages along the River Thames to help you get the most out of your Le Boat Vacation.

 

Discover our range of exclusive offers, only available to Le Boat customers. 

Take a look at our waterway and lock closures page to find out if there are any scheduled cruising restrictions that will affect your vacation plans.

Locks on the Thames are automatic and operated by keepers. There is no lock charge.Cruising beyond Teddington Locks towards central London is prohibited.

 

Opening hours: During the busy summer season locks are open 09:00 to 19:00 (7:00 p.m.) every day in July and August. They close at 18:00 (6:00 p.m.) in May, June and September. Locks are closed for lunch between 13:00-14:00 (2:00 p.m.).

 

Lock Closure dates : Please be aware about the lock closure dates by local authorities. During that day(s), you won’t be able to go through the locks. For more details and questions, please contact our sales team. All locks closed on: 1st November

Moorings are plentiful on the Thames River.

To find out how to get to each of our bases in this boating region, as well as what facilities and amenities are available at each base or nearby, click on the relevant base below:

  • Rental of the boat and its onboard equipment
  • A fully equipped kitchen
  • Towels and linen for all passengers
  • A boat handling demonstration prior to departure
  • Technical support
  • On-board maps and visitor information
  • Passage through locks
  • Optional vacation extras
  • Boat damage waiver
  • Running costs (diesel, gas, engine wear and tear) - charged by the engine hour (by the litre in Scotland).
  • Travel to and from the base(s)
  • Waterside services if you use them (i.e. moorings where a charge is applicable, pump-out if needed, water, etc)
  • Cancellation plan & any travel/personal insurance
  • Food and drink

Interactive map of the Thames 

Le Boat base = Le Boat base  Point of interest = Point of interest

Great to see...

Must see
The spires of Oxford
Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, will inspire and enchant you with its architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Home to royalty and scholars for over 900 years, it is full of old buildings, many owned by the famous University. Excellent shopping, museums and tours will keep you busy for a whole day at least.
Abingdon, a lovely market town, has some 56 buildings from the 17th century and prior. Evidence also exists of a 6,000 year old settlement, making this the oldest, continuously-occupied town in Britain. By contrast, it's known for its MG car manufacturing and was one of the UK's first towns to offer free wi-fi for all.
Dorchester-on-Thames is a village at the confluence of the River Thames and its tributary The Thame. It is ideal for exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside by foot or bicycle. For something different to do, nearby Day's Lock hosts the World Pooh Sticks Championships every spring.

Cruising from Benson takes in the best of the great British countryside.If you like tranquil, pretty stretches of water and acres of open pastures, hills and farmland - this is the right end of the Thames for you.

The Royal Borough of Wallingford was once home to 14 churches! While most are long gone, there’s still plenty to see, from independent shops and markets to cafes and restaurants. Markets are held every Friday with a farmers’ market on the third Tuesday of each month. The castle ruins and gardens are a nice place for a picnic. Wallingford is perhaps most famous for being the home of Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her stories.

A small, but pretty village which faces South Stoke on the opposite bank. South Stoke has a quaint church and a 17th century village pub. Neither village has any shops but the highlight in Moulsford is the famous Beetle and Wedge Hotel.
This pretty town sits between the Chilterns and the Berksrent Downs within a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The Norman church of St Thomas can be seen overlooking the river and there are many shops, restaurants and bars to help while away a lazy afternoon.
Pangbourne dates back to Saxon Times. Lord Nelson's Bo'Sun lived in Pangbourne and is buried at St James the Less church, built in 1660. The individual shops are full of character and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, photographers and artists alike.
Mapledurham is one of the most picturesque spots on the Thames with views of Mapledurham House and the country's last working mill, which still produces stone-ground flour. Mapledurham has one pub, The Pack Saddle, in Chazey Heath.
Famous as one of the UK's top ten retail destinations, the heart of Reading offers much more than superb shopping. The Forbury Gardens, a nationally acclaimed Victorian formal garden, leads you beautifully to the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of a King of England.
Sonning-On-Thames is a picturesque riverside village with half timbered Tudor houses and is one of the prettiest stops along the Thames. Sonning Lock, with its colourful gardens, is lovely place for a stroll and the impressive arched bridge, built in 1775, spans the River Thames perfectly.
Must see
Henley Rowing Museum
Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.
Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.
Cookham is a pretty village with a delightful High Street that has changed little over the centuries. Today it boasts many fine restaurants and inns. Kenneth Grahame lived in Cookham and is said to have been inspired by the River Thames at Cookham to write The Wind in the Willows.
Must see
Cliveden House
As the river snakes past Cookham, the beechwoods rise steeply and you will see the Cliveden Estate. A country retreat on a grand scale, it was once the glittering hub of society; visited by virtually every British Monarch since George I.
Maidenhead is an ancient town with a history going back to early Saxon times. This bustling town is now a centre of rowing excellence. It is a popular destination for shoppers and, for those who love fine dining; the area is home to some fantastic restaurants including some Michelin-starred venues.
Must see
Royal guards marching in Windsor
The Royal Town of Windsor is full of history and charm and is home to Britain's largest inhabited castle and royal residence of over 900 years – Windsor Castle. You'll also find a bustling town centre with contemporary shopping, fine dining and leisure activities. Well worth a stop for the day.
Across the river from Windsor is Eton, home to the famous public school, Eton College, one of the most exclusive schools in the world with annual fees of around £20,000. The ancient desks and benches bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils, which include 19 former British Prime Ministers.

