Boat Hire – River Thames, Rivers Lea and River Stort

Hire a boat to take a leisurely cruise through English heritage on the River Thames or enjoy surprisingly peaceful countryside on  the River Lea and the River Stort.

  • The Upper Thames winds through watermeadows down from Lechslade. Below Oxford the banks are more heavily wooded, especially around Goring where it cuts through the southern end of the Chilterns. Then on to Hampton Palace and the world famous London river-front.
  • Teddington Lock is the bottom lock on the the Thames so the river below Teddington is tidal. The lock is manned round the clock and because the tidal flows run quickly most advice recommends travelling with the tide soon after high water. All Thames locks are manned.
  • Before hiring a boat to cruise the River Thames check with the hire firm that they allow their boats on the Thames, you may not be allowed to enter the tidal Thames. The Thames is managed by the Environment Agency (EA) so your boat must be correctly licenced. See the CRT or EA websites.
  • The River Lea and River Stort (the Lee Navigation) meander through the site of the 2012 London Olympics into some surprisingly green and rural parts of Hertfordshire.

Boat Hire from family firms on or around the River Thames and Rivers Lea & Stort

Calmer Cruising Barge Hire

Calmer Cruising Barge Hire. The newly built Sancerre Widebeam canalboat offers a spacious and luxurious alternative to a narrowboat. Based on the beautiful section of the River Thames near Marlow.


CanalAbility Have a great holiday on one of our accessible canal boats, fully adapted for disabled people. Explore the Rivers Lee & Stort or longer journeys to London and the Grand Union Canal.

College Cruisers

College Cruisers offer relaxing holidays on the Oxford canal & River Thames. Excellence in customer service & comfort with a friendly welcome & expert tuition. Central Oxford base. All parties welcome including dogs.

Farncombe Boat House

Farncombe Boat House Traditional family run company offering 2-8 berth holiday boats for weekends, midweeks, and weekly hire. We also have purpose built dayboats, tearoom with lawn and row-boating, and private recreational moorings.

Oxfordshire Narrowboats

Oxfordshire Narrowboats. Cruise the beautiful Cherwell Valley & Cotswold Borders toward Oxford & the Thames. Short breaks, families, pets, and large groups are welcome.


CanalAbility Have a great day out on one of our accessible canal boats, fully adapted for disabled people. Sit back and relax as you cruise the River Stort through the idyllic Hertfordshire countryside.

Lee Valley Boat Centre

Enjoy a relaxing holiday with Lee Valley Boat Centre based on the Rivers Lee & Stort in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, offer rowing boats, canoes, pedalos and electric boats for hourly hire

Canal Rings

The Thames Ring
The River Thames forms part of the Thames Ring, with the Grand Union Canal & Oxford Canal.

It's over 200 miles long and contains over 160 locks, so not surprisingly it is sometimes called the 'Grand Ring'. It can take 3 weeks at least to cruise, 2 months would be more sensible!

More Information

Holiday Cruising Guide to the River Thames.

More Southern hire firms or narrowboat hire firms in other canal areas.

Day hire boats to cruise with a few friends for a few hours.

Help to choose the right canal boat for your holiday.

Plus lots more advice and tips in our Canal Holiday Advice.

Our Listings

We provide contact telephone and email details free of charge for canal based companies, click for details.
Please note: We provide all contact details as an information service. We rely on traders to keep us informed about these listings so we can't guarantee that details are accurate or up to date. Please see our Terms of Use.

Add a company

Lee Navigation

Harlow CM20 2QS.
01279 424444
Lee & Stort Boat Co.
Roydon Essex

Oxford Canal

College Cruisers
Combe Rd, Oxford OX2 6BL.
01865 554343
Oxfordshire Narrowboats
Station Rd, Lower Heyford, Bicester OX25 5PD.
01869 340348

River Thames

Calmer Cruising Barge Hire
Mundaydean Ln, Marlow SL7 3BU.
07582 118155
Chertsey Meads Marine
River Thames - Surrey
European Waterways
River Thames
Le Boat
Benson and Chertsey Surrey

River Wey

Farncombe Boat House
Catteshall Rd, Godalming GU7 1NH
01483 421306

Day Hire

Harlow CM20 2QS.
01279 424444
Lee Valley Boat Centre
Old Nazeing Rd, Broxbourne EN10 6LX.
01992 462085

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