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Recreational rowing on beautiful waterways
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Rowing Technique – fixed seat rowing skiff

Posted on July 13th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

Rowing a skiff should be a relaxing experience! it may take a while for it to be second nature, but here are a few important things to remember for the beginner.

The stroke

The oars (sculls or blades) will overlap in the middle of the rowing stroke; your left hand should be above your right as shown below.

Come forward to take a stroke with your arms straight, drop the blades into the water to take the catch with your arms extended, lean back into the stroke pulling your hands into your chest the end of the stroke.


Only the end of the blade should be immersed in the water during the drive – avoid digging the blades deep. Transfer as much effort as possible to the foot boards.


‘Feathering’ the blades

The oars are designed to feather, which mean the blades are parallel to the water … Read More »

Why ROW The Thames?

Posted on April 13th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

It’s simply the best way to see many of the England’s most iconic sites! By traditional skiff you can explore the quiet backwaters, historic houses and lively towns of the Thames at an easy pace!

From a gentle meandering in the Cotswolds, the River Thames passes beautiful meadows, churches and towns such as Oxford, Henley-on-Thames, Windsor Castle, Kingston-on-Thames, Hampton Court, and of course London.

Described by John Burns as ‘’Liquid History’’, many of England’s most defining historic moments have played out along its banks. With the signing of the Magna Carta in Runnymede in 1215, and the construction by William the conqueror of the Palace at Windsor in 1070, is there any other national waterway which has played such a part in a nation’s history? To this day, great traditions still take place on the river, like the Henley-on-Thames regatta which started … Read More »

Planning a Rowing Challenge

Posted on January 20th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

Surprise Tips for Planning a Rowing Challenge

Challenges push people to their limits and out of their comfort zone; Rowing challenges are physically demanding and are a true individual and team effort – they make the ideal challenge!

I won’t list the obvious ones (like take the right gear and get expert advice!) but here’s our surprise top tips for the ideal rowing challenge:

Fit people may struggle: Unless you’re rowing long and often, even super-fit people struggle with longer rows which demand repetitive use of muscle groups they don’t use in their daily lives.
The big one and the big risky one: Rowing over distance along a Loch or river can be much more physically demanding than rowing the English Channel – but is more predictable. Consider doing something demanding but safe before you go risky.
Weather and Tide: If you’re rowing the coast … Read More »

How to set up a Thames Skiff

Posted on July 22nd, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

If there are two people in the boat, both can row using the oars to steer, or one person can row and the other person steer (cox) In this case the rower should row from the position closest to the cox – this also applies if only one person is in the boat.

The oars (blades) are different lengths. The oars with 9 written on them are used towards the stern (rear) closest to the Cox.

Use the oars with the red tape on the left (port) side of the boat (when facing forwards towards the bow)

The footboards should be installed so that board with the indent at the top is nearest the bow, as shown below. Adjust the footboards so that your knees are just bent.








How to put up a Camping Skiff Tent

Posted on July 22nd, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

It can be tricky to put up a camping skiff tent, specially after a visit to the riverside pub (not recommended!) Here’s our step by step guide – can be done by one, best by two!

Add the steel hoops in order: they are engraved at the top – I at the bow (front) IIII at the stern (back) See below.

2. Now attach a rope for supporting the hoops from bow to stern, wrapped round each of the hoop (note – for simplicity- the picture below only shows it from bow to the first hoop) see below.

3. Next, lay the tent out bow to stern and attach it at the stern and loosely at the bow It can be tightened later. See below.

4. Push the tent up to the top of the hoops and pull it down each side. See … Read More »

What are Row Easy Tours

Posted on January 25th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

Rowing is associated with elite sport, and it’s certainly true that competitive rowers are among the world’s fittest athletes. But rowing, just like walking, can be great gentle exercise for people of all ages, abilities and fitness.

Our row easy tours are designed for people new to rowing, or who are looking for a more relaxed holiday. Think gentle walking holidays in beautiful outdoor surroundings.

Look for the row easy mark next to our tours, or contact us for more detail.

Take it easy!

Check out


Can I recreate Three Men in a Boat?

Posted on October 17th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

Many people are familiar with the story of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome, but how easy is it to recreate this classic rowing trip?

It’s very possible to recreate this fictional trip; many of the places visited still exist, as do the train connections and Thames path. Of course it’s possible to hire one of our Classic Thames Rowing Skiffs!

There are a few differences of course: These days the Thames is probably busier with recreational traffic, as are the places visited along the way, and people tend to have less time for such frivolity!

The three friends (not to mention the dog) start in Kingston on Thames and travel to Oxford (actually one of the group join in Weybridge) This is about 90 miles and could be achieved in 7 days rowing – with the very important note … Read More »

Can non rowers row the Thames?

Posted on September 27th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

Competitive rowing is definitely hard work, but rowing touring (also recreational rowing or explore rowing) requires pretty much the same level of effort as walking at a decent pace.

That’s not to say that if you can cheerfully walk for 6 hrs a day you can row for 6 hrs a day. While experienced rowing tourists feel equally at home rowing as walking, beginners will find it harder work as it uses unfamiliar parts of the body and brain.

But why not take it easy! even if take plenty of rests you can comfortably cover surprisingly long distances. If you are moderately fit and determined; rowing from Lechlade to Oxford for example (30 Miles) can be easily achieved in 3 days.

Our skiffs allow for two people rowing (or rather sculling) and a person steering (the Cox) so if you take it in … Read More »

Top 5 Thames Camping Sites

Posted on September 27th, by Jan Holloway in News. No Comments

What are the top 5 Thames Camping Sites? well here’s our list based on our customer’s experience and feedback.

A local Oxford Lock Keeper complained to me a few years back that, since a certain national newspaper had published an article on best kept secret campsites his quiet backwater had been anything but! I understand that things have gone back to normal again – to his relief.

Whether you arrive on foot, bike, skiff, canoe or even car; camping by the water feels truly adventurous and the Thames has some beautiful and unique camping sites. Here’s my Top 5 (apologies if I’ve missed any – just haven’t got around to them yet!

Please do check these facilities before arriving – they may have changed!

Rushey Lock

Tadpole Bridge, Buckland Marsh, Nr. Faringdon, SN7 8RF
Peaceful campsite about a short day rowing from Lechlade (9 miles)
Open April to … Read More »

the time is now! Rowing Challenge 2021

Personal, charity and corporate challenges - contact us for more info on Rowing Challenges in 2021

2021 Rowing Challenge