#25. Newbury to Windsor, 6 nights

To book this route, please fill out the booking form.

A relaxing and scenic cruise through Town and Country. This is a mixture of Canal and River route and the Kennet & Avon can be quite fast flowing after heavy rain.

This area was originally the terminus of the Kennet Navigation from Reading. The route of the canal constantly joins and rejoins the river Kennet and we encounter a number of swing bridges and locks. At Aldermaston Wharf there is a canal-side Visitor Centre operated by the K&A Canal Trust. Carrying on, we reach Old Monkey Marsh lock, one of only two remaining turf-sided locks which has been listed an ancient monument by English Heritage.

Newbury

Lock at Newbury

More water meadows and pretty countryside and a short time later and we see the familiar (if you are a motorist) traffic lights in central Reading, which control boat traffic through the busy town. Through the town centre (honestly!), we turn onto the River Thames. The scenery and whole environment change immediately.

We continue to Sonning Bridge passing dense woods, then continue into open countryside through Shiplake and Wargrave. The approach to Henley is a wide reach with interesting views. Once through Marsh Lock, the town is seen ahead. Normally busy on and off the water, do find time to visit the interesting Rowing Museum. Henley was described by Dickens as “the Mecca of the rowing man” and is well worth a visit.

Marlow Church

View at Marlow

Soon after leaving Henley, we follow the world famous Regatta Course, but we will not be racing along!  The Lock at Hambleden is beautifully situated with the weir and fine weatherboard Mill, now apartments.

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. We see the beautiful reaches at Bourne End, Cookham and (in)famous Cliveden. Boulters Lock is the busiest on the Thames, according to old paintings and prints. Hopefully, not when we arrive!

Maidenhead is a busy town with elegant homes fronting the river. The railway bridge and its beautiful arches are the largest brickwork spans in the world. It was built in 1839 by Brunel. 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.

Then to Windsor. The Castle, Eton College, Windsor Great Park and majestic feelings abound. Take your pick!

We have cruised 48 miles and encountered 33 locks and 12 swing bridges – scenic and relaxing with enough opportunities to help if you wish.

Join us on Kailani at 1.30pm and we set off cruising at 2.30pm. Departure on your last day will be at 10am.

The closest railway stations are at Newbury and Windsor.

To book this route, please fill out the booking form.

Hotel Boat Kailani