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Ideas for Easter and Spring along the River Thames

Fancy some time away over Easter, or a day out as spring beckons... the River Thames has plenty of offers to inspire your visit and plenty of things to do! Avoid the crowds, there’s plenty of space along the river.

There’s still time to book a Thames weekend away for two or a great Thames family getaway, even if you’ve only got a day.  Here are our eight Thames Easter Holiday Ideas that won’t break the bank.

  1. Runnymede-on-Thames Hotel & Spa offers Spa Retreats and Family Theme Park Packages

  • For a getaway with your nearest and dearest, book a Runnymede Spa Retreat with dinner in Leftbank restaurant by the Thames, bed and breakfast, two 25 minute treatments plus use of the spa facilities, from £215 per person... perfect if you want to take some time out to unwind!
  • Or there’s family packages including visits to top theme parks including Harry Potter, LEGOLAND Windsor, Chessington or Thorpe Park which are just a hop, skip and a jump away.
  • Or just enjoy Two course Sunday lunch in The Lock Bar and Kitchen, for just £19.95 per person. - a treat for the whole family!

  1. Get your Easter Goodies at the Beetle and Wedge’s Market Day

14th April MARKET DAY 9.30am – 2pm

A great pre-Easter shopping opportunity to buy all your Easter Goodies! Why not stay for the Market Luncheon afterwards? 2 courses £18, 3 courses £23

  1. Take a boat trip along the Thames

The wildlife of the River Thames is well known for providing the inspiration for Kenneth Grahame's 'The Wind in the Willows'. Now you can be equally inspired by the river's wildlife by joining one of our special guided wildlife river cruises this summer aboard the Hibernia. Ideal for adults and children alike, the expert volunteer guide will help you identify what you see. Don’t forget to bring binoculars if you have them!

Hobbs of Henley also offer daily Boat Trips and Self-Drive Hire from an hour or more.

Board the boat at the Runnymede Boatyard for a 3 hour cruise through Old Windsor Lock, past the village of Datchet and through the grounds of Windsor Castle and return to Runnymede.

French Brothers also run daily cruises from Windsor.

  • Lunch or Afternoon Tea Cruise daily with City Cruises London

Why not see the best views in London while you tuck into tea, scones and all the trimmings of a traditional afternoon tea on the Thames? Or take a lunch cruise – as you set off the Tower of London and Tower Bridge will be in sight, whether through panoramic windows or from the open upper deck, and you’ll see Big Ben and the London Eye before heading down towards Canary Wharf, with Tower Bridge in view again.

New this year, the 45-minute trip takes you out of Reading, along The Warren and through the narrows. There’s river life in abundance and even the chance of seeing kingfishers and herons. There’s a fully-stocked bar, hot drinks and a selection of snacks to enjoy either inside the cabin or on deck.

Daily at 12.30pm, a 2.5hour round trip taking in views of Iffley Lock and Port Meadow with its stunning open landscape and abundance of wildlife.

  1. Pop into Oakley Court this Easter…

  • Easter Egg Hunt - Keep the kids entertained during the Easter break with our Easter Egg Hunt! The Easter Bunny has hidden clues across the hotel and it’s grounds and we need your help to solve the puzzle…just visit Reception for a handy clue sheet and off you go! Use your clue sheet to solve the missing word and a delicious treat will be waiting.
  • ·Easter Sunday Family Roast – Sunday 16th April 2017 Easter is family time! Sample a generous selection of our family sharing Sunday roast with a special child sized portion for the little ones.  Our ‘Family Sunday Roast’ promises ultimate family fun, with good food and laughter a plenty! Tables available between 12.30pm – 2.30pm Enjoy for just £34.95 per adult and £17.50 for children under 10 years old
  • ·Easter Traditional Afternoon Tea - Afternoon Tea with a glass Champagne – £39.50 per person Freshly-made finger sandwiches loaded to the brim with all the best fillings. Scones straight from the oven, lavished with gooey fruity jam and clotted cream, positioned elegantly alongside an alluring selection of homemade cakes. Everything in life is made better with a good cup of tea and our inspiring collection of aromatic flavours will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised as you enjoy the ultimate indulgence. Available Friday 14th – Monday 17th April 2017 between 12pm – 6pm

