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Hi all,

Just planning our trip around the Thames ring, and having never been that way before was hoping for any advice on moorings...

Having used the canal planner our section on the river is coming out with the overnight stops something like the list below, can anyone advise on what the moorings are like and normal (yeah I realise this year is anything but!) availability given that we'll be on the river in the last week of August? Any info on pubs also greatly appreciated

We don't mind paying a reasonable overnight fee for a mooring that's nice/safe/near facilities or pub - it is a holiday after all 😀 

 

First night - somewhere around Godstowe bridge

Second night - somewhere near Benson lock

Third night - Poplar Eyot

Fourth night - Firework Ait

Fifth night - Teddington lock (pretty much have to be here overnight for the early start to catch the tide - plenty of mooring available from the looks of Google earth?)

 

Many thanks

Dave

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27 minutes ago, cornishdave said:

Hi all,

Just planning our trip around the Thames ring, and having never been that way before was hoping for any advice on moorings...

Having used the canal planner our section on the river is coming out with the overnight stops something like the list below, can anyone advise on what the moorings are like and normal (yeah I realise this year is anything but!) availability given that we'll be on the river in the last week of August? Any info on pubs also greatly appreciated

We don't mind paying a reasonable overnight fee for a mooring that's nice/safe/near facilities or pub - it is a holiday after all 😀 

 

First night - somewhere around Godstowe bridge

Second night - somewhere near Benson lock

Third night - Poplar Eyot

Fourth night - Firework Ait

Fifth night - Teddington lock (pretty much have to be here overnight for the early start to catch the tide - plenty of mooring available from the looks of Google earth?)

 

Many thanks

Dave

If you want a comfortable mooring near a pub, then you will have a challenge sooo -

  • Godstow - a popular location already full of liveaboards. Very noisy. More  chance well above the bridge where there are several corners whete you can moor if the levels are high.
  • Benson - very shallow all the way along there. I have seen small boats moored in sight of the Benson centre
  • Poplar eyot  Shiplake There's a length of EA moorings for which a fee is now payable and managed by a rapacious form of car park people. You must register even if your staying one night for free.
  • Fire works  eyot Windsor Payable moorings either side of the rivere but fee payable - Dunno whether you have to register or whether someone collects
  • Teddington - you can moor on the layby on either side for a fee otherwise anything is full of hostile liveaboards

 

 I tend to 'navigate' by lock names rather than islands - a slight learning curve.

Thames moorings are in state of flux because EA and others have had so much abuse from boaters over moorings that the whole task has been contracted out to an unpleasant car parking firm. EXCEPT some locks have overnight moorings where you can moor free for one night and are managed by the lockie, e.g. Osney, Clifton Hampden.

Edited by OldGoat
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1 hour ago, OldGoat said:

If you want a comfortable mooring near a pub, then you will have a challenge sooo -

  • Godstow - a popular location already full of liveaboards. Very noisy. More  chance well above the bridge where there are several corners whete you can moor if the levels are high.
  • Benson - very shallow all the way along there. I have seen small boats moored in sight of the Benson centre
  • Poplar eyot  Shiplake There's a length of EA moorings for which a fee is now payable and managed by a rapacious form of car park people. You must register even if your staying one night for free.
  • Fire works  eyot Windsor Payable moorings either side of the rivere but fee payable - Dunno whether you have to register or whether someone collects
  • Teddington - you can moor on the layby on either side for a fee otherwise anything is full of hostile liveaboards

 

 I tend to 'navigate' by lock names rather than islands - a slight learning curve.

Thames moorings are in state of flux because EA and others have had so much abuse from boaters over moorings that the whole task has been contracted out to an unpleasant car parking firm. EXCEPT some locks have overnight moorings where you can moor free for one night and are managed by the lockie, e.g. Osney, Clifton Hampden.

Do you know why the liveaboards you encountered were hostile?

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4 minutes ago, Ewan123 said:

Do you know why the liveaboards you encountered were hostile?

I haven't personaly encountered any hostile boaters -

It has been reported  that some boaters have been hostile to EA staff and volunteers in the past and mostly without good cause.