Nearly 800 years ago, King John met with a group of barons on Magna Carta Island in Runnymede. It was here he signed a historic document which is seen by many as the symbolic first step on the road to modern democracy. Today, in this spirit, Runnymede has several memorials to the ongoing struggle for liberty - a trio of thought-provoking places which are worth a stop at to reflect, ponder and remember.

Staines is a bustling town which attracts scores of visitors to its impressive retail areas - The Elmsleigh Centre and Two Rivers, as well as the town centre with its pedestrianised shopping area offering a wide range of shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
This water-meadow alongside the Thames makes a great place to moor up and enjoy a stroll or reflect on world history. It was near here, at Runnymede in 1215, that the historic Magna Carta was sealed. This charter laid down the foundations of much of the current British constitution and law.

Chertsey is a town steeped in history. Wander the pretty streets to find restaurants, shops and even a 12th century parish church. See if you can spot the bronze sculpture of Chertsey's 15th century romantic heroine Blanche Heriot, and find out how she stopped time to save her lover's life. 

Must see
Hampton Court Palace sculpture
Hampton Court Palace, billed as 'The Greatest Palace in Britain', offers a magical journey through 500 years of royal history. Resident included King Henry VII, William III and Queen Mary, who each expanded and modernised various parts. Experience the grandeur and splendour of the state apartments, tour the largest kitchens of Tudor England and get lost in the gardens and the UK's oldest surviving hedge maze.
Kingston-upon-Thames was once the coronation place of Saxon Kings (902 – 978). Today this busy market town has developed into a major shopping and entertainment hub, although it retains much of its original charm. It also has a strong arts culture and a vibrant festival programme.

Itinerary suggestions

To help you get an idea of how far you can travel in the time you have, here's a selection of routes to and from our bases in this region. You dont have to stop at all the places listed or follow the route exactly. So long as you return your boat to your end base by the date you've booked - you're free to enjoy your cruise however you like. For a comfortable pace, allowing you time to regularly stop and explore, we'd recommend an average of 2 - 4 hours cruising each day.

 = Click the arrow icon on each route suggestion, to flip the 'card' and reveal more details.

Old English town on the River Thames

The Willow Tree Short Break

Benson
Wallingford
Moulsford
Goring
Pangbourne-on-Thames
Reading
Sonning-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
Marlow
Benson

14 hr(s) of cruising

75km 28 locks 3 nights

The Willow Tree Short Break

Benson RETURN via Marlow

Benson RETURN via Marlow

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

When approaching Henley-on-Thames, you gaze at a postcard-perfect scene — sculling crews row sleek craft, and colorful waterfront pubs and shops look inviting. You know you’re in the midst of quintessential England, so you stop for a lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding washed down with a pint of local ale, a favourite on River Thames cruises!

Top highlights:

  • Wallingford's castle and famous market
  • Goring's Hartslock and Withymead nature reserves
  • The Georgian Manor and exotic animals of Beale Park in Pangbourne