For more information on the above

  1. Try a Boating Holiday  

What better way to celebrate Easter than a Thames boating holiday. Whether you want to drive yourself or let somebody else do the driving for you. There’s plenty of choice from a Linssen luxury cruiser, a Dutch barge and the fleets of Kris Cruisers and Le Boat. Or would you prefer somebody else to be the skipper? Choose a private charter with a skipper or enjoy a taste of luxury on the elegant and spacious air-conditioned 8 passenger Magna Carta, the perfect hotel barge for the royal river.  From Henry VIII’s Hampton Court, this 6-night all-inclusive cruise goes past Windsor Castle to Henley.

  1. Easter Egg Hunt at the River & Rowing Museum

Easter Egg Hunt 3rd April 2017 - 21st April 2017

Help!  The naughty Easter bunnies have escaped…can you help us find them in the galleries? Follow our trail and claim a mini Easter Egg as your prize! Free with admission

  1. Get outdoors

There’s some wonderful places along the Thames with play areas and trails for children that will keep them occupied and get some fresh air for all the family:

  • Stonor Park’s Wonder Woods where children up to the age of 15 will have hours of entertainment swinging, jumping, sliding, climbing and splashing including the 9m Pyramid Tower to climb and slide off and spooky tunnel. Take a picnic or enjoy a meal at The Chilterns Pit Stop Café.
  • Cliveden National Trust Garden offers a host of activities for families to make the most of the great outdoors. From woodland play trails, a character-filled play area designed for under 10s and plenty of open space.   A wild woodland trail with a difference…around every corner you’ll find a new place to play and test your climbing, balancing and den building skills. Get lost in the giant Yew Tree Maze made from over 1000 yew trees and explore the Storybook Play Den; carved wooden models of favourite storybook characters fill the Play Den, including Peter Pan, Captain Hook and his arch enemy the ever-hungry crocodile.
  • Combine a visit to Savill Garden with the Obelisk Lawn Play Area.
  • The Savill Garden offers beautiful gardens with buggy-friendly paths. It’s free for children under 6 to visit The Savill Garden, and we also have excellent offers for families and children under 16. The Obelisk Lawn children’s play area offers a good selection of low level play equipment which is perfect for children of pre-school age. It is located close to the picnic tables on Obelisk Lawn, with views overlooking the nearby Obelisk Pond - where there are plenty of ducks and swans which your children will enjoy feeding.
  • Explore Hampton Court’s ‘The Magic Garden’, The Maze and glorious parkland

Populated by mysterious mythical beasts, with battlements to storm, towers to besiege, and even a secret grotto to discover, the Magic Garden is a new and unique way for your family to explore the palace’s past. Test your skills as a family and get enjoyably lost in 'the most famous Maze in the history of the world'. The two metre high hedges twist and turn, with false routes and dead ends. Admission is included in your palace ticket. The palace is surrounded by beautiful parks and gardens featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland.

There are lots of geocaches along the Thames Path and geocache trails for everyone, no matter how far you want to walk. If you have an account with geocaching.com (it's free to sign up) then you can find out more about the geocache trails listed below:

London Bridges - a walk along the Thames Path in London, crossing all the London bridges, and finding caches as you go / Oxford to the River Wey / Oxford to Reading / Oxford to Lechlade / Weybridge to Teddington / Ewen to Oxford  / Appleford to Reading / Marlow to Eton / Reading to Marlow

  1. Discover something new…

1/15/22/29 April

Aimed at children aged 7 to 12 visiting with adults. Discover the Commons Chamber (home to the Speaker's Chair and the famous green benches) plus the Lords Chamber, medieval Westminster Hall and the heart of Parliament, Central Lobby. Tours lasts one hour.

Let the characters reveal their fascinating stories entrenched in the building’s 1,000 year history. The rich history of Oxford and the castle is revealed as you…

CLIMB the Saxon St George’s Tower, one of the oldest buildings in Oxford

DESCEND deep underground into the dark atmosphere of the 900 year old crypt

EXPLORE the austere confines of the 18th century Debtors’ Tower and Prison D-Wing.

SCALE the Mound of the 11th century motte-and-bailey castle.

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