#8. Windsor to Newbury, 6 nights

Twin Cabin only available. To book this route, please fill out the booking form.

We leave the beautiful area of Windsor where hopefully you have found time to visit places of interest such as the famous Royal Castle, Victorian Railway Station, Savill Gardens, The Great Park, Eton and its famous College or even a horse-drawn carriage ride.

We are soon in open countryside and the river becomes quieter. We pass marinas, riverside hotels and distinctive homes. Passing Monkey Island, we note the fishing lodge and pavilion were built in 1744 on rubble salvaged from the Great Fire of London in 1666. The pavilion is now a hotel. At Maidenhead the river is attractive and wide. We see Brunel’s magnificent arched railway bridge, followed by Boulter’s Lock, reputedly the busiest on the river as depicted in old paintings and photographs. Let’s hope for somewhat less river traffic when we arrive!

River Thames - Clivedon Hotel

Clivedon Hotel in the distance

We snatch a glimpse of the highly rated Cliveden Hotel through the wooded hillsides of Cliveden Reach, soon followed by Cookham and Bourne End. At Marlow, we are greeted by the elegant suspension bridge across the river. This is a very lively and handsome Georgian town with literary connections to Shelley, Mary Godwin and T.S. Eliot. The river is wide and popular with sailors from the nearby Scouts Boating Centre and Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre.

Onto a quieter stretch, we pass Hambleden, an attractive village where the old mill near the Lock is now converted to apartments. Beyond Hurley and Henley Reach, we cruise along the famous Henley Regatta course and have a chance to visit Henley town with the famous Rowing museum.  Well worth a visit!

We continue upstream passing Sonning Lock and Mill on our way to the entrance of the Kennet and Avon canal.  Prepare yourself for the different cruising style!!

We shortly encounter traffic lights controlling river traffic through Reading town centre, but soon leave the busy town behind us and cruise into open countryside and water meadows. The route of the canal constantly joins and rejoins the river Kennet and we encounter a number of swing bridges and locks.

Lock at Aldermaston

Unusual Lock at Aldermaston

At Aldermaston Wharf there is a Visitor Centre operated by the K&A Canal Trust. This is where we will see our first mechanical lift bridge which we operate ourselves, including stopping the busy traffic flow.

Carrying on, we reach Old Monkey Marsh lock, one of the remaining turf-sided locks listed as an ancient monument by English Heritage.  The canal flows through isolated water meadows towards Thatcham and on to our destination in Newbury.

There is an extensive wharf area and park in the centre of Newbury. The canal cuts right through the town. This area was originally the terminus of the Kennet Navigation from Reading. Today, it is journey’s end for us. Since leaving the Thames at Reading we have risen 138ft.

The journey is 47 miles with 32 locks and 11 swing bridges; enough opportunities to help if you wish.

Twin Cabin only available. To book this route, please fill out the booking form.

Hotel Boat Kailani