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Wallingford: The Royal Borough of Wallingford was once home to 14 churches! While most are long gone, there’s still plenty to see, from independent shops and markets to cafes and restaurants. Markets are held every Friday with a farmers’ market on the third Tuesday of each month. The castle ruins and gardens are a nice place for a picnic. Wallingford is perhaps most famous for being the home of Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her stories.
  • Moulsford: A small, but pretty village which faces South Stoke on the opposite bank. South Stoke has a quaint church and a 17th century village pub. Neither village has any shops but the highlight in Moulsford is the famous Beetle and Wedge Hotel.
  • Goring: This pretty town sits between the Chilterns and the Berksrent Downs within a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The Norman church of St Thomas can be seen overlooking the river and there are many shops, restaurants and bars to help while away a lazy afternoon.
  • Pangbourne: Pangbourne dates back to Saxon Times. Lord Nelson's Bo'Sun lived in Pangbourne and is buried at St James the Less church, built in 1660. The individual shops are full of character and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, photographers and artists alike.
  • Reading: Famous as one of the UK's top ten retail destinations, the heart of Reading offers much more than superb shopping. The Forbury Gardens, a nationally acclaimed Victorian formal garden, leads you beautifully to the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of a King of England.
  • Sonning: Sonning-On-Thames is a picturesque riverside village with half timbered Tudor houses and is one of the prettiest stops along the Thames. Sonning Lock, with its colorful gardens, is a lovely place for a stroll and the impressive arched bridge, built in 1775, spans the River Thames perfectly.
  • Henley-upon-Thames: Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.
  • Marlow: Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.

14 hr(s) of cruising

75km 28 locks 3 nights
Oxford town

The Scholars Cruise

Benson
Dorchester-on-Thames
Abingdon-on-Thames
Oxford
Wallingford
Moulsford
Goring
Pangbourne-on-Thames
Mapledurham
Reading
Sonning-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
Marlow
Benson

24 hr(s) of cruising

186km 30 locks 7 nights

The Scholars Cruise

Benson RETURN via Oxford & Henley

Benson RETURN via Oxford & Henley

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

England’s city of learning, venerable Oxford, rises in understated grandeur over the shimmering blue of the Thames. You’re all set to go ashore to sightsee, shop, dine and trek the river’s excellent trail. The laid-back quality of the landscape has soothed you, and you’re glad you made sure your Thames riverboat cruise included some bird-watching at Benson Lock.

Top highlights:

  • Abingdon's historic market town with seventeenth century buildings 
  • The Anglo-Saxon architecture of Oxford, with an endless array of beautiful libraries
  • Wallingford's castle and famous market 
  • Strolling through the half-timbered houses of Sonning-On-Thames

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation:

  • Dorchester: Dorchester-on-Thames is a village at the confluence of the River Thames and its tributary The Thames. It is ideal for exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside by foot or bicycle. For something different to do, nearby Day's Lock hosts the World Pooh Sticks Championships every spring.
  • Abingdon: Abingdon, a lovely market town, has some 56 buildings from the 17th century and prior. Evidence also exists of a 6,000 year old settlement, making this the oldest, continuously-occupied town in Britain. By contrast, it's known for its MG car manufacturing and was one of the UK's first towns to offer free wi-fi for all.
  • Oxford: Oxford, the City of Dreaming Spires, will inspire and enchant you with its architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Home to royalty and scholars for over 900 years, it is full of old buildings, many owned by the famous University. Excellent shopping, museums and tours will keep you busy for a whole day at least.
  • Wallingford: The Royal Borough of Wallingford was once home to 14 churches! While most are long gone, there’s still plenty to see, from independent shops and markets to cafes and restaurants. Markets are held every Friday with a farmers’ market on the third Tuesday of each month. The castle ruins and gardens are a nice place for a picnic. Wallingford is perhaps most famous for being the home of Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her stories.
  • Moulsford: A small, but pretty village which faces South Stoke on the opposite bank. South Stoke has a quaint church and a 17th century village pub. Neither village has any shops but the highlight in Moulsford is the famous Beetle and Wedge Hotel.
  • Goring: This pretty town sits between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs within a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The Norman church of St Thomas can be seen overlooking the river and there are many shops, restaurants and bars to help while away a lazy afternoon.
  • Pangbourne: Pangbourne dates back to Saxon Times. Lord Nelson's Bo'Sun lived in Pangbourne and is buried at St James the Less church, built in 1660. The individual shops are full of character and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, photographers and artists alike.
  • Reading: Famous as one of the UK's top ten retail destinations, the heart of Reading offers much more than superb shopping. The Forbury Gardens, a nationally acclaimed Victorian formal garden, leads you beautifully to the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of a King of England.
  • Sonning: Sonning-On-Thames is a picturesque riverside village with half timbered Tudor houses and is one of the prettiest stops along the Thames. Sonning Lock, with its colorful gardens, is lovely place for a stroll and the impressive arched bridge, built in 1775, spans the River Thames perfectly.
  • Henley-upon-Thames: Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.
  • Marlow: Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.

