Last week a few of my netball girls and couple of our male cheerleaders decided to spend a saturday afternoon on the River Thames, Sophie had booked us a small boat for 6 people through Ditton Cruisers & Harts Cruisers based at Taggs Boatyard in Thames Ditton. It was easy to get to just a 20 minute train ride direct from Clapham Junction to Thames Ditton, followed by a short walk to the river. The boat hire cost was £110 for a half day of 4 hours, working out at £18.33 each, not a bad price for spending the afternoon on the river.
If you don’t have any formal boating experience or a license you can only hire a 6-person boat, but there are larger options if you have your RYA powerboat level 2 certificate or proof of something similar. Once we arrived at the boat yard we signed in, left a cash deposit and was shown to our boat, and after a very quick introduction we were sent off alone to explore the river.
Coming from London we decided to head in the direction further away from London, we sailed past Hampton Court Palace and up to Sunbury on Thames. We started off letting the boys drive whilst of course the girls played… but it wasn’t long until equality prevailed and the roles were reversed.
Having prepared for being on the boat the whole afternoon we each bought some bubbles and food for a picnic as well as portable speakers so we could play some good tunes whilst taking in the sights from our boat.
It was such a nice afternoon with good friends, at times we were so absorbed in our gossip and chat we forgot we were on a boat, well until who ever was driving made an erratic steering choice which caused the occasional food or drink to be spilled.
As you can imagine, four very excitable netball girls meant the bubbles didn’t last too long so when the opportunity arose we stopped a couple of times at a few pubs with moorings outside to refuel and make use of their facilities.
This part of the river Thames was very scenic and diverse, as you can see from the two photos below one second you could be passing a magnificent riverside home and the next a boat graveyard, definitely worth exploring if you haven’t done so already.
It was such a fun afternoon out and thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for something different to do in London, I certainly will be going back again… in fact McD and I were so hooked we have gone and booked on a RYA level 2 powerboat course so we can hire a bigger boat next time, or maybe if I get my own way, we will buy our very own boat to cruise the Thames on!