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Things you’ll see on a riverboat trip

Picnic box at the ready - here’s what you’ll see on one, two and four hour riverboat trips from The Runnymede on Thames.

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One hour boat trip

Travel downriver from The Runnymede on one of our electric boats and adventures filled with history, nature and islands await! To complete your outing, we can provide a freshly prepared picnic to enjoy at your leisure on your riverboat trip. Find out more.

As you approach Staines Bridge, you’ll notice a small inhabited island on your left. This is Church Island – an island with plenty of foliage and just a few houses on it, connected to the mainland by a small footbridge. This island was important over the course of history too, as historians believe an old Roman bridge previously crossed the island, forming part of the Devil’s Highway to Londinium.

Just a little further is Staines Bridge – where there is believed to have been a bridge since 1228. Replaced with more durable materials over the years, the current bridge is made of white granite and has three arches built into it. Dating back to 1832, this bridge was designed by the renowned engineer, George Rennie.

On the other side of the bridge is The Swan – a beautiful riverside pub with moorings.

You’ll then continue along the river until you approach Penton Hook Marina. As the river loops around, you’ll spot some of the taller rides at Thorpe Park in the near distance! Soon after this spectacle, you’ll reach Penton Hook Lock. The small lock island is attached to the much larger Penton Hook Island – a former burial site for victims of the Great Plague, and later a spot for haymaking. Now it’s a protected nature reserve, popular with fishermen and picnickers.

It’s possible to get to Penton Hook Lock and back to The Runnymede on Thames in around an hour without stops.

Two hour boat trip

As you continue past Penton Hook Lock, you’ll meander through the pretty Thames-side village of Laleham. This is a spot with a long history, where evidence of a 1st century Roman marching camp was found, and where Iron Age spearheads from the 5th century have been discovered too. You’ll pass by Laleham Park, home to the 19th century Laleham Abbey and plenty of green space.

As you approach Chertsey, you’ll spot The Kingfisher – a water-side pub with views over the 18th century Chertsey Bridge. Continue under the bridge and you’ll find yourself next to Dumsey Meadow – a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and the only spot of undeveloped and unfenced water meadow along the River Thames in Surrey. On the other side of the river, you’ll spot Chertsey Meads – a 100-acre Local Nature Reserve that is home to 400 plant species and more than 100 bird species.

You can reach this area of Chertsey and return to The Runnymede on Thames in around two hours without stops.

Four hour boat trip

As you continue along the river, which loops around Chertsey Meads offering yet more excellent views of this open green space, you’ll gradually make your way towards Shepperton.

You’ll pass by the illustriously named Pharaoh’s Island, which has just over 20 homes on it, each with an Egyptian-inspired name. The island was apparently given to Admiral Nelson as a gift following the Battle of the Nile in 1798, and he is said to have used it as a fishing retreat. The first house was built by a keen Egyptologist on the island in the 1900s, hence the Egyptian house names such as Sphinx and Luxor.

Just beyond Pharaoh’s Island is The Thames Court pub – the perfect spot to stop for a drink while looking out over the river.

Those who love theatre and history should journey a little further to embark on a journey around D’Oyly Carte Island. This private island has a single grand house on it – built for Richard D’Oyly Carte – the producer of Gilbert and Sullivan and the founder of the Savoy Theatre in London. The jaw-dropping house has been used on many television series and film productions in the past – and it’s easy to see why.

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