Oneway: Benson to Chertsey, via Kingston-upon-Thames
Allow 7 to 14 nights
Quaint river charm, royal castles and gardens, friendly pubs and mediaeval historic sites—it’s a Thames vacation!
Reviews for the The Heart of England Cruise
Enjoyed the upgrade of the boat at the last minute. The scenery & Pubs along the way were great
Loved the weekend and the trip. Booking, check in and check out all very easy. Boat was a bit dated, and didn't like reverse!
Wonderful weather, great boat, Benson to Chertsey. Memorable experiences include, Swan Upping at Cookham, A visit to Runnymede, Lovely meals in many hostelries along the Thames, great experience.
I would recommend to others especially The Greyhound Pub at Eton Wick who especially encourage boaters from the Thames. The walk is 1 and half miles from Boveney Lock to the pub but worth it. The meal was normal pub food but plenty of it served by a genial host and his wife, the food was very inexpensive.
We had a wonderful vacation with LeBoat. Being on board a very comfortable Vision 4 with a family, during the warmest week of the year, enjoying the views of rolling fields with animals grazing on them, and cozy pretty houses along the river, meeting the nicest people along the way, exploring the local restaurants, getting to know England from a small town perspective was amazing.
The Town of Henley during he regatta and post it was a great stop for us. Hiring a taxi cab to take us to Highclere castle (Downton Abbey tv series) from Henley.The drive of about 40 min and completely worth the visit. Get there by 2 pm and you will not have a problem getting in. Mooring in downtown Windsor and having a spectacular view of the Castle, day and night.
This was the first time we had cruised on the Thames. We had previously had narrow boat holidays. We didn't find cruising on a river as relaxing as the canal as you have the current to contend with. When we were shown to our boat it was difficult to board as it was moored at the high side of the quay and we had about a four feet jump down into the boat, so was a bit tricky when you have luggage too. One of the staff came with us when we set off and navigated the first lock, which was helpful. We had read that locks are manned but throughout our trip we found only one to be manned, so some details on-board on how to navigate locks would have been useful as the info on the lock gates were often vague. As to the boat, we had the smallest boat - a Capri TS, but the size was fine for us. The double bed was covered in vinyl and was comfortable but the sheet supplied slipped off so we had to put a blanket underneath to stop that happening. We had only been given half the bedding needed upon arrival so they had to fetch more. We found the boat pretty easy to steer for beginners but you do have to bear in mind the current. There was a caravan style shower with good pressure and the loo was hand pumped. A settee in the living room converts to a 3/4 sized bed and this was fabric covered. There was plenty of hot water as long as the engine has been running. Our kettle leaked but they came straight away with another. We liked the enclosed driving position of the boat as the weather was a bit rainy. The blow heating worked fine until the last night and then it decided not to work, but we decided to cope rather than calling them out. We found that there was limited mooring as most was privately owned. You can alternately drive in pegs along the bank but as beginners we decided against that, but it is an option. We found all moorings charge £5 a night. When we got back we found that we were expected to try and manoeuvre the boat in reverse into a small space between boats, this was very nerve wracking and we were worried about banging into another of their boats. After a while of trying, when we got near enough for one of the staff to jump on board and finish the steering off for us. We didn't find the staff over friendly, which was a disappointment, especially as it was quiet when we went so they would have had time to chat to us. All in all, think next time we'll stick to the canal.