Lockies and waterways staff are mostly polite and friendly folk - it's a way of life rather than just a job.

 

The subject is about boating on the non-tidal Thames, not the canal system...

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25 minutes ago, Ewan123 said:

Do you know why the liveaboards you encountered were hostile?

Probably because there is no right to CC on the Thames, so landowners and local authorities have clamped down on informal moorings (which of course affects the genuine boater passing through) and as a result the CCers are increasingly hoarding the few available spots and are resentful of EA staff and other boaters telling them these moorings are meant for visiting boats.

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31 minutes ago, David Mack said:

Probably because there is no right to CC on the Thames, so landowners and local authorities have clamped down on informal moorings (which of course affects the genuine boater passing through) and as a result the CCers are increasingly hoarding the few available spots and are resentful of EA staff and other boaters telling them these moorings are meant for visiting boats.

Ah I understand, thanks.

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There are lots of large live aboard barges around now and they tend to occupy all the decent moorings. They move early in the morning when they have to so little chance of finding a decent mooring after midday if you have a longish boat. Avoid Oxford stop above Sandford Lock, Abingdon usually OK, avoid Reading except for Tesco, Henley usually plenty of room, same at Windsor you have to pay at both.

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Lovely, thanks for the advice.

Think I'll press on slightly further on a couple of days and aim for Wallingford instead of Benson and Henley instead of Poplar Eyot.

 

One quick follow-up if I may - my understanding (although possibly unfair, I don't know) is that mooring at the bottom end of the GU after joining at Brentford is a bit grotty - how far should one consider going up the GU before stopping for the night ideally?

 

Cheers

Dave

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Above Brentford Gauging Lock (the second up from the Thames) is fine. Watch the headroom under Brentford High Street bridge if you are going through near the top of a higher tide.

 

I have also overnighted above Thames Lock going the other way, in preparation for an early locking out onto the Thames the next morning. OK, but you need to watch your ropes as its semi-tidal, and away from high tide the bank will be above cabin roof level.

Edited by David Mack
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I would have no issues mooring from Brentford to Hanwell. Enjoyed many a night there. Suprisingly green too. In fact there are two or three gems there to moor.

Edited by mark99
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The main problem I have found on the Thames is 'git gaps' 30 foot gaps between boats, most narrow boats cannot fit, and as most people seem to move in the morning and start mooring about 12-12:30 by 1:00 o'clock it is almost impossible to find a mooring anywhere for a narrowboat. As said many many landowners have put up no mooring signs, due to abuse by long term boaters staying for weeks or leaving mounds of rubbish., they take the easy option which is no mooring.  Cookham is a lovely village with several pubs and it has quite a lot of moorings, there is (last time I was there) a nice lady who walks her dog and collects the fees twice a day.

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12 hours ago, Detling said:

  Cookham is a lovely village with several pubs and it has quite a lot of moorings, there is (last time I was there) a nice lady who walks her dog and collects the fees twice a day.

 

And the Stanley Spencer gallery too - a fascinating artist and a genuine weirdo.

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12 hours ago, Detling said:

The main problem I have found on the Thames is 'git gaps' 30 foot gaps between boats, most narrow boats cannot fit, and as most people seem to move in the morning and start mooring about 12-12:30 by 1:00 o'clock it is almost impossible to find a mooring anywhere for a narrowboat. As said many many landowners have put up no mooring signs, due to abuse by long term boaters staying for weeks or leaving mounds of rubbish., they take the easy option which is no mooring.  Cookham is a lovely village with several pubs and it has quite a lot of moorings, there is (last time I was there) a nice lady who walks her dog and collects the fees twice a day.

The nice lady (and some time ago a youngster who sold the weekend papers) have both gone and now being replaced by a dodgy - questionable tactics - car parking company, who this season have taken over all / most of the proper moorings.

 

Dodgy because -

  • The moorings are not well marked on their website
  • you can't see how long the moorings are
  • You have to pay by mobile app (I suspect the landline won't be responsive)
  • The website (if you want to know where the moorings isn't working (as at All Fools day...)

