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Woollymishka

River Thames - Moorings

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Hi all

We are thinking of routes this year and would like to enter the Thames 'off the canl system' @ Limehouse and go upstream to Oxford and on to Lechlade. We know that we need to run from Limehouse to Teddington in one trip so to speak, but it is after Teddington that we could do with some advice.

Can people suggest (or there is a booklet/advice pack etc) that gives details of places to moor that are suitable for nb's? or is it "find that space"??

We have no problems with long days (but would prefer not to face the trip as a physical challenge) so any moorings sites that can be suggested would be good. I gather that at some mooring spots one has to pay - but would prefer not to!

Thanks everyone - Tim

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The EA do have some 24 hr free moorings but best advice is to get there early in the day. When we bought our short term EA licence we were given a booklet with such information in it. I'm sure others will advise of good moorings but Beale Park (24 hr free - lots of space) and Abingdon (5 days free) spring to mind. Last time we were at Lechlade we had to pay £3 or £4 per night but good moorings non the less.

 

Dave

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Hi..done the run several times including this ...2010..year.

We used Nicholsons guide which shows moorings. As the Thames is wider..its often easier to overshoot a mooring with ' overnight £4' signs...and see whats around the corner..on the basis you will be able to turn. This is the case at Sonning..where there are signs...'phone this number'..and they charge £10 a night for a bit of bank !!..whereas through the lock are free moorings. If you go to the meadow at Letchlade....before the bridge..which is as far as you can get...I have never had to pay...but there are signs on the field before that where you pay £3 for some reason. There are no signs on the meadow...and I have never had to pay there ?..I asked this year in town..and they said no charge.

In summer peak..its advisable to leave yourself time in case the moorings are getting full... it is often the case that some **** head in a plastic boat has moored right in the middle of a huge space to block it off for his plastic boat mates..and keep out narrowboats.

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Beware of the Nicholsons guide, it shows moorings where there no longer are any, and there are moorings which are not shown! On the whole, moorings are fairly frequent, I would think it depends on time of year and if you want to tie up in the popular spots which do get very busy. We found the Thames book and (free) EA guide very useful, and didn't really have any problems. Be prepared to pay though, the free moorings fill up very quickly. The best source of information is to ask the lockies, this got me moorings not shown anywhere!

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It's quite hard to avoid paying in some locations - I'm thinking Eton and Windsor, they come round for the money the minute you arrive and the only free mooring is really small and easy to miss, but in other places (where there is supposed to be a charge), you don't always get stung, especially if you leave early in the morning.

 

Agree with the advice to ignore the Nicholsons, it seems to be a fantasy. You get an EA booklet with your license which lists the free 24 hour moorings, but there are quite a few more moorings not listed.

 

Runnymede isn't free but they come round to collect at about 10.30 am, so most boaters have upped and gone by then (apart from lazy us, obv.) :wacko:

 

Cliveden isn't free but in the 7 days we moored there (not consecutive days, we kept going back as it is so nice there), they only collected once, plus if you moor on the islands at Cliveden they don't collect from there.

 

On the subject of islands there are two after Shiplake lock (if you are going upstream), these are really good places to stop and are free.

 

General rule of thumb is, if you can see no 'No Mooring' signs, if it's not at the bottom of someones garden, you'll generally be ok to moor there. You can drop anchor for 24 hours as long as you are not in the navigation channel (or at the bottom of someones garden). The backwaters are often good places to do this. You can often spot evidence of good moorings spots, trampled grass etc. But watch out for fishing clubs, the pegs can be tricky to spot, some fishing clubs want no boaters at all, others will charge you.

 

Expect to use a plank for many of the free spots, or an anchor or to have to get creative with a grappling hook. We found some lovely tranquil spots but they may not have been to many boaters liking because it usually involved an exciting journey down a gangplank.

 

If you want a free mooring at Lechlade, the pub on the right directly after the bridge is the free 24 hour mooring. It's not big, only enough room for one nb. Ok, it's not the quietest mooring but we found them very welcoming, met lots of interesting people there and they let us use their wifi (it works from the boat).

