Summer 2014: New base at Penton Hook on the River Thames.
Penton Hook Marina is situated near to the vibrant town of Staines-on-Thames and about a mile downstream from Runnymede where King John signed the Magna Carta. The marina is ideally situated for cruising through Surrey villages on the Royal River, spotting wildlife and mooring beside the many waterfront pubs. The majority of the locks on the River Thames are electronic and manned, making it a perfect location for those wishing just to relax whilst taking in the picturesque scenery.
As an example of what’s available, ‘Mississippi’ is a 6 berth narrow boat offering two cabins with permanent double beds and a makeup double in the saloon. There are two bathrooms on board, making it a great boat for two couples. The first bathroom has a sit-in hip bath with shower, toilet and basin, whilst the second incorporates a shower, toilet and basin. The boats are fully equipped and have a cosy, cottage feel with chequered furnishings and warm wooden interiors.
Route Suggestions for Short Breaks:
Cruise north from the marina and stop off at Runnymede for a stroll across the meadows to the tranquil memorial to the Magna Carta. Set on a gentle slope looking out towards the Thames and surrounded by oak trees, the memorial is the perfect place to pause and reflect on past time. In around 3 – 4 hours you can reach Windsor and the charming village of Datchet, taking in the many waterside restaurants on the way. If you fancied a family day out, you can get a taxi from the Windsor area and visit either LEGOLAND or Windsor Castle.
Cruising Downstream: Within 3 hours of departure you can reach Weybridge and Shepperton Lock, which leads to the junction of the River Wey. To cruise onto the Wey Navigations you would need to purchase an additional licence at the first lock. The 2014 prices for this is £18.00 for 24 hours, £37.00 for three days or £75.00 for a week’s licence. Alternatively, continue cruising on the River Thames, passing rows of immaculate bungalows and chalets, to Hampton Court Palace. You should be able to reach Hampton Court by boat within 4 hours. Visit the Great Hall, the famous Maze, the lovely gardens – featuring sparkling fountains, glorious displays of over 200,000 flowering bulbs and 750 acres of tranquil royal parkland, or the Chapel Royal – a beautiful chapel in continuous use for over 450 years.
On a 7 night break you could explore the River Thames cruising to Reading. This takes around 32 hours (out and back), passing several quaint Surrey villages and towns such as Henley on Thames, Maidenhead, Hambledon and Marlow.