 

24 hr(s) of cruising

186km 30 locks 7 nights
Windsor from the river Thames

The Royal Cruise

Benson
Wallingford
Moulsford
Goring
Pangbourne-on-Thames
Reading
Sonning-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
Marlow
Cliveden
Cookham
Maidenhead
Eton
Windsor
Benson

24 hr(s) of cruising

155km 34 locks 7 nights

The Royal Cruise

Benson RETURN via Windsor

Benson RETURN via Windsor

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

You have fun trying to make the palace guards at Windsor Castle smile, but you don’t succeed! Then you take a picnic lunch to the Royal Gardens to relax under the warm sun, vastly content from the rigors of the morning. Royal Cruise boat vacations on the Thames have bewitched with the grand castles and homes you’ve seen so far!

Top highlights:

  • The Georgian Manor and exotic animals of Beale Park in Pangbourne
  • Maidenhead's multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants
  • Windsor's Abbey and Castle
  • Stopping for tea at Cliveden House

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation:

  • Wallingford: The Royal Borough of Wallingford was once home to 14 churches! While most are long gone, there’s still plenty to see, from independent shops and markets to cafes and restaurants. Markets are held every Friday with a farmers’ market on the third Tuesday of each month. The castle ruins and gardens are a nice place for a picnic. Wallingford is perhaps most famous for being the home of Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her stories.
  • Moulsford: A small, but pretty village which faces South Stoke on the opposite bank. South Stoke has a quaint church and a 17th century village pub. Neither village has any shops but the highlight in Moulsford is the famous Beetle and Wedge Hotel.
  • Goring: This pretty town sits between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs within a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The Norman church of St Thomas can be seen overlooking the river and there are many shops, restaurants and bars to help while away a lazy afternoon.
  • Pangbourne: Pangbourne dates back to Saxon Times. Lord Nelson's Bo'Sun lived in Pangbourne and is buried at St James the Less church, built in 1660. The individual shops are full of character and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, photographers and artists alike.
  • Reading: Famous as one of the UK's top ten retail destinations, the heart of Reading offers much more than superb shopping. The Forbury Gardens, a nationally acclaimed Victorian formal garden, leads you beautifully to the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of a King of England.
  • Sonning: Sonning-On-Thames is a picturesque riverside village with half timbered Tudor houses and is one of the prettiest stops along the Thames. Sonning Lock, with its colorful gardens, is a lovely place for a stroll and the impressive arched bridge, built in 1775, spans the River Thames perfectly.
  • Henley-upon-Thames: Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.
  • Marlow: Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.
  • Cliveden: As the river snakes past Cookham, the beechwoods rise steeply and you will see the Cliveden Estate. A country retreat on a grand scale, it was once the glittering hub of society; visited by virtually every British Monarch since George I.
  • Cookham: Cookham is a pretty village with a delightful High Street that has changed little over the centuries. Today it boasts many fine restaurants and inns. Kenneth Grahame lived in Cookham and is said to have been inspired by the River Thames at Cookham to write The Wind in the Willows.
  • Maidenhead: Maidenhead is an ancient town with a history going back to early Saxon times. This bustling town is now a centre of rowing excellence. It is a popular destination for shoppers and, for those who love fine dining; the area is home to some fantastic restaurants including some Michelin-starred venues.
  • Eton: Across the river from Windsor is Eton, home to the famous public school, Eton College, one of the most exclusive schools in the world with annual fees of around £20,000. The ancient desks and benches bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils, which include 19 former British Prime Ministers.
  • Windsor: The Royal Town of Windsor is full of history and charm and is home to Britain's largest inhabited castle and royal residence of over 900 years – Windsor Castle. You'll also find a bustling town centre with contemporary shopping, fine dining and leisure activities. Well worth a stop for the day.

 

24 hr(s) of cruising

155km 34 locks 7 nights
Cruising on the Thames

The Heart of England Short Break

Benson
Wallingford
Moulsford
Goring
Pangbourne-on-Thames
Reading
Sonning-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
Marlow
Cliveden
Cookham
Maidenhead
Eton
Windsor
Runnymede
Staines
Chertsey

15 hr(s) of cruising

96km 22 locks 5 nights

The Heart of England Short Break

Benson to Chertsey ONEWAY

 Benson to Chertsey

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Every medieval village you pass draws the eye with ornate buildings and beautiful waterfronts. You’ve just gone by Beale Park outside Goring, but you didn’t stop for a picnic. Instead, you travel on to spend the night in Henley-on-Thames. You’ve decided to take it slow and easy on your River Thames boat rent, savouring the delights of cycling, golf and hanging out in friendly pubs!

