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Hi,

 

I have been searching through the Forum for info on London cruising but a lot of threads seem to discuss lack of moorings and whose fault it is.  As I don’t know the area well any location reference is often hard for me to pinpoint so here I am.  I would like to squeeze in a bit more cruising before the weather goes completely and this is what I would like to do. Starting at Teddington, head to Limehouse and do a circuit that would bring me back out at Brentwood and onto the Thames to head back upstream.  My main concern is mooring availability as I don’t want to have long days at the tiller. Any hints and advice will be appreciated.  I have a 3ft draft and am skilled at finding the shallowest part of any canal so updates of water levels would also be handy.

 

Cheers 

  • Greenie 1
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The London Canal Museum in Battlebridge Basin (Kings Cross) has a couple of bookable overnight moorings which we have used a few times. Not expensive and includes water and a free electric hookup - well it was free in April, so no telling with the current situation. But it is central and quiet - pick the right day, and you may get two days booking as the mooring is not used when the museum has its day off.

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The other issue you need to check (with the Limehouse lockkeepers) is the hours of operation there. In theory the locks are open HW-4 to HW+4, but for various reasons I won't bore you with they have been restricted to HW-2 to HW+2. This makes the transit from Teddington to Limehouse very challenging, involving (depending on the power of your boat) 3-4 hours punching the tide.  

If your boat is over 45' you must have marine VHF radio on board. And in my view you would be bonkers not to even if your boat is only 44' long. 

 

For Brentford to Teddington you need to book a passage at Brentford (Thames Lock) well in advance on the CRT licencing website. Teddington operates 24/7 and no booking is needed.

 

I do quite a bit of crewing on other's boats for this trip, and am happy to offer advice as I've done the tidal trips quite a bit.  Here's a few  links  that may be useful.

http://thamescruising.co.uk/

http://www.boatingonthethames.co.uk/

https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2019/11/12/tideway-trip-from-teddington-to-limehouse/

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I'd go the other way personally. Having done Teddington to Limehouse and verce visa quite a few times I must admit I prefer the latter!

 

No reason not to reverse the journey then if possible get an early exit from LH onto the River and plan for Brentford but carry on to Teddington if it all goes swimmingly.

 

Much better than the waiting pontoon at Limehouse. You don't want to go there don't ask me how I know but no it is not comfortable at all.

 

A trip through the upper pool is enjoyable but I always worry a bit so inward bound on a rising tide knowing the River is going to get more and more calm as you progress is really a lot more pleasant, especially when there are restrictions on Limehouse lock.

 

Was there a particular reason for going to Limehouse first?

 

I think Brentford (not Brentwood) needs booking 48hrs in advance these days and it might be online.

 

 

I'd go Teddington Brentford then stop somewhere like above Norwood top locks. A bit bleak but a little shop and a reasonably quiet part of the indian subcontinent.

 

It might be full but should be okay. A bit further on there is Tesco Bulls bridge where you can stop a night if you want to or just under the bridge opposite the permanent moorings at the start of the paddington arm.

Then the long haul across Paddington arm into central London (probably worth booking a mooring as suggested above) stay a day or two then run down to Limehouse. Loads of space on the cut just round corner from Limehouse Marina (don't leave valuables like bikes out as they will be taken). The wall in the marina is better and as it is 24 hours and patrolled it should be available.

Then on the right day exit Limehouse preferably early and have a nice gentle cruise up with the tide to Teddington. If you do stay at Limehouse have a walk to canary wharf and find the Docklands museum. A brilliant free museum (part of Museum of London) with endless very high quality exhibitions about boats and east london docks. A clean wetherspoon next to it.

 

Worth doing a "London ring" trip.

 

 

Edited by magnetman
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54 minutes ago, magnetman said:

I'd go the other way personally. Having done Teddington to Limehouse and verce visa quite a few times I must admit I prefer the latter!

 

No reason not to reverse the journey then if possible get an early exit from LH onto the River and plan for Brentford but carry on to Teddington if it all goes swimmingly.

 

Much better than the waiting pontoon at Limehouse. You don't want to go there don't ask me how I know but no it is not comfortable at all.

 

A trip through the upper pool is enjoyable but I always worry a bit so inward bound on a rising tide knowing the River is going to get more and more calm as you progress is really a lot more pleasant, especially when there are restrictions on Limehouse lock.

 

Was there a particular reason for going to Limehouse first?

 

I think Brentford (not Brentwood) needs booking 48hrs in advance these days and it might be online.

 

 

I'd go Teddington Brentford then stop somewhere like above Norwood top locks. A bit bleak but a little shop and a reasonably quiet part of the indian subcontinent.

 

It might be full but should be okay. A bit further on there is Tesco Bulls bridge where you can stop a night if you want to or just under the bridge opposite the permanent moorings at the start of the paddington arm.

Then the long haul across Paddington arm into central London (probably worth booking a mooring as suggested above) stay a day or two then run down to Limehouse. Loads of space on the cut just round corner from Limehouse Marina (don't leave valuables like bikes out as they will be taken). The wall in the marina is better and as it is 24 hours and patrolled it should be available.

Then on the right day exit Limehouse preferably early and have a nice gentle cruise up with the tide to Teddington. If you do stay at Limehouse have a walk to canary wharf and find the Docklands museum. A brilliant free museum (part of Museum of London) with endless very high quality exhibitions about boats and east london docks. A clean wetherspoon next to it.

