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We've never been south of Milton Keynes before and wondered what the collective view was on good (and bad) moorings between there and Brentford. I've done a rough plan, which will no doubt evolve, and expect our overnight spots to be; south of Leighton Buzzard; Marsworth; Berkhamsted; Cassiobury Park; Denham; and Brentford. Anything we should reconsider about that itinerary? We like a mix of moorings - some very rural, others by pubs/restaurants.

 

From Brentford, we intend to go up the Thames before turning off to visit Bath (and maybe Bristol). Then back to the Thames, up to Oxford and onto the Oxford Canal. Not planned any of that in detail, but if anybody has advice on do's and don'ts then that would be very welcome. Thanks in advance.

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I haven't been up the GU for some time but I get the strong impression (!) that from Berko downwards it's wall to wall boats, so moorings may be a challenge when looking for something near a pub.

If you don't have a Gold licence you will need to by an EA licence - so careful planning is needed to get good value.

You should have an anchor for the Brentford -  Teddington transit and it's sensible to retain that for the non-tidal part if only to ward off floods.

Others will now nay-say what I've posted.....   

 

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Stops seem reasonable, no great howlers. Personally I would go for less stops but thats just me.

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2 hours ago, OldGoat said:

Others will now nay-say what I've posted.....   

 

I agree!!

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We did the GU from the junction with the Trent to Brentford last August. We always found somewhere nice to moor for the night, but note that we avoid pubs and busy places. Plenty of room right down to Bulls Bridge, then we reached Brentford in one hop. Space at Brentford too.

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Although the GU is quite busy, it's not as bad as central London. All the way down to Brentford it's not too difficult to find somewhere on the towpath to moor overnight, especially if you don't mind a little walk to get to a pub or whatever else you seek.

For the Thames you don't need a licence on the PLA bit, you just go out at Brentford when the tide is suitable and keep a good lookout for the rowers and canoes. Then you pay EA at Teddington lock; a week will be plenty to get up to Reading, but you may well like to do the Wey up to Godalming and back. If you're going south, you might as well do it properly!

Reading to Oxford can just about be done on a one day licence (which effectively gives you two days) by people in a hurry, but better to buy a week and see the upper Thames, maybe all the way to Lechlade.

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Depends what you want on your stops , I know the route very well, do you want shops, pubs, restaurants, quiet moorings, or town moorings, are you in a rush or want to go slow  ? 

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21 minutes ago, CompairHolman said:

Depends what you want on your stops , I know the route very well, do you want shops, pubs, restaurants, quiet moorings, or town moorings, are you in a rush or want to go slow  ? 

We like doing 6-8 hours a day, and prefer rural moorings where we can bbq if the weather is ok. But also enjoy good food if there are decent restaurants around. So... a bit of a mix really. Will also need one supermarket on the trip, probably around Berkhamsted. Thanks.

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9 minutes ago, Proper Charlie said:

Will also need one supermarket on the trip, probably around Berkhamsted. 

That will be Tesco in Leighton, Waitrose in Berko, Aldi in Hemel,  Sainburys in Apsley or Tesco in Rickmansworth.

  • Greenie 1

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As others have said, talk of wall to wall boats on that section is much exaggerated,although undoubtedly there are an ever increasing number, and regularly you will not be racing anywhere.

 

Central London is undoubtedly a different prospect, but that's not on your itinerary.

Easy access to canal-side supermarkets at Leighton Buzzard, Berkhamsted (Waitrose so expect to pay more!) Apsley and Rickmansworth to name just four.

Don't rely on all pubs listed in any guide you might have.  Quite a few on that stretch are now deceased.

Edited by alan_fincher

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Just to add - Sainsburys at Bulls Bridge if you want to top up before the Thames. Lots of moorings available on the whole length from MK to Bulls Bridge, you just might not get the ideal spot you were hoping for - carry on and another ideal spot will appear.

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No to Brentford you won’t have problems mooring pretty well anywhere and with the exception of the bit through Southall I can’t really think of anywhere where I would recommend you not to moor.

 

brentford basin  can get full  but there is normally somewhere to moor between the gauging lock and Thanes lock but be aware that it can be semi tidal. I prefer to stop at Hanwell where you have the Fox pretty  well canalside but if you fancy some more interesting beers try the Dodo micropub which is about a ten minute walk away.

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Just to add that if u go all the way to Bath, then continue to Bristol floating harbour. Fabulous trip and moorings.

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1 hour ago, mrsmelly said:

Just to add that if u go all the way to Bath, then continue to Bristol floating harbour. Fabulous trip and moorings.

If I was going  all the way out there, I would xarry on and book a pilot and go up to Sharpness, Severn, Avon , Stratford and GU.

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2 hours ago, matty40s said:

If I was going  all the way out there, I would xarry on and book a pilot and go up to Sharpness, Severn, Avon , Stratford and GU.

I wouldnt, not in a poxy skip!! I would in a proper boat. We used to go out at Sharpness when we moored our proper boat in Victoria dock. Lubbly jubbly. I wouldnt fly to America in a Sopwith Camel either :) You should be int pub now on yer last night of freedom!!

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