Antiques Cruise Itinerary
Antiques themed barge cruises include visits to well-known antiques centres near London, and antique shops in Windsor, Eton and villages near the River Thames.
Sunday, Day 1 - Kingston on Thames to Hampton Court Palace
Meet the Captain or a crew-member at the designated meeting point for afternoon English Cream Tea, before being transferred to the Magna Carta. En-route we stop in Twickenham at the Phelps Antique Centre. Phelps' 20 vast showrooms of well over 12,000 square feet contain one of the largest and finest collections of antiques for sale in the south of England. Upon arrival to the barge, enjoy a "Champagne Welcome" by the Captain and an early evening cruise to Hampton Court Palace, former Tudor Palace of Henry VIII, where we moor for the night. Dinner aboard.
Monday, Day 2 - Hampton Court Palace to Shepperton
Morning excursion to Antiquarius, another superb center in fashionable Kings Rd Chelsea. Here are a collection of dealers offering silver, jewelry, period costumes, art, glass, sporting memorabilia and much more. Back at Hampton Court Palace, we have time to visit the state apartments of Henry VIII, whose 5th wife Catherine Howard is said to haunt the Great Hall of this, the finest Tudor Palace in existence. Wander through the beautiful Royal gardens and maze. In the afternoon enjoy a meandering cruise upstream following the course of the Thames to Shepperton. This evening we will invite a Guest Speaker from a London center to entertain and stay for dinner aboard.
Tuesday, Day 3 - Shepperton to Runnymede
Morning cruise after breakfast to Runnymede. We moor at Bell Weir Lock adjacent to a luxury spa hotel, The Runnymede, where we have the opportunity to visit the spa and use the pool and elaborate leisure facilities. We then cruise past Runnymede, where King John faced the powerful barons and signed the "Magna Carta" in 1215 as well as viewing the John F. Kennedy Memorial. Optional visit into nearby Wraysbury where we visit Clive Rodgers, a premier dealer of antique oriental rugs. Dinner aboard.
Wednesday, Day 4 - Runnymede to Windsor
This morning we cruise to Windsor before enjoying lunch on board. After lunch we have an afternoon excursion to Windsor Castle. Built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and inhabited for over 900 years by the Royal Family. Moor on a private island with a unique view of the Castle. Walking across the bridge into Eton High Street, we have time to explore the numerous antique furniture and art dealers. We may also view Eton College, England's most famous school. Dinner aboard.
Thursday, Day 5 - Windsor to Cookham
Leaving Royal Windsor behind us we cruise past fabulous waterside homes through the spectacular Clivedon reach and the open English countryside. We moor in Cookham, once described as "Heaven on Earth" by artist Stanley Spencer, one of England's greatest and most eccentric painters, whose gallery we visit. Tonight, Willie and Sally Clegg from "The Country Seat" will give an entertaining presentation of antique police truncheons before joining us for dinner aboard.
Friday, Day 6 - Cookham to Henley-on-Thames
A morning cruise to the village of Hurley where we have time to wander Peter Freebody's boatyard where we can watch in wonder at the traditional craftsman at work. Return to the barge for lunch before cruising to Henley on Thames, along the famous Henley Regatta Course. This afternoon we visit the Nettlebed antique merchants and "The Country Seat", a tithe barn full of the most interesting collection of fine antiques. Architect designed furniture from 19th and 20th centuries and related art, pottery, metalwork and glass. Captain's Farewell Dinner aboard.
Saturday, Day 7 - Henley-on-Thames
Following breakfast, disembark the barge for your transfer to the designated drop off point.
NOTE: Antiques themed cruises are charter only. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change. On alternate weeks the cruise is in the reverse direction.