Why ROW The Thames?
It’s simply the best way to see many of the England’s most iconic sites! 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 in 1839 and the annual ‘Swan-Upping’ event of counting Queen’s swans.
The Literary and Artistic Thames
The river is associated with some the greatest works of literature in English languages!
- Mary Shelley wrote her famous gothic novel Frankenstein in Albion House, Marlow
- Charles Dodgson, better known as Lewis Carroll, told the story of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ for the first time to the three Liddell sisters in the summer of 1862 while he rowed at Godstow
- Pangbourne is famous as the home of Kenneth Grahame, author of The Wind in the Willows and Mapledurham House in Pangbourne, dating from 1588, is thought to be the model for Toad Hall
- Jerome K Jerome’s three men in a boat finish their journey at the Swan Inn in Pangbourne
- William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement and author, designer and artist, was at his happiest on the Thames at Kelmscott Manor
- Oscar Wilde found himself in Reading Jail from 1895 to 1897
- Born on the banks of the Thames in Cookham, some of the artist Stanley Spencer’s greatest works were inspired by the Thames
Eat, Drink and Sleep the Thames!
The Thames is dotted with characterful Pubs and Inns which make fine stopping places for lunch, dinner or an evening’s rest. Here’s a few we visit along our route.
- The Angel at Henley-on-Thames
- The Swan at Streatley
- The Perch & Pike in South Stoke
- The Beetle & Wedge in Moulsford
A World-class Waterway
With millions of visitors to the historic and beautiful places along its banks, the Thames is now a truly world class visitor attraction. Many come to walk to the Thames Path National Trail which follows the entire length of the river from its source to the sea, but there can be no better way to see it than from a boat!