This self-guided canoe trip on the River Thames is a real adventure.
There is no easier, cheaper or funner way to Escape London for two days. During the canoe trip you’ll glide past woodland, pastures, pubs and villages as you will learn to navigate locks and have the chance to get back to nature whilst camping on an island in the Thames.
If you live in or near London, you HAVE to experience this escape!
*This escape is also available for solo travellers (on scheduled escapes), school groups and dog owners. Please get in touch for more info.
Arrive at your start point (5 minutes walk from the train station) and familiarise yourself with your gear and route before getting on the river for an “all you need to know” session before heading off.
Set off downstream for a 5 hour paddle towards your evening campsite. Along the way you’ll have plenty of time to explore, have breaks, navigate 5 lock systems and stop off for a pub/packed lunch. You will most likely arrive in the late afternoon at your evening stop – a quaint, picturesque village. Your campsite is on an island in the middle of the thames, has basic facilities and is connected to the village by a bridge. The rest of the afternoon/evening can be spent exploring the local sights and eating and drinking in one of it’s many pubs or restaurants. After all that it’s time for bed.
Recommended Food Plan
Eat a big breakfast and take snacks (for both days), drinks and a packed lunch. In the evening head into Cookham for food at a local pub or restaurant – we recommend the Bel and Dragon, the White Oak or the Spice Merchant.
Wake up and either make yourself breakfast or trot back into the village for something from a café. Then jump back in your canoe for another 4-5 hour paddle downriver towards your final destination – Windsor. Take time along the way to soak in the sights and stop off at some historical and cultural sites of interest.
After lunch you’ll approach Windsor and will see a spectacular view of it’s castle before making your way to your endpoint. Sadly this is where your escape ends, but fear not, you now have time to spend a couple of hours exploring Windsor before heading back to London.
Recommended Food Plan
Head back into Cookham for breakfast (different options including the Bel and Dragon) then jump back into your canoe and head downstream. On the way you’ll pass a number of pubs/cafes – we recommend the Riverside Brasserie – but you could charge through to Windsor for a late Sunday lunch.
Total cost of catering for the whole trip should range between £30 – £50 (not including drinks).
Had such a great time this weekend exploring the river with great escapes and getting back to nature whilst still being so close to London. It was great to have the tent included and everything else fit nicely in the canoe: I haven\’t canoed in years and despite not being a natural, you do get the hang of it and being out on the water makes you feel so free. Thanks Paul for setting this up. Id definitely do this trip again with other friends, it was beautiful!
Had an amazing time on the Thames River escape paddling from Henley to Windsor a couple of weekends ago. Beautiful scenery, great company with a mixture of friends and others who\’d booked onto the trip, and fantastic food at a pub in Cookham where we stopped to camp. The trip was really well organised and this meant that we didn\’t need to worry about anything from start to finish-
just the paddling and having a good time! highly recommend this trip to anyone, particularly easy to get to for people in London/ the South West 😀
Myself and 5 friends went on the canoeing escape last weekend and it was amazing from start to finish! The scenery is beautiful – it really is the perfect location for a paddle. Paul was extremely helpful and covered everything we needed to know before and during our trip. I’d definitely recommend it.
We had such a lovely weekend exploring the Upper Thames by canoe. Really well organised and great insider tips – we would have never have found the hidden island camp site! Even the restaurant recommendation was great! Mega thanks Rare Escapes!