The River Thames, England's finest river, flows from its source in the heart of the Cotswolds through a rural idyll above Oxford, characterised by water meadows and cattle grazing, down to meet the canal at the 'City of Dreaming Spires' with fabulous views as one approaches. Beyond Oxford the Royal River links many beautiful and some famous waterside towns and villages - an unforgettable boating experience as you mingle with traditional Thames craft such as skiffs, passenger steamers, and rowing eights. The choice of an entirely rural or cosmopolitan weekend is in your hands!
On the beautifully peaceful Upper Thames the locks are usually worked for you by smart and friendly lock-keepers, giving you the ultimate relaxing boating holiday, interspersed with historic waterside inns and settlements, all linked not only by water but the easy-to-walk Thames Long Distance Path.
WEEKEND BREAK - the Oxford Ring
Easy cruising through the outstanding rural scenery of the Cotswolds borders from Lower Heyford. Oxford offers excellent shopping and a wide range of pubs, cinemas, restaurants and clubs. A perfect destination for history and night-life lovers! You can even do one of the smallest canal 'Rings' by turning onto the Dukes Cut and the River Thames as it flows acorss Port Meadow, giving you the iconic view of the Dreaming Spires. Moor at Christchurch Meadow - another famous view - opposite the College Boat Houses befopre returnign through the secretive Sheepwash Channel tore join the Oxford Canal in the heart of the city ('Jericho') for your homeward journey
With the extended time a midweek break offers, you could cruise further downstream beyond Oxford to pretty Abingdon, or simply use the time to spend more time discovering the City of Dreaming Spires. Alternatively turn into the secretive Dukes Cut and head upstream on the Thames towards Lechlade in utterly remote rural tranquility with only the occasional waterside pub interrupting the solitude and beauty of the river.
ONE WEEK - THE THAMES
You would comfortably reach Goring or Whitchurch before returning, having taken in many of the best sights along the Thames including Oxford, Abingdon, the miniature thatched village of Clifton Hampden, Wallingford, and Goring. Don't forget that the upstream journey may take longer owing to cruising against the current!
Please note that an extra Visitors Licence is payable upon entry to the River Thames i.e at the first Thames lock you pass through.