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Five of the best the River Thames

Our pick of the five best activities on the River Thames this summer. From boating to camping and canoeing to picnics, there's something for everyone on this beautiful river.

1) Hire a boat and enjoy a picnic afloat

Hire a charter boat or opt for self drive and enjoy a picnic with a difference this summer: bobbing along on the River Thames. There's something to suit every budget from wooden rowing boats to luxury cruisers. Try runnymede-on-thames, Fringilla, Swan at Streatley or Beetle and Wedge.

2) Take a passenger boat trip

A passenger boat trip is the perfect way to take in the stunning scenery of the River Thames. There are passenger boats operating from all major towns and cities along the rural River Thames, so jump aboard. Try Hobbs of Henley, Thames Rivercruise French Brothers or Salters Steamers. Or locate your nearest operator by visiting our boat trip page. 

3) Learn to paddle a canoe

Hire a canoe or Kayak for a day, weekend, or week of care free and environmentally friendly cruising on the River Thames. Paddle along one of the finest and safest canoe touring rivers in the country, winding its way through 135 miles of traditional English countryside, with excellent connections to fine riverside camping, hotels, pubs and shopping. Try Henley Canoe Hire; they supply all the specialist equipment you need for your trip. London Kayak Tours operate some fabulous kayaking trips in both Windsor and London.

4) Go camping at a lock

With the Environment Agency's unique lock camp sites picking up recommendations in national media and camping guides, isn't it time you checked out what all the fuss is about? You'll discover a very different style of camping in these small and friendly sites, only accessible on foot. Dixie Wills, the author of ‘Tiny Campsites', declared in his review: "Three cheers for whoever it was at the Environment Agency who thought it would be a good idea to use land at certain Thames locks for camping." Visit our camping page for more information.

5) Go on a boating holiday

All along this beautiful and tranquil stretch of water there are luxury hire boats waiting to drift you away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. Choose from a traditional narrowboat fully kitted out with modern facilities, a luxury cruiser or a private charter, all perfect for romantic breaks or fun family holidays. Try Hobbs of HenleyKris Cruisers, Calmer Cruising or visit our boating holiday page for more information.

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