 

Also, if you are happy to raft up, get yourself some welcome to moor alongside stickers for your windows. (Available from lock keepers). The more of us nb owners get these the better. Whenever we got to busy moorings, if we saw a nb with these stickers, we knew they wouldn't mind us rafting up. This is also a bonus on some paying moorings (I'm thinking Wallingford) they only charge a nominal fee for the second boat if you're rafted up.

 

Finally, you could consider to buy a first mate guide for the Thames. She is alot more accurate and informative as to where the best moorings are and with added useful info about which moorings might be best for dog owners etc. I found this book really useful for the Thames.

First Mate Guides

Edited by Lady Muck

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If you go to the meadow at Letchlade....before the bridge..which is as far as you can get...

 

Oh no its not, that's at least one mile short of the normal turning point and 5 miles short of the last 60ft winding hole..........

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Hi,

Goring has a long public mooring that is 'free' and some nice pubs also at Wallingford you can usually find a nice 'Free' space between the tree just upstream from the 'charged' Town moorings.

Regards,

Patrick.

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Facing upstream:

 

Lechlade left bank below Half Penny Bridge (New micro brewery at The Crown)

 

Trout Inn mooring, at end of weir stream on right, below St John's Bridge. Curved mooring but you should be OK with a smallish narrowboat. Room to turn below weir.

 

Left bank below Radcott Bridge. Close to The Swan pub, over bridge

 

Trout Inn mooring left bank below Tadpole Bridge

 

Right bank above Ferryman Inn, next to old steel ferry boat, Babcock Hythe

 

Left bank below Godstow Bridge, scenic by ruins, but mind goose crap

 

Left bank by Waterman Pub, above Osney lock

 

Left Bank up half mile up navigable weir stream below Clifton lock, floating pontoon pub mooring at The Plough

 

All free but I suggest getting to any of them early.

 

Waterscape are now running a very good OS beta map of the Thames at

 

http://www.waterscape.com/canals-and-rivers/river-thames/map

 

Tone

 

Oh no its not, that's at least one mile short of the normal turning point and 5 miles short of the last 60ft winding hole..........

 

But don't try that last suggestion in drought conditions or in a hire boat. It can be done but it is way past the recommended navigation limit.

 

Tone

Edited by canaldrifter

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Oh no its not, that's at least one mile short of the normal turning point and 5 miles short of the last 60ft winding hole..........

 

No..?

Well...I come down under the bridge..to the town....go under it...turn at the pub..back under the bridge..and moor immediatley on the right..just far enough to not get bridge noise..

I have stayed there several times...nobody ever asked for money.??..and when I asked the guy in the fishing shop at the bridge...he said it belonged to the council and nobody should ask for money..!!?

 

There is free 24 hour mooring near Boulters lock..(below it) have stayed there several times...

Goring..yup thats a good one..

Maidenhead....if you moor after 7 and leave at 6.30 the 'collector' comes on his way to work..so you miss him...I moored 7pm Saturday..he has a day off Sunday..and I left at 6.30 Monday...and circled and enjoyed Bray until the lock opened..

Windsor....I moored to the island opposite the kids fairground.

They say to buy at a ticket at the leisure centre or buy from collector ..and I did that for one night..(leisure centre) but the guy behind said 'wait for the collector..he never comes'..so I did...for 5 nights..and he never did..

As you say..over the way at Eton..they are straight there..

I agree about the Nicholsons...but I did find some of the moorings..were actually a little way up to where they were shown in the guide..

Was on Thames for a month this year...and only paid mooring 4 nights...and that was to be in a place to meet guests...

A lot more 'self service' locks than I have seen before though..

 

 

Bob

 

Hi,

Goring has a long public mooring that is 'free' and some nice pubs also at Wallingford you can usually find a nice 'Free' space between the tree just upstream from the 'charged' Town moorings.

Regards,

Patrick.

 

I used to moor on the town side.at Wallingford...and it said 'buy ticket from council office'..and I went there and they said..'dont bother...we dont have any 'collectors anyway'...

They have now built a nice new mooring on the other side..but it is now 'patrolled'..in theory ?

Edited by Bobbybass

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But don't try that last suggestion in drought conditions or in a hire boat. It can be done but it is way past the recommended navigation limit.

 

Tone

 

I agree - we took the canoe up there, lots of fallen willows, according to a lockie we spoke to they only get removed about once a year - in our nb I really couldn't see anywhere that suitable to wind.