Top highlights:

  • Windsor's Abbey and Castle 
  • Goring's Hartslock and Withymead nature reserves
  • Maidenhead's multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants 
  • Stopping for tea at Cliveden House

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation:

  • Wallingford: The Royal Borough of Wallingford was once home to 14 churches! While most are long gone, there’s still plenty to see, from independent shops and markets to cafes and restaurants. Markets are held every Friday with a farmers’ market on the third Tuesday of each month. The castle ruins and gardens are a nice place for a picnic. Wallingford is perhaps most famous for being the home of Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her stories.
  • Moulsford: A small, but pretty village which faces South Stoke on the opposite bank. South Stoke has a quaint church and a 17th century village pub. Neither village has any shops but the highlight in Moulsford is the famous Beetle and Wedge Hotel.
  • Goring: This pretty town sits between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs within a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The Norman church of St Thomas can be seen overlooking the river and there are many shops, restaurants and bars to help while away a lazy afternoon.
  • Pangbourne: Pangbourne dates back to Saxon Times. Lord Nelson's Bo'Sun lived in Pangbourne and is buried at St James the Less church, built in 1660. The individual shops are full of character and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, photographers and artists alike.
  • Reading: Famous as one of the UK's top ten retail destinations, the heart of Reading offers much more than superb shopping. The Forbury Gardens, a nationally acclaimed Victorian formal garden, leads you beautifully to the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of a King of England.
  • Sonning: Sonning-On-Thames is a picturesque riverside village with half timbered Tudor houses and is one of the prettiest stops along the Thames. Sonning Lock, with its colourful gardens, is a lovely place for a stroll and the impressive arched bridge, built in 1775, spans the River Thames perfectly.
  • Henley-upon-Thames: Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.
  • Marlow: Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.
  • Cliveden: As the river snakes past Cookham, the beechwoods rise steeply and you will see the Cliveden Estate. A country retreat on a grand scale, it was once the glittering hub of society; visited by virtually every British Monarch since George I.
  • Cookham: Cookham is a pretty village with a delightful High Street that has changed little over the centuries. Today it boasts many fine restaurants and inns. Kenneth Grahame lived in Cookham and is said to have been inspired by the River Thames at Cookham to write The Wind in the Willows.
  • Maidenhead: Maidenhead is an ancient town with a history going back to early Saxon times. This bustling town is now a centre of rowing excellence. It is a popular destination for shoppers and, for those who love fine dining; the area is home to some fantastic restaurants including some Michelin-starred venues.
  • Eton: Across the river from Windsor is Eton, home to the famous public school, Eton College, one of the most exclusive schools in the world with annual fees of around £20,000. The ancient desks and benches bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils, which include 19 former British Prime Ministers.
  • Windsor: The Royal town of Windsor is full of history and charm and is home to Britain's largest inhabited castle and royal residence of over 900 years – Windsor Castle. You'll also find a bustling town centre with contemporary shopping, fine dining and leisure activities. Well worth a stop for the day.
  • Runnymede: Nearly 800 years ago, King John met with a group of barons on Magna Carta Island in Runnymede. It was here he signed a historic document which is seen by many as the symbolic first step on the road to modern democracy. Today, in this spirit, Runnymede has several memorials to the ongoing struggle for liberty - a trio of thought-provoking places which are worth a stop at to reflect, ponder and remember.
  • Staines: Staines is a bustling town which attracts scores of visitors to its impressive retail areas - The Elmsleigh Centre and Two Rivers, as well as the town centre with its pedestrianised shopping area offering a wide range of shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.

 

15 hr(s) of cruising

96km 22 locks 5 nights
The River Thames in sunshine

The Heart of England Cruise

Benson
Wallingford
Moulsford
Goring
Pangbourne-on-Thames
Reading
Sonning-on-Thames
Henley-on-Thames
Marlow
Cliveden
Cookham
Maidenhead
Eton
Windsor
Runnymede
Staines
Kingston-Upon-Thames
Chertsey

23 hr(s) of cruising

128km 30 locks 7 nights

The Heart of England Cruise

Benson to Chertsey via Kingston-upon-Thames ONEWAY

Benson to Chertsey via Kingston-upon-Thames

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

Hampton Court Palace, once the home of King Henry VIII, looms above you and the circular fountain in front murmurs in the background. You smile as you recall the varied charms of your Thames riverboat cruise, a unique way to travel! The world just looks different from a boat, and you know that now at the end of the trip! Cycling, pubs, historic sites — it was all part of the fun!

