Thames Skiff Hire
Looking for Thames Skiff Hire? Hiring a traditional Thames camping skiff for a weekend, week, or longer, is a wonderful way to explore the River Thames. Camping afloat or on the river bank offers a unique experience where the pace and stresses of the modern world can be left behind.
We offer one-way or round-trip skiff hire in traditional Thames camping skiffs. Popular routes are Lechlade to Oxford (approx. 3 days) Oxford to London (approx. 6 days) – or anything in between! In total the Thames offers 130 miles of navigable river upstream of London. Camp sites, riverside pubs and beautiful scenery are plentiful and for the most part the rowing is easy.
We provide the boat, boat tent if you hire a camping skiff, mooring pins, ropes, buoyancy aids, a guide to the river (including distance charts and navigation advice) the relevant licence and insurance.
Our classic wooden 24′ camping skiffs cost £125 per day to hire. Our 16′ GRP rowing skiffs cost £95 per day to hire; both can carry 3 people, or 4 with reduced luggage. One way hires incur a collection / drop off fee which is usually between £120 to £180.
Lechlade to Oxford (one-way) 3 days by Traditional Thames Camping Skiff
• 3 days hire at £125 per day
• Boat delivery to Lechlade – £120
• Total cost: £495*
Oxford to London (one way) 6 days by 16′ GRP Skiff
• 6 days hire at £95 per day
• Boat collection from Teddington lock – £180
• Total cost: £750*
Please fill out the short form below or call us on +44 (0)7399 303 731 to discuss your requirements and confirm availability and pricing.
Once we’ve agreed the details of your trip, skiff availability and pricing we’ll ask you to fill out the online Skiff Hire Booking Form, where you’ll find more information about our terms and conditions including cancellation.
What boats do you have?
All our boats are classic fixed-seat skiffs allowing for two rowing (sculling) and a Cox. We have both 16’ GRP skiffs and traditional wooden Thames camping skiffs.
Where can we pick up and return the boats?
This is by arrangement at the time of booking, but subject to a charge, boats can be delivered and retrieved from many places along The Thames or other waterways.
- It’s less expensive if you begin or end from our moorings in Oxford (No.1 Folly Bridge) and cheaper still if you pick up and return the boat from Oxford. Lechlade departures are usually from The Trout Inn .
- Our moorings are in the centre of Oxford with very limited parking nearby: www.no1-folly-bridge.co.uk/parking.
What time shall we collect and return the boat?
Unless alternative arrangements are made, collection is before 10.00AM on the first day and return before 5.00PM on the final day of your hire.
Boat and oars, a river guide and map, a combination lock and cable, mooring pins, boat hook, a paddle and buoyancy aids (please ask specifically for buoyancy aids at the time of booking). In the case of camping skiffs we provide a boat tent if requested. Please note that we do not provide cooking and eating equipment and utensils!
What should we bring?
Rowing is an outdoor activity and rowing skiffs are open boats – we recommend you pack appropriately. Weatherproof clothes and packs, hats, water, a mobile phone and sun cream are important – and don’t forget any medication. Since you’re rowing also think about: Plasters or tape (micropore is best) gloves (cycling gloves are ok) crocs or similar (you may get your feet wet!) large waterproof bags. If you’re camping you’ll need all your camping stuff!
Can we sleep on-board?
Two can sleep on our camping skiffs, or three at a squeeze. It’s not possible to sleep on our smaller GRP skiffs. Many groups camp on the river bank and some stay in riverside pubs and hotels.
How far can we travel each day?
This depends on many factors including time waiting for Locks (busier at weekends) your rowing ability and fitness, the flow rate of the river, and how many pubs you visit along the route! We estimate 2.5 miles per hour, with an average overall daily distance of 10-15 miles as a guide. Please refer to our distance guide with this estimate in mind when planning your accommodation.
Where can we moor?
With a camping skiff you can moor overnight along most of the river. You can moor at many of the camping sites and other accommodation along the river (more information on our web site) you should not leave the boat unattended unless it’s at a recognised mooring place; at a Pub, Club or Lock for example. We advise locking the boat overnight and we provide a lock for this purpose.
How many people can we have onboard?
Our skiffs are for three people; two rowing (sculling) and one steering. It is possible for two people to handle our skiffs, and they will seat four, but please bear in mind this reduces the space available for luggage and it is certainly not recommend for longer trips. There is adequate space aboard for approximately 15kg of luggage per person as long as it is well packed.
What if we don’t make it to the arranged destination?
Please call us as soon as there any changes to your plans. It’s possible for us to retrieve boats from a number of places along the river. You will have to arrange pick up from your new arrival point. Please note that we may charge for boat retrieval.
What are the insurance arrangements?
Hirers are liable for the first £200 of damage to the boat, including oars and other equipment supplied.