Day 1 - Henley-on-Thames
Meet the Captain or a crew member at the designated meeting point for afternoon English Cream Tea, before being transferred to the Magna Carta, moored along the famous Henley Royal Regatta course. On arrival guests receive a 'Champagne Welcome' by the Captain and crew. Dinner on board.
Day 2 - Henley-on-Thames to Hurley
This morning we take a 40-minute drive to Oxford for a fascinating tour of Christ Church, Oxford's grandest college. Unusually, it was founded twice, once by Cardinal Wolsey and then by King Henry VIII. The magnificent surroundings were where Lewis Carrol wrote Alice in Wonderland. After lunch we set sail and cruise the famous Regatta Mile. Here, every year in July rowing teams from around the world compete in front of Champagne and Pimms fueled crowds. We pass through Hambledon Lock, and onwards through stunning countryside to the medieval village of Hurley. We wander through Peter Freebody's boatyard and watch in wonder as the traditional craftsmen build and restore classic wooden craft as they have for generations. Afterwards we have time to explore the ancient village including Ye Olde Belle, reputed to be the oldest inn in the country before returning to the barge. Dinner on board.
Day 3 - Hurley to Cliveden to Cookham
We enjoy a morning tour of Dorney Court. This very special home has been owned by the Palmer family for more than 450 years passing from father to son through 13 generations. King Henry VIII has stayed here and the manor is regularly used for filming including "Poirot" and most recently "The Other Boleyn Girl" We are lucky to enjoy the house privately. After lunch we cruise through Bourne End and Marlow to Cookham followed by a visit to Stanley Spencer's gallery and a walk around the village. Dinner on board.
Day 4 - Cookham to Windsor (Christmas Eve)
A morning cruise to Windsor and then after lunch a tour of Windsor with time for shopping. This evening after dinner aboard, we have a guest actor to read from A Christmas Carol while the saloon is candlelit and presents can be put around the Christmas tree. Dinner on board.
Day 5 - Windsor to Runnymede (Christmas Day)
After breakfast a Christmas Day church service at St Georges Chapel in Windsor Castle. Return to the barge and cruise to Runnymede whilst enjoying mulled wine and then in the afternoon we are served our wonderful Christmas feast. Present opening follows and the festivities continue into the evening, which include a traditional English Christmas Tea.
Day 6 - Runnymede to Shepperton (Boxing Day)
After breakfast we spend the morning cruising through the delightful riverside towns and locks of to our spectacular mooring in Shepperton. We have a choice today either visit Kempton Horse Race Course for the William Hill Winter Festival, held every Boxing Day or for the more adventurous, we can enjoy ice skating at Hampton Court Palace open air ice rink. If you prefer a Boxing Day walk then we can enjoy a relaxing walk around Windsor Great Park. Captain's gala dinner on board.
Day 7 - Hampton Court Palace
Following breakfast, disembark the barge for your transfer to the designated drop off point.
: On alternate weeks, cruise will be in reverse direction. This is
a sample itinerary and is subject to change.
During the time we are in and around London there is a great list of optional entertainment and attractions that may be of interest. These include London Ghost Walks, Viewing the Christmas lights, Harrods and Oxford Street shopping, Ice Rink at Somerset House or Hampton Court Palace and carol concerts. Theatre options include pantomimes such as Ali Baba, Dick Whittington, Snow White and Sleeping Beauty. Other shows such as Peter Pan, The Snowman and the Nutcracker are may also be available.
It's not how far nor how fast, it's the pleasure of the journey that keeps people coming back for more.
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