thames by windsor castle

Boat Trips on the Thames

Winston Churchill once referred to the River Thames as ” the silver artery of the Empire” and although the Empire is gone, the nation and the river remain. so a visit to Windsor is not complete without a boat trip.

If the castle is the soul of Windsor then the Thames is its pumping heart, and it is literally pumping. The castle’s electricity supply is powered by hydro-electric turbines at Romney Weir a little way downstream from Windsor town centre which generate 200 to 300 kWh when there is a good water flow.

The Thames flows through town at a lazy pace for most of the year so hiring rowing boats is a great option. This can be done on the day throughout the summer months from a little way upstream of Eton Bridge.

Alternatively there are regular cruises up and down the river departing from the jetty close to the bridge. You can even enjoy evening cruises if you book in advance.

Windsor Bridge at night

Thirdly there are motorboats for hire by the hour from French Brothers in Windsor, or two miles downriver you can hire larger boats for the day or weekend or week from Kris Cruisers in Datchet.

If you have your own boat, then the public slipway is to be found at the Leisure Centre, immediately downstream of the road bridge (A332). While you are boating, cars can be left in the Leisure Centre Car park. Please remember you need a permit (from the environment agency) to bring your own boat onto this part of the Thames.

Windsor has its own canoe club which is another great way to explore the river. If you prefer facing backwards, Eton Excelsior rowing club may be what you are looking for.

Wildlife on the Thames

On the Thames itself, dodging between the pleasure boats you will find Mute Swans (learn about swan upping), a wide variety of Ducks, Canada Geese, Heron, Coots, Moorhens and Cormorants.