The Royal River Thames offers an abundance of places to visit from the iconic Windsor Castle and Oxford’s dreaming spires to magnificent gardens and museums.
There’s no better way to explore the Thames than by boat and there’s plenty of operators to choose from to discover different sections of the river. Base yourself at the Hilton at Reading and explore a different part of the Thames each day with the Cruise & Muse itinerary or develop your own itinerary from the places below or download the Visit Thames Group Travel Guide which includes suggestions for places to eat as well.
French Brothers operate fantastic boat trips on the Thames from Windsor, Maidenhead and Runnymede. These include a combined boat trip with visit to Savill Garden, a royal garden created in the 1930s, set within the heart of Windsor Great Park, only a few minutes drive from Windsor Castle.
Choose a 2.5 hour morning cruise and lunch and then visit Savill Garden with Afternoon Tea or choose morning at the Garden and lunch followed by cruise and afternoon tea. Both are half day attractions that complement each other and are located a mere 2½ miles apart. Groups are able to book a combined visit with a single telephone call.
New for 2016 is a combined trip that includes a visit to the Windsor and Eton brewery or travel in the style of Monarchs past on one of their scheduled trips between riverside towns. See how the other half live on the Lifestyle of the Rich and Famous tour showing the homes of the celebrities at Bray. French Brothers produce a special brochure for groups showing the discounted group rate.
Savill Garden is Britain's finest ornamental garden. It's a garden for all seasons and a place of beauty and colour that's loved by horticulturalists and enthusiasts alike. Visitors can journey through 35 acres of interconnecting gardens and exotic woodland. Every garden has its own unique attraction, featuring a distinctive group of plants that introduce a fresh burst of vibrant colour throughout the seasons.
To book or ask any questions about group visits, please call the Group Bookings Co-ordinator, on 0845 603 6228, or take a look at the Guide for Groups. Coach parties need to book as soon as possible as there is a maximum number of coach parties per day.
Make a day of it in Henley and include a scavenger challenge organised by Team Activity Group (TAG), exploring the historic town of Henley. Teams of up to six will take pictures, find objects, answer questions and complete different cryptic challenges.
Combine this with a scenic river tour with Hobbs of Henley and a visit to the River & Rowing Museum. Hobbs offers a 2 hour exclusive group tour featuring live commentary from a Blue Badge guide onboard the Hibernia. The Hibernia’s glass saloon offers fabulous views whilst being under cover and new for 2016 will be the Midsomer cruise.
Situated just yards from the river in the beautiful Mill Meadows, The River & Rowing Museum is easy to find and sign-posted from all entrances to the town, which is a leisurely ten minute walk away or Hobbs can drop you off or pick you up at the museums’ own landing stage. The Museum has three galleries dedicated to Rowing, Rivers and the history of Henley on Thames.
The Museum is also home to the magical Wind in the Willows exhibition, which brings to life the much-loved story with 3D models, lighting and music. Pre-book your group to get the Group Admission rate (minimum 10 people). Why not book a combined River & Rowing Museum and Boat Trip £17.75 Adult and £16.00 concessions.If you would like to book a visit please call Emma Syer, on 01491 415631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stonor, close to Henley-on-Thames, Marlow and a stone’s throw from London, is the ancient home of the Stonor family, dating back to the twelfth century, this has been their family home for over 850 years. Nestled in a Chiltern Valley the house dominates a magnificent view of the beautiful deer park and woodland. Highlights include the grand Gothic revival hall, atmospheric 17th century library and dramatic long gallery opening onto the beautiful Italianate gardens, with borders full of seasonal flowers and stunning lily ponds.
Start or finish your visit to Oxford with a Salters Steamers cruise, choose from a 40 minute trip to Iffley Lock, an Alice in Wonderland or Lunchtime Picnic Cruise (2.5 hours). Book an Official Oxford Guided Walking Tour between the boat and Oxford Castle Unlocked.
Oxford Official Guided Walking Tours offer private tours for groups or individuals. These tours can be tailor made around your requirements and needs and are available in the morning, afternoon and evening (though most colleges are only open in the afternoons). Each guide will take a maximum of 19 people. Enjoy the personal service and convenience of a private tour.
Oxford Castle Unlocked is a 1,000 year old castle prison, with the Saxon stone-built St. George’s Tower taking centre stage, alongside an atmospheric crypt and a preserved Georgian prison wing. Take morning coffee or afternoon tea here.
Hilton Reading is situated beside Foudry Brook, a wildlife heritage area by the river Kennet. Stroll through the tree-lined boulevards and unwind on the piazza. Dine in The Larder, where contemporary British specialties are prepared using fresh ingredients and locally sourced produce whenever possible. Enjoy a fine wine with your meal, or enjoy an expertly mixed cocktail in Bar K.
And there is so much more...
Check out the group friendly businesses on the Thames:
Itineraries - Arranging a day out, short break or holiday for a group takes a great deal of time, organisation and research! Here are some suggested itineraries to help you plan your visit.
Coach & Tour Operators - Let the professionals do the work. Here is a selection of coach and tour operators already organising trips along the Thames.
Special Events - Is your trip for a special occasion such as a Wedding, Hen or Stag trip or some other special event? Here are some ideas.Tweets by VisitThamesCoUk
Explore the beautiful, relaxing and inspiring
Fun on the River Thames doesn't always have to cost you. There are plenty of free ways to have a cheap day out with the kids on the River Thames. Take a stroll, get on your bike, catch a fish or play Pooh Sticks...
Don’t forget there are endless ideas for adventure on the river. Check out our ideas for Great Family Days Out. The simplest way to explore the river is a rowing boat For a rainy day visit one of the Thames Valley Museums.
There really is so much to do on the river and nearby, that a day is not long enough. There are plenty of family-friendly places to stay nearby or on the river. Make your base at one of our family friendly hotels and you can discover history or enjoy a spot of camping...