Graduate freelance writer. Visit my online portfolio at www.nataliebollu.yolasite.com
Published March 25th 2013
Take a cruise on the River Thames surrounding the famous Windsor castle
If you are looking for something different to do in London this weekend then the Windsor river cruise offers a fantastic trip for as little as £5. The river boat cruises will take you on a short trip around the River Thames surrounding Windsor, which is immersed in history and wildlife.
As you are waiting for your boat on the dock you will notice the large amount of swans that inhabit the river. The swans here are very popular with the tourists that visit Windsor castle as they are protected by Her Majesty the Queen and flock here in their thousands. There are walkways either side of the river for you to take a walk, stop off for a picnic or just admire these wonderful birds. Bird food can even be bought near the ticket office if you wish to feed the swans and ducks. The pathways will take you to the outfalls of the Cuckoo Weir stream, where there is a well-known swan rescue centre.
The boat has seating on the top deck, which is covered on rainy or cold days and open mostly in the summer. If you are visiting on a cold day I strongly recommend sitting at the lower deck, as there is comfortable seating, a bar and heating. You can also see a lot easier from the bottom deck on a rainy day as the cover on the top deck can become very fogged over. If you get to the boat early enough, the best seating on the bottom deck is right at the front of the boat as you will get views from all around, rather than just from one side of the boat.
A very interesting and informative commentary of the surrounding area will be given as you make your way along the River Thames from Windsor to Boveney Reach. The cruise is 40 minutes long and as you come across new sights the history of it will be told by the guide. There is so much to learn during your trip. You will travel upstream where you will have views of Windsor castle, Windsor racecourse, Eton College and the Mill House. There is also a 2-hour trip that goes through Boveney Lock towards Bray Lock.
If you are lucky enough you will see a variety of wildlife such as swans, ducks, herons, Canada geese, coot, grebe and moorhen that live by the river. Most of the animals live on a small island in the middle of the river called Fireworks Eyot. I recommend you take a pair of binoculars with you in order to spot the best wildlife along the river.
On your journey you will come across Brunel's iron railway bridge, which was erected in 1849 and the Clewer Mill Stream that was ceased from producing flour in 1900. You will also see the renowned Windsor racecourse, which covers a large area of the riverbank. At the end of your journey you will come to Boveney Lock, which was first opened in 1838 and is still in operation today. On your return journey you will have a brilliant view of Windsor castle on the hill, so don't forget your camera.
The boats can also be hired for private and corporate events such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, corporate events, Christmas parties and even ashes scattering. If you are looking for an extra special gift the Victorian steam vessels offer afternoon tea on the boat as you cruise through the grounds of Windsor Castle. While you take in the beautiful scenery of the Royal River Thames, you will be served English tea, an assortment of deep filled sandwiches, luxury country scones with butter preserves and clotted cream and Victoria sponge. Private events are on nearly everyday and there are many tourists that visit all year round, therefore it is advisable to book your trip as early as possible.