Top highlights:

  • Windsor's Abbey and Castle
  • Exploring the history of the Magna Carta in Runnymede
  • An exhilarating day of fun at Thorpe Park in Staines
  • Learning about the history of Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace in Richmond

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation:

  • Wallingford: The Royal Borough of Wallingford was once home to 14 churches! While most are long gone, there’s still plenty to see, from independent shops and markets to cafes and restaurants. Markets are held every Friday with a farmers’ market on the third Tuesday of each month. The castle ruins and gardens are a nice place for a picnic. Wallingford is perhaps most famous for being the home of Agatha Christie and the setting for many of her stories.
  • Moulsford: A small, but pretty village which faces South Stoke on the opposite bank. South Stoke has a quaint church and a 17th century village pub. Neither village has any shops but the highlight in Moulsford is the famous Beetle and Wedge Hotel.
  • Goring: This pretty town sits between the Chilterns and the Berkshire Downs within a designated 'Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty'. The Norman church of St Thomas can be seen overlooking the river and there are many shops, restaurants and bars to help while away a lazy afternoon.
  • Pangbourne: Pangbourne dates back to Saxon Times. Lord Nelson's Bo'Sun lived in Pangbourne and is buried at St James the Less church, built in 1660. The individual shops are full of character and the surrounding area is ideal for walkers, photographers and artists alike.
  • Reading: Famous as one of the UK's top ten retail destinations, the heart of Reading offers much more than superb shopping. The Forbury Gardens, a nationally acclaimed Victorian formal garden, leads you beautifully to the ruins of Reading Abbey, an ancient monument and burial place of a King of England.
  • Sonning: Sonning-On-Thames is a picturesque riverside village with half timbered Tudor houses and is one of the prettiest stops along the Thames. Sonning Lock, with its colorful gardens, is a lovely place for a stroll and the impressive arched bridge, built in 1775, spans the River Thames perfectly.
  • Henley-upon-Thames: Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.
  • Marlow: Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.
  • Cliveden: As the river snakes past Cookham, the beechwoods rise steeply and you will see the Cliveden Estate. A country retreat on a grand scale, it was once the glittering hub of society; visited by virtually every British Monarch since George I.
  • Cookham: Cookham is a pretty village with a delightful High Street that has changed little over the centuries. Today it boasts many fine restaurants and inns. Kenneth Grahame lived in Cookham and is said to have been inspired by the River Thames at Cookham to write The Wind in the Willows.
  • Maidenhead: Maidenhead is an ancient town with a history going back to early Saxon times. This bustling town is now a centre of rowing excellence. It is a popular destination for shoppers and, for those who love fine dining; the area is home to some fantastic restaurants including some Michelin-starred venues.
  • Eton: Across the river from Windsor is Eton, home to the famous public school, Eton College, one of the most exclusive schools in the world with annual fees of around £20,000. The ancient desks and benches bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils, which include 19 former British Prime Ministers.
  • Windsor: The Royal Town of Windsor is full of history and charm and is home to Britain's largest inhabited castle and royal residence of over 900 years – Windsor Castle. You'll also find a bustling town centre with contemporary shopping, fine dining and leisure activities. Well worth a stop for the day.
  • Runnymede: Nearly 800 years ago, King John met with a group of barons on Magna Carta Island in Runnymede. It was here he signed a historic document which is seen by many as the symbolic first step on the road to modern democracy. Today, in this spirit, Runnymede has several memorials to the ongoing struggle for liberty - a trio of thought-provoking places which are worth a stop at to reflect, ponder and remember.
  • Staines: Staines is a bustling town which attracts scores of visitors to its impressive retail areas - The Elmsleigh Centre and Two Rivers, as well as the town centre with its pedestrianised shopping area offering a wide range of shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
  • Kingston-Upon-Thames: Kingston-upon-Thames was once the coronation place of Saxon Kings (902 – 978). Today this busy market town has developed into a major shopping and entertainment hub, although it retains much of its original charm. It also has a strong arts culture and a vibrant festival programme.

