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Everything you could wish for on a boating holiday - the River Thames combines historic, scenic splendour with a wonderful social atmosphere. You'll never be far from a delightful riverside pub, and the locks, most of which are operated by resident lock-keepers, provide natural meeting places for the boating fraternity. And of course, a superb array of attractions are within easy reach of the river's banks - Hampton Court, Runnymede, Windsor Castle, Eton College, Legoland.
A canal boat cruise on the upper reaches of the Thames could take you upstream to the historic town of Lechlade or downstream to Oxford, city of dreaming spires and Inspector Morse, where you can visit the Bodleian Library and wander round famous colleges and museums before going on to moorings at Abingdon or Wallingford - a small town recently featured in the BBC's adaptation of Three Men in a Boat.
From Reading to Richmond, a boating holiday on the Thames offers so much to see and do - take a stroll round the spectacular gardens at Cliveden, visit Bray (home to both Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant and the Roux brothers' Waterside Inn), explore the charming towns of Cookham, Marlow and Henley, and moor at Laleham or Penton Hook to enjoy Thorpe Park's thrilling rides.
Depending on your start point, you'll find both canal boats and cruisers tour these popular waters, and, whichever type of boat you've chosen, as you glide past impressive waterside homes, everyone can enjoy a game of spot the celebrity mansion.
A canal boat holiday on the River Wey, a tranquil waterway running through the beautiful heart of Surrey, promises relaxed cruising within easy reach of an exciting array of attractions and lively city pleasures.
The gentle pace of canal boat travel ensures all the time in the world to appreciate the waterway's rare plants and numerous waterfowl. You may even spot the flashing dart of a kingfisher, otters and the elusive water vole - owned and cared for by the National Trust, the river supports a rich variety of habitats.
Along the way, you'll find attractive free moorings for your canal boat, allowing you to explore local villages and discover riverside pubs, whilst Guildford (your cruising start point) has superb shops, a castle and modern cathedral, and a cobbled High Street - the National Trust's Dapdune Wharf is also well worth a visit. And from your start point in the heart of Guildford, you can take year round canal boat holidays on the River Wey, while from mid March to the end of December you'll be able to enjoy cruising on the River Thames and visits to many attractions within easy reach of its banks.
Moor your canal boat near Hampton Court Palace and explore its famous maze, and enjoy thrilling rides for all the family at Thorpe Park. At Runnymede, site of memorials to Magna Carta and President John F. Kennedy, there's a lovely riverside park for picnicking and walking, and Windsor is home to Eton College, Windsor Castle and Legoland's exciting rides and attractions.