 

Worth doing a "London ring" trip.

 

 


I meant to say that the upstream transits are fine if Limehouse are still on restricted opening. You'll get to Brentford or Teddington a bit later than "normal", but still before high tide.

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2 hours ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

The other issue you need to check (with the Limehouse lockkeepers) is the hours of operation there. In theory the locks are open HW-4 to HW+4, but for various reasons I won't bore you with they have been restricted to HW-2 to HW+2. This makes the transit from Teddington to Limehouse very challenging, involving (depending on the power of your boat) 3-4 hours punching the tide.  

If your boat is over 45' you must have marine VHF radio on board. And in my view you would be bonkers not to even if your boat is only 44' long. 

 

For Brentford to Teddington you need to book a passage at Brentford (Thames Lock) well in advance on the CRT licencing website. Teddington operates 24/7 and no booking is needed.

 

I do quite a bit of crewing on other's boats for this trip, and am happy to offer advice as I've done the tidal trips quite a bit.  Here's a few  links  that may be useful.

http://thamescruising.co.uk/

http://www.boatingonthethames.co.uk/

https://scholargypsy.org.uk/2019/11/12/tideway-trip-from-teddington-to-limehouse/

 

1 hour ago, magnetman said:

I'd go the other way personally. Having done Teddington to Limehouse and verce visa quite a few times I must admit I prefer the latter!

 

No reason not to reverse the journey then if possible get an early exit from LH onto the River and plan for Brentford but carry on to Teddington if it all goes swimmingly.

 

Much better than the waiting pontoon at Limehouse. You don't want to go there don't ask me how I know but no it is not comfortable at all.

 

A trip through the upper pool is enjoyable but I always worry a bit so inward bound on a rising tide knowing the River is going to get more and more calm as you progress is really a lot more pleasant, especially when there are restrictions on Limehouse lock.

 

Was there a particular reason for going to Limehouse first?

 

I think Brentford (not Brentwood) needs booking 48hrs in advance these days and it might be online.

 

 

I'd go Teddington Brentford then stop somewhere like above Norwood top locks. A bit bleak but a little shop and a reasonably quiet part of the indian subcontinent.

 

It might be full but should be okay. A bit further on there is Tesco Bulls bridge where you can stop a night if you want to or just under the bridge opposite the permanent moorings at the start of the paddington arm.

Then the long haul across Paddington arm into central London (probably worth booking a mooring as suggested above) stay a day or two then run down to Limehouse. Loads of space on the cut just round corner from Limehouse Marina (don't leave valuables like bikes out as they will be taken). The wall in the marina is better and as it is 24 hours and patrolled it should be available.

Then on the right day exit Limehouse preferably early and have a nice gentle cruise up with the tide to Teddington. If you do stay at Limehouse have a walk to canary wharf and find the Docklands museum. A brilliant free museum (part of Museum of London) with endless very high quality exhibitions about boats and east london docks. A clean wetherspoon next to it.

 

Worth doing a "London ring" trip.

 

 

Thanks both,

 

I have done the tidal Thames a few times but in a Barge so well versed with entering Limehouse and haven’t hit the wall yet!  This will be in a narrowboat with a JP3 lister so a bit different. I do have a VHF and agree one should carry one regardless (if only so the PLA can call and tell you off for something!). Thanks for the offer of further advice Mr. Gypsy.  

 

No reason for Limehouse first, only that is what I have done previously.   Opposite way makes sense and I will adjust accordingly.  I will note your recommended stops and start planning. We (specifically the dog) like to keep days down to 3-4 hrs these options will come in handy.  Cheers

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Which way around you do the London ring really depends on how much excitement and adrenaline you like and perhaps how much confidence you have in the power of your engine. If you've done it before you'll know how how tricky that turn into Limehouse from the Thames can be.

 

The second time I did it the tide was running out fast and Limehouse lockkeeper told me on VHF not to go too far past the lock entrance before making the turn upstream otherwise I wouldn't make it back to the lock. That certainly focused my attention. I ended up making the turn as I was about level with the lock on the other side. 

 

Personally I prefer the anticlockwise downstream route because the transit down the Thames into central London just gets more exciting as you go. 

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I'd tend to go with the other comments on the preference for Limehouse to Brentford rather than the other way. Come out from Limehouse on the flooding tide tide and get to Brentford on High water slack (hopefully). Why take the option of leaving Brentford on high tide and then hope to get to Limehouse and turn into the lock on the ebbing tide unless you enjoy the challenge?;)

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Thanks for all of the helpful comments.  I have decided to go through Brentford rather than down to Limehouse and have started planning accordingly.  I have checked out the bookable moorings so have a few o/n stops sorted but note that there seems to be a big gap for suitable moorings when turning on to the Paddington Arm.  My dog has imposed a 3-hour cruising limit so I tend to stick to that for planning purposes.  

 

This is my plan, so far:

D1. Teddington to moorings below Hanwell (Norwood?) locks.

D2. Uxbridge Rd Moorings

D3. Paddington Basin.

D4 - on.  Suck it and see?

 

I have now decided to try the rivers Lee and Stort so any advice would be appreciated. If the weather holds, I may head back down the Paddington arm or through Limehouse and do the Thames run back up river.  I probably wont set of until EOM due to other commitments.

 

Cheers

 

Steve

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