 

 

23 hr(s) of cruising

128km 30 locks 7 nights
Swans on the river Thames

The Little Thames Short Break

Chertsey
Staines
Windsor
Eton
Maidenhead
Cookham
Cliveden
Marlow
Henley-on-Thames
Chertsey

16 hr(s) of cruising

75km 18 locks 3 nights

The Little Thames Short Break

Chertsey RETURN via Henley-upon-Thames

Chertsey RETURN via Henley-upon-Thames

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right

Overview

The easy going pace of a River Thames boat rent relaxes you almost immediately after you get going. The villages with waterside pubs and pretty greens tempt you to stop, and you often do! Cycling takes you into the countryside to get a real taste of beautiful England, and sightseeing is unforgettable in Windsor, where you can feel the presence of the Queen!

Top highlights:

  • Windsor's Abbey and Castle
  • Henley's extraordinary church and market square 
  • Maidenhead's multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants 
  • Stopping for tea at Cliveden House

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation:

  • Staines: Staines is a bustling town which attracts scores of visitors to its impressive retail areas - The Elmsleigh Centre and Two Rivers, as well as the town centre with its pedestrianised shopping area offering a wide range of shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
  • Windsor: The Royal Town of Windsor is full of history and charm and is home to Britain's largest inhabited castle and royal residence of over 900 years – Windsor Castle. You'll also find a bustling town centre with contemporary shopping, fine dining and leisure activities. Well worth a stop for the day.
  • Eton: Across the river from Windsor is Eton, home to the famous public school, Eton College, one of the most exclusive schools in the world with annual fees of around £20,000. The ancient desks and benches bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils, which include 19 former British Prime Ministers.
  • Maidenhead: Maidenhead is an ancient town with a history going back to early Saxon times. This bustling town is now a centre of rowing excellence. It is a popular destination for shoppers and, for those who love fine dining; the area is home to some fantastic restaurants including some Michelin-starred venues.
  • Cookham: Cookham is a pretty village with a delightful High Street that has changed little over the centuries. Today it boasts many fine restaurants and inns. Kenneth Grahame lived in Cookham and is said to have been inspired by the River Thames at Cookham to write The Wind in the Willows.
  • Cliveden: As the river snakes past Cookham, the beechwoods rise steeply and you will see the Cliveden Estate. A country retreat on a grand scale, it was once the glittering hub of society; visited by virtually every British Monarch since George I.
  • Marlow: Marlow is a charming Georgian market town, spanned by an elegant suspension bridge. Marlow is the venue for the annual royal ceremony of 'Swan Upping' when cygnets are tagged, and for the Marlow Town Regatta, held in June. With its many restaurants and bistros, every month in Marlow has a vacation feel.
  • Henley-upon-Thames: Best known for its Royal Regatta, Henley is synonymous with rowing and attracts some of the world's finest rowers. Just a few strides from the riverbank is the heart of Henley with its historic church, town hall and market square, the latter bustling with busy stall-holders and shoppers on market days.

 

 

16 hr(s) of cruising

75km 18 locks 3 nights
Traditional pub in Kingston

The Majestic Cruise

Chertsey
Kingston-Upon-Thames
Staines
Runnymede
Egham
Windsor
Eton
Chertsey

14 hr(s) of cruising

70km 18 locks 7 nights

The Majestic Cruise

Chertsey RETURN via Windsor & Kingston-upon-Thames

Chertsey RETURN via Windsor & Kingston-upon-Thames

Scroll down using the grey bar to the right 

Overview

Standing in front of the stately Hampton Court Palace near Kingston-upon-Thames, you think about King Henry VIII, who once lived there. You spend time sightseeing, and then your cruise on the Thames lures you past Chertsey to incredible Windsor Castle. Along the way, you stop often at waterside pubs for a bit of steak and kidney pie!

Top highlights:

  • The ancient markets in Kingston-upon-Thames
  • Windsor's Abbey and Castle 
  • Exploring the history of the Magna Carta in Runnymede

Example itinerary:

The following is only an example, you can explore this area in whichever order you want, so long as your boat is back at the end base at the end of your vacation

