Places to visit along the River Thames
The non-tidal stretch of the River Thames is navigable for 124 miles from above Teddington Lock in West London to Lechlade in Gloucestershire. Along the way there’s an abundance of places to visit, see and enjoy.
To cover the whole of the river between Lechlade and Teddington and return to our marina base you would need a two-week holiday. Downstream from Datchet you can cruise past Magna Carta Island and experience the great expanse of Runnymede. Upstream from Windsor are some of the most historic and beautiful towns and villages in England such as Marlow, Henley, Pangbourne, Sonning and Oxford.
For a wealth of information concerning the River Thames visit, www.visitthames.co.uk
Upstream (west) from Kris Cruisers
The huge castle dates from 1066. During successive centuries it grew in importance to attain the proportions and magnificence of a royal palace. Open, with few exceptions, throughout the year. Today it is the largest inhabited castle in the world. St George’s Chapel, one of the most beautiful of our ecclesiastical buildings, dates from 1475. Here are to be found the tombs of ten British monarchs. For more information call 0303 123 7334
Founded in 1440 by Henry VI, the College still has several of its original buildings in use. The Chapel, School Yard and cloisters are open most afternoons.
The Maidenhead Railway Bridge crosses over the Thames at Maidenhead and was designed in 1838 by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The brick arches were the widest and flattest in the world. Each span is 128ft, with a rise of only 24ft.
Renowned as the home of the Astor family during a 50-year period from 1893. The property is now a luxury hotel, some parts of which are open to the public at weekends.
The gardens, formal and otherwise, are magnificent and open daily throughout the season. A National Trust property. For further information call 01628 668561
Elegant town blending old and modern with much to see. Izaak Walton’s stretch of the river, commemorated by the ‘Compleat Angler’ inn, now a luxury hotel. More information on Marlow, can be found by calling their TIC on 01296 382415
The River and Rowing Museum is situated in Mill Meadows with moorings right by the riverside. It gives the story of Henley Town and its world famous Regatta held every year in July.
An 18th Century flour mill converted to a Restaurant/Theatre providing a centre of entertainment. View the working wheel in the cocktail bar.
Reservations can be made on Tel. 0118 969 8000.
A prosperous market town for 900 years with a wealth of sights and interests including the Abbey and Guildhall. The Old Gaol built for French prisoners of the Napoleonic Wars is now an arts and leisure centre.
OXFORD’S UNIVERSITY/COLLEGES, CHAPELS & MUSEUMS
Simply too many to list here but the Tourist Information Centre in St Aldates will help you plan a walking tour.
BUSCOT HOUSE AND PARK
This 18th century National Trust property houses a rich collection of pictures. Landscaped park and water gardens. For more information call 01367 240932
Downstream (east) from Kris Cruisers
(Runnymede is owned by the National Trust)
Magna Carta Memorial
©National Trust Images/John Millar
Standing at the foot of the Cooper’s Hill slopes is a memorial to the Magna Carta, sealed at Runnymede Meadows beside the Thames, on 15 June 1215 by King John. The memorial, built by the American Bar Association, is in the form of a domed classical temple containing a pillar of English granite on which is inscribed: ‘To commemorate Magna Carta, symbol of Freedom Under Law.’
Nearby the John F Kennedy Memorial stands in its own acre of land, given by the people of Britain to the USA, honouring the memory of the assassinated President. A little piece of America by the Thames.
And, atop Cooper’s Hill, the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial commemorating the men and women of the Commonwealth Air Forces killed in World War II, who have no known grave.
It was Cardinal Wolsey who commenced the building of the Palace, but in 1525 very prudently gave it to his King – Henry VIII. The most lasting impression to the Palace was given by William III and his Consort, Queen Mary. It was at their command that the mellow red brick buildings along the south and east fronts were re-modeled by the architect Sir Christopher Wren. Why not try to unravel the mystery of the maze! For more information call 020 3166 6000
BEALE PARK, LOWER BASILDON
Trees, grass, water, space – 300 acres of organic, ancient meadows where you will find carefully tended small herds of unusual farm animals. Sheep and goats, Highland cattle, deer and South American Llamas are just some of the breeds. For the more adventurous there are play areas. Free daytime moorings, with access to Beale Park through the nearby River Gate. For more information call 0118 976 7480
Set in 150 acres of woodland is this award winning theme park, where children of 2 to 12 can test their driving skills and marvel at the world of Lego. There is a shuttle bus running from Windsor and Eton Riverside Station to Legoland, a two-mile journey. Public moorings are situated a mile upstream from the station.
THORPE PARK, CHERTSEY
The wild waters of the Rumba Rapids toss you about, Stealth, 0 – 80mph in under 2 seconds and Colossus, sees you scream through an awesome ten vertical loops are just a few of the attractions at Thorpe Park. There are short stay visitor moorings at Penton Hook Marina, immediately downstream from the Lock of the same name. For more information call 0371 663 1673
The entrance to the Leisure Park is a short walk away.
PLAY AREAS FOR CHILDREN
Staines, Maidenhead, Marlow, Henley and Reading have soft play areas (clearly designated for children to play) all adjoining public moorings.
SWIMMING POOLS AND INDOOR LEISURE CENTRES
Kingston and Marlow have traditional swimming pools while Windsor and Reading have swimming pools with wave machines and giant slides as well as a range of other leisure facilities. For more information call Kingston 0208 541 4576, Marlow 01628 475709, Windsor 01753 778577, Reading 0118 901 5000
Where excitement strikes… every time. Situated only a short walk from Kingston’s main train station. For more information call 0871 222 3675