During your stay at one of our properties, we are sure you will enjoy discovering and exploring the River Thames. The Thames is a popular attraction in the area, and lots of our guests have enjoyed spending time on the river. You will find many fun and adventurous activities for you to try. For those of you who prefer relaxation over thrills, there are gentle past times to enjoy too.
We would like to invite you, our guests, to explore the Thames while you visit. As locals to the area, we have spent many pleasant hours with her.
Thus, we would like to share with you our 9 favourite things to do on the Thames.
Firstly, a little more about The River Thames:
Did You Know?
The River Thames is the longest river in England? It winds its way from the source, which is not too far from the border of South Wales, all the way to London where it meets the sea. In the past, the Thames was a water highway on which goods were delivered to upstream communities. Today, the River Thames remains a hive of activity as people enjoy the river in new and established ways.
The Culture of the River Thames
The river has a very distinct culture and visiting it is a quintessentially English experience. When out on the river, there is a sense of a small local community. To which, anyone exploring along the banks or enjoying the waterway automatically belongs. You can expect to be greeted by other people also out and about on the river.
As the River Thames winds between Windsor and Eton, it forms the natural barrier between them both, as well as a meeting point for the two communities. When you explore you are bound to meet locals as well as other visitors to the area.
When you are here you will discover that you can very easily while away the hours on the Thames. You never know she might just persuade you to linger a little longer.
9 Things to Do On and Along the River Thames
There are many activities which you can enjoy along the Thames. Some are treats you can pay for, and some only need your time. All the activities we have highlighted are accessible from any of our properties.
On the Water
Getting onto the water can be a highlight of exploring the River Thames. From the water, you can enjoy unique views of Windsor Castle as well as other local attractions as you pass them by.
A Steamboat Tea Cruise
Why not explore the river Thames in a special way as you take a step back in time to Victorian England. The grandiose Windsor castle is the perfect backdrop for your day out. The boats steams along the river right through the castle grounds. This authentic steamboat trip includes a traditional English afternoon tea. The tea is replete with yummy sandwiches, scrumptious cream tea and other goodies such as teacakes and tarts.
Two-hour Kayaking Adventure
For the adventurous among you, you may enjoy a kayaking trip. Kayaking is a wonderful way to experience the river. From your kayak, you can enjoy the water from the same perspective as the resident swans. Kayaking is a fun activity to do while bird watching. Look out for Great Crested Grebes, ducks and swans. Not to mention the gentle workout along the way.
The Thames Highlights – 40 Minute Boat Trip
Pressed for time? Or are visiting us with your children? You may enjoy a quick boat trip from Windsor to Boveny Lock and then the return. This outing rewards you with views of Windsor Castle, Eton College, Windsor Racecourse and Brocas Meadow.
Duck Tours Amphibious Vehicle Ride
A playful excursion for those of you wanting to walk in Top Gears footsteps, and by that I mean taking a ride in a real amphibious vehicle. During the course of the outing, you drive to the river and then right onto the water. The vehicle/ boat then heads up the River Thames for an excursion to remember, which no doubt will end more favourably than the Top Gear one did if any of you have watched that episode.
From the Banks
Enjoying the Thames doesn’t only have to be about getting on to the water. You can also find plenty of ways to enjoy the river from her banks.
A Charming Circular Walk
A moderately easy 4-mile circular hike takes you along the Thames and through Eton (look out for the schoolboys in their distinct uniforms). The walk finishes back in Windsor where you began. Walking along the river offers a peek into the lifestyle of locals like us. You can see people from all walks of life, as they enjoy the river in a plethora of different ways. A wide range of boats use the waterways, from chugging colourful houseboats to modern day river cruisers. You can feed the swans along the way, perhaps also a picnic to enjoy while in the countryside?
The Only Windsor Pub on the Riverside
The Boatman is the only pub in Windsor on the riverside. A visit to this pub is a perfect way to end a busy day or an afternoon walk along the river. Even if you don’t have the excuse of going on a walk beforehand, what better way to watch the river go by, than with a glass of sparkling wine in hand?
Boulter’s Lock and Ray Mill Island
Any local will tell you they have fond memories of visiting Boulter’s lock as a child. They will remember watching the boats as they queue up and pass through the locks. They will remember the fascination as they saw the water changing levels with the water gates opening and closing. All this activity makes fascinating viewing for a child’s mind. Children will also enjoy seeing the racing weir water. You can combine a visit to the lock with a visit to Ray Mill Island. Don’t forget to take your picnic!
Brocas meadow is a lovely open green space on the Eton side of the Thames with beautiful views of Windsor castle. You can go to the meadow for an enjoyable picnic. While you are there you can enjoy some outdoor games (like Frisbee). Or you can simply take a short afternoon stroll through the meadow. We recommend a visit to the meadow in the afternoon and for sunset. At this time of day Windsor castle is beautifully drenched in the warm light of the sinking sun. Look out for fun seasonal events, such as fun fairs, taking place at the meadow.
A Spot of Fishing
Anglers can choose from a range of fishing opportunities at Brocas Meadow and Ray Mill Island. Species such as roach, dace, chub, bleak, gudgeon, barbel can be hooked. You may even be lucky enough to tempt a large pike to bite. Fishing is a wonderful way to quietly enjoy the river and perhaps even make a catch. On the Island, you can find a special purpose-built platform for disabled anglers, which can fit up to three anglers with helpers.
A few words, on the English river by our dear friend Mole:
“… he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea…” – Kenneth Grahame, the Wind in the Willows
We do hope you will join us soon for a stay at one of our comfortable, well-located properties. While you are here do consider exploring the River Thames for a little while. Who knows you may also enjoy listening to the stories she has to tell you.
If you would like any more information about the Thames or other things to do in the locality, please do explore our website further. Or don’t hesitate to ask us directly, we will be very happy to help.