  • Kingston-Upon-Thames: Kingston-upon-Thames was once the coronation place of Saxon Kings (902 – 978). Today this busy market town has developed into a major shopping and entertainment hub, although it retains much of its original charm. It also has a strong arts culture and a vibrant festival programme.
  • Staines: Staines is a bustling town which attracts scores of visitors to its impressive retail areas - The Elmsleigh Centre and Two Rivers, as well as the town centre with its pedestrianised shopping area offering a wide range of shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs.
  • Runnymede: Nearly 800 years ago, King John met with a group of barons on Magna Carta Island in Runnymede. It was here he signed a historic document which is seen by many as the symbolic first step on the road to modern democracy. Today, in this spirit, Runnymede has several memorials to the ongoing struggle for liberty - a trio of thought-provoking places which are worth a stop at to reflect, ponder and remember.
  • Egham: This water-meadow alongside the Thames makes a great place to moor up and enjoy a stroll or reflect on world history. Visit the Literary Institute to browse through archaeological items and paintings.
  • Windsor: The Royal Town of Windsor is full of history and charm and is home to Britain's largest inhabited castle and royal residence of over 900 years – Windsor Castle. You'll also find a bustling town centre with contemporary shopping, fine dining and leisure activities. Well worth a stop for the day.
  • Eton: Across the river from Windsor is Eton, home to the famous public school, Eton College, one of the most exclusive schools in the world with annual fees of around £20,000. The ancient desks and benches bear the graffiti of generations of former pupils, which include 19 former British Prime Ministers.

14 hr(s) of cruising

70km 18 locks 7 nights

Our Feefo reviews

Feefo is an independent and impartial review service that requests reviews directly from those who have been on a Le Boat vacation. Below you can read what our past customers think about their Le Boat experience, and trust that what you read is unfiltered, unedited and uncensored.

Added on 26 September 2020

David Nixon said

Excellent service the staff were knowledgeable and helpful and our holiday was very enjoyable. Excellent boat great location a thoroughly enjoyable cruise6
READ MORE
Benson - Chertsey
Horizon 1
Added on 11 September 2020

Beverley Rogers said

Excellent service. Really enjoyed our trip. The boat was well equipped and very comfortable
READ MORE
Dear Beverley, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighed to hear you received just that. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Consul
Added on 11 September 2020

Lisa Tebbs said

We couldn’t fault Le Boat The boat was clean and well looked after and the staff were friendly and helpful We had a fantastic weekend. The boat was easy to drive, Clean and well maintained & the weather was perfect
READ MORE
Dear Lisa, Thank you for writing a five star review of your boating experience on the River Thames. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear you received a warm welcome from our team in Benson. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Classique Star
Added on 4 September 2020

Debra Doyle said

Excellent service, lovely helpful people at Benson. Beautifully relaxing, gorgeous boat, gorgeous people, gorgeous weather.
READ MORE
Good Afternoon, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are pleased to hear that you received a warm welcome from the team in Benson. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Horizon 1
Added on 29 August 2020

Cheryl Brown said

Fantastic - this is our second time this year Love the Horizon - great new boat and so easy to drive
READ MORE
Benson - Benson
Horizon 2
Added on 24 August 2020

Nicholas Campbell said

We had a great staycation holiday, just 60 minutes from home but in a different world. Being our 15th Thames boating holiday we were well versed in the boat yard and the staff helped us have an early get away by being very efficient and organized. Get staycation location just 60 mins from home
READ MORE
Dear Nicholas, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review! We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your boating holiday on the River Thames. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear you received just that from our Benson base. We look forward to welcoming you on board your 16th boating holiday soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Classique Star
Added on 21 August 2020

Paul Wright said

The support at Benson was excellent and the boat was ready early A most enjoyable steach of river
READ MORE
Good Afternoon, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review! We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear you received just that from our team in Benson. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Calypso
Added on 19 August 2020

Natalie Moore said

The team went above and beyond when our boat was making a worrying noise! Came out and checked it out for us We loved every minute of our holiday. We had mixed weather but even the rain didn’t spoilt the great time being on the boat
READ MORE
Dear Natalie, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted to hear the team at Chertsey went above and beyond. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon. The Le Boat Team
Chertsey - Chertsey
Elegance
Added on 7 August 2020

Dianne O Sullivan said

Helpful when booking. Slight glitch with computer because our name has an apostrophe otherwise would give 5 stars. Very helpful lady on reception when checking in. Very helpful staff and a lovely boat. Great waterfront cafe nearby too.
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Good Morning, Thank you for taking the time to write a review and we are sorry to hear there was a slight issues with your surname. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are pleased to hear you received a warm welcome in Benson. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Horizon 2
Added on 3 August 2020

David Semark said

Excellent personal service, great advice and friendly people. everything was handled brilliantly and communication beforehand was first class. Easy to find, nice cafe there and the location was great and a lovely holiday was had. lovely on site people too.
READ MORE
Dear David, Thank you for taking the time to write a five star review. We pride ourselves on delivering excellent customer service and we are delighted you received a warm welcome in Benson and that you received everything you needed before your boating holiday on the River Thames. We look forward to welcoming you on board again soon. The Le Boat Team
Benson - Benson
Calypso