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I agree - we took the canoe up there, lots of fallen willows, according to a lockie we spoke to they only get removed about once a year - in our nb I really couldn't see anywhere that suitable to wind.

Is that the bit that goes to the 'roundhouse'.?

I hired a row boat...and thought that was hard going...!!

Wouldn't like to take a NB there..?

 

Bob

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The round-house by the Thames and Severn junction is the normal limit of navigation, but a few have navigated further. Turning is the problem, and there is a very shallow bar a bit further on that would stop most narrowboats unless the levels are up.

 

Tone

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I believe that the situation re the field at Lechlade, it is not owned by the council but is owned by (I think) one of the Oxford Colleges and leased out to the farmer. The farmer has no personal interest in collecting rent, but the landowners asked him to do so in order that nobody can moor there permanently (after a group of boaters tried to do so).

 

When it is not particularly busy, he does not bother to collect the fee every night but collects it just frequently enough to satisfy the landowners; when it is busy so that the amount collected is significant, he collects it every night.

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This is exactly what we are thinking of doing this year....Im watching this thread with great interest!!

 

Many Thanks to all concerned so far..

 

Gareth

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If anyone wants a free mooring for a night or two at Wraysbury (opposite Old Windsor, just upstream from Runnymede), let me know. It's on an island without road or foot access to the bank so you'll basically be stuck on your boat unless you have a tender.

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If anyone wants a free mooring for a night or two at Wraysbury (opposite Old Windsor, just upstream from Runnymede), let me know. It's on an island without road or foot access to the bank so you'll basically be stuck on your boat unless you have a tender.

You are safe from me this year, only coming up as far as the River Wey, using the £10 Thames transit licence to/from the Wey.

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You are safe from me this year, only coming up as far as the River Wey, using the £10 Thames transit licence to/from the Wey.

 

What does the National Trust licence cost you for the Wey?

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Hi all

We are thinking of routes this year and would like to enter the Thames 'off the canl system' @ Limehouse and go upstream to Oxford and on to Lechlade. We know that we need to run from Limehouse to Teddington in one trip so to speak, but it is after Teddington that we could do with some advice.

I'm sure you probably know this, but for the nbenefit of anyone following the thread.....

 

If you are going on at Limehouse, unless your boat is under the 45 foot exemption length, you will need someone with the relevant marine VHF radio licence on board, as well as the licensed radio itself.

 

You are of course correct that, (emergencies apart!), Limehouse to Teddington has to be done non-stop.

 

Last time we did the Thames, (travelling downstream) we managed not to pay for moorings anywhere. Notices at Cliveden said it was chargeable, but the night we stayed nobody came knocking.

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You are of course correct that, (emergencies apart!), Limehouse to Teddington has to be done non-stop.

 

Unless you feel like stopping off at Brentford of course.

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What does the National Trust licence cost you for the Wey?

Cant remember off hand but the cheapest licence is a 3 day one, this works the same as the Thames one day. i.e. we arrive on the Monday morning first thing and leave Thursday evening last thing so in effect I get 4 days on the river. Provided we can get under Broadford bridge (we have done before by less than half inch but that was when the boat was shorter) Godalming is an easy two day trip.

 

Cant find any details of costs on the web will have to phone when I remember

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hi everyone

Many thanks for the info - now need to transfer into plans - lovely job!

Alan - knew about the vhf situation and am licensed and have vhf on our boat so one headache I do not have to worry about.

Thanks again everyone.

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Unless you feel like stopping off at Brentford of course.

Pedant!

 

(Yes, of course!).

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What does the National Trust licence cost you for the Wey?

3 Day for 18.2m is £32

Its done on length not area

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You are safe from me this year, only coming up as far as the River Wey, using the £10 Thames transit licence to/from the Wey.

 

Believe me, it took some negotiating with Thames EA to get that reinstated!

 

Tone

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Thames Moorers.

 

Those visiting the Thames shouldn't be put off what sounds like a lack of moorings. There are hundreds of little spots that you can find, from the offical 24 hr to the middle of now where ones. The general advice is if its on the towpath side and its doesn't say "No Mooring" help your self. However if you lie at anchor, make sure you are displaying the correct lights, the same if you are travelling after dark. I suugest you visitVisit Thames web site it should have all the information you need.

Edited by Whitewater

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