Benson or Chertsey?

Benson or Chertsey

With two bases to choose from on the River Thames, it can be hard to decide where to start your cruise. Cruising from Benson takes in the best of the great British countryside. If you like tranquil, pretty stretches of water and acres of open pastures, hills and farmland - this is the right end of the Thames for you. Whereas a cruise from Chertsey will take you through many towns and more-populated areas. It’s a good part of the river for gazing at expensive riverside houses and imagining which one you'd choose - there are waterfront mansions aplenty here.

So which end of the Thames takes your fancy? Take a look at the photos below to see which base suits you.

 

Take in the views

Take in the views

At the Benson end of the river you will find yourself surrounded by green fields, pretty meadows, farmland and forests. Head out from our Chertsey base and your eyes will be drawn to some serious property eye-candy as multi-million pound houses line the riverbanks.

 

Moor and explore

 Moor and explore

Moorings are easier to find when cruising near Benson, but you may need to use your stakes! With lots of fields and meadows, public moorings are plentiful. Out in the coutryside you can stake out and enjoy a BBQ whilst watching the sun set from your top deck. If you prefer the buzz of a local pub and a short walk back to your boat, a cruise from Chertsey will take you through larger towns and villages, where you may have to pay a mooring fee but you'll never be far from the supermarkets and restaurants.

 

Love the locks

Love the locks

At the Benson end of the river the locks are less frequent, you may only pass through one per hour. At the Chertsey end you may feel a bit busier as the locks are closer together. All the locks on the Thames are manned by lock-keepers though, so there is always someone on hand to give you a hand or a bit of direction - and they're well used to seeing our white and blue boats so they don't expect you to be a pro!

 

Take a trip inland

Take a trip inland

Cruise upstream from Benson and visit the home of England's oldest University, take in the views of Oxford's famous spires from Carfax tower or tour the castle that until fairly recently was still used as a prison. Take a trip from Chertsey and visit King Henry VIII's home at Hampton Court or the Queen's residence in Windsor or Eton College, the school that has educated 19 former British Prime Ministers.

 

Can't decide?

If you cruise for five nights or more, there's time to do a one-way cruise between our two bases. You’ll get to experience both ends of the Thames without the need to turnaround and cruise waters already travelled. Seven nights will allow you time to cruise past Chertsey to visit Hampton Court Palace and Kingston. A 10 night cruise will give you the chance to visit Oxford, north of Benson. Or, book a two week adventure to comfortably do the whole lot.

Which end of the river takes your fancy? Let us know on our Facebook page.