 

Not to be confused with Thames Visitor Moorings  who did a really good job in mapping all the (then) vistor moorings but who only wanted to manage moorings near him

 

Edited by OldGoat
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1 hour ago, OldGoat said:

The nice lady (and some time ago a youngster who sold the weekend papers) have both gone and now being replaced by a dodgy - questionable tactics - car parking company, who this season have taken over all / most of the proper moorings.

 

Dodgy because -

  • The moorings are not well marked on their website
  • you can't see how long the moorings are
  • You have to pay by mobile app (I suspect the landline won't be responsive)
  • The website (if you want to know where the moorings isn't working (as at All Fools day...)

 

Not to be confused with Thames Visitor Moorings  who did a really good job in mapping all the (then) vistor moorings but who only wanted to manage moorings near him

 

Oh ready at another nice place gone then. It amazes me that the Thames is becoming so anti boater, I know they had problems near London but it seems as though the cancer is spreading everywhere, the easiest way for a council who gets frequent complaints is always just to shut it down and not police it for the benefit of their locals, many of whom own boats  it if they can't easily go away for the weekend what will they do.

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2 minutes ago, Detling said:

Oh ready at another nice place gone then. It amazes me that the Thames is becoming so anti boater, I know they had problems near London but it seems as though the cancer is spreading everywhere, the easiest way for a council who gets frequent complaints is always just to shut it down and not police it for the benefit of their locals, many of whom own boats  it if they can't easily go away for the weekend what will they do.

?eh? Nothing's shut down. The Cookham mooring (opposite the boatyard) has always been chargeable. It's just that a smart operator has taken the oportunity to manage it for the  council.   So succesful indeed that many other moorings have joined in - including some EA ones. The first night is generally free, but you have to register via the web.

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On 31/03/2021 at 18:36, cornishdave said:

Lovely, thanks for the advice.

Think I'll press on slightly further on a couple of days and aim for Wallingford instead of Benson and Henley instead of Poplar Eyot.

 

One quick follow-up if I may - my understanding (although possibly unfair, I don't know) is that mooring at the bottom end of the GU after joining at Brentford is a bit grotty - how far should one consider going up the GU before stopping for the night ideally?

 

Cheers

Dave

 

 

Wallingford is now £10 a night...and the lady is hot on collecting  just before 7am....

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3 hours ago, Bobbybass said:

 

 

Wallingford is now £10 a night...and the lady is hot on collecting  just before 7am....

Blurry 'ell  bump the price up 'cos there's not much alternative...

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14 hours ago, F DRAYKE said:

Wallingford always seem very busy so hard to find a mooring there. 

There are some wild moorings on the other side of the bridge - but they're usually full of noisy liveaboards.

I suspect teh £10 charge is to deter moorers as ther has been the occasional bad tempered happenings there. A shame overall as One likes to shop at Waitrose doncha know....

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48 minutes ago, OldGoat said:

There are some wild moorings on the other side of the bridge - but they're usually full of noisy liveaboards.

I suspect teh £10 charge is to deter moorers as ther has been the occasional bad tempered happenings there. A shame overall as One likes to shop at Waitrose doncha know....

 

Sorry.... I should have added. The £10 charge is for overnight.....it's free during the day.......

 

The lady comes around at about 7am...

Some people.....make off at 6.45am   😁

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22 hours ago, Bobbybass said:

 

 

Wallingford is now £10 a night...and the lady is hot on collecting  just before 7am....

But free about 400yds upriver, or at least it was last time we were there.

 

I hope it still is.

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2 hours ago, Victor Vectis said:

But free about 400yds upriver, or at least it was last time we were there.

 

I hope it still is.

Yes it is - as inducated by a fair number of occupied / unoccupied boats....

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6 hours ago, Bobbybass said:

 

 

The lady comes around at about 7am...

Some people.....make off at 6.45am   😁

 

Possibly a silly question, but is there any way to pay without being woken up by someone hammering on the door at stupid-o-clock? 🤤 (bearing in mind we'll probably be arriving the day before after she's finished for the day)

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