Boating at Cliveden

Electric launch hire at CLiveden

Cliveden Reach is renowned as one of the prettiest spots on the Thames. Find out more here about how you can enjoy our new boating offer.

The boating season has now ended for 2020. Thank you to everyone that came to enjoy some time on the river this year. Boating will be back in Spring 2021. Availability for 2021 will be released online in the coming weeks via 

We are pleased to present ‘Boating at Cliveden’, offering a boating service for our visitors, running daily between April to October, subject to river and weather conditions. To reduce pollution, the fleet is fully-electric with skippered cruises and self-hire vessels including; electric motor boats, Canadian canoes, rowing boats and a pedal boat.  

Boating on the Thames was a late Victorian and Edwardian craze in most social classes. Sitting on one of the prettiest stretches of the river, Cliveden Reach had the heaviest traffic of any up-river lock, and on one single day in 1894, a record 129 launches and nearly 1000 smaller craft passed through it.

By 1939, the river-loving Astors owned a varied collection of river craft including skiffs, canoes, (both rowing and Canadian) punts, whiffs, a dinghy and an electric canoe. 

In 1908 the river was brought to life in Kenneth Grahame’s well-loved children’s classic, The Wind in the Willows.  A regular visitor to Cliveden, it is believed Grahame was inspired to write the book by spending time on Cliveden Reach.  Why not ‘mess about in boats’ like Ratty and Mole on your own boating adventure?

How to book

Once you have booked your boating experience, your entry to the estate is allocated within the daily visitor capacity on site. Please present confirmation of your boat booking at the main entrance to the Cliveden Estate when you arrive for your hire session. Please visit our third party operator's website Boating at Cliveden for full details.

Self-hire electric motor boats

Available daily, starting at £50 per boat for the first hour, maximum 5 people.

Click here to read more about self-hire electric motor boats

Self-hire rowing boats

Available daily starting at £25 per boat for the first hour, maximum 3 people

Click here to read more about unpowered boats.

Self-hire Canadian canoes

Available daily starting at £25 per boat for the first hour, maximum 3 people

Click here to read more about unpowered boats.

Self-hire pedal boat

Available daily starting at £35 per boat for the first hour, maximum 2 people

Click here to read more about unpowered boats.

Due to current Government Guidance skippered cruises are unfortunately suspended until further notice.


'Boating at Cliveden' COVID-19 Policy

In order to operate as safely as possible we have adjusted our normal procedures as follows:

  1. All bookings must be made online, no physical payment will be accepted on site.

  2. Each boat must contain members of only ONE household / support bubble until Government Guidance advises otherwise.

  3. Safety Briefing documents will be provided as part of the booking process. By confirming your booking you agree to the terms of the briefing document for your specific activity in addition to our usual Terms and Conditions, available on our website.

  4. All boats and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned and sanitised between hires.

  5. A queuing area has been provided alongside the downstream side of The Boathouse. Please respect our staff and other guests by keeping a safe distance until your boat is ready.

  6. A one way system is in place around the slipway, please leave in the direction advised by our staff to continue your visit to Cliveden Estate.

We reserve the right to cancel your booking, without refund, if any member of your group is unable to adhere to the social distancing requirements above.


Getting to the river

The shuttle bus service is currently suspended until further notice to conform with social distancing guidelines. Access to The Boathouse is therefore a 20-30 minute walk from the main car park via Yew Tree Steps or Spring Drive

By walking

From the walled garden, walk towards the house and turn right before the forecourts. Walk alongside the Parterre to Yew Tree Steps to head down to the river. All boating starts from the Boathouse.  Alternatively, for a step-free route, please use Spring Drive. A map will be sent through on your boat booking confirmation and can also be viewed here.

By boat

National Trust allow mooring downstream of Spring Cottage along the main riverbank and on two of the four islands. Please ensure you have found a mooring before making payment on the link below.

Boating at Cliveden and National Trust River Custodians regularly patrol the river along Cliveden Estate. Boating at Cliveden staff have been appointed by National Trust to collect the mooring fees for Cliveden Estate. 

Please click the link below to pay your mooring fee, once you have found a mooring post.

Please note our River by-laws:
-    No fires at any time, or in any place.
-    No bikes are permitted
-    Music is to be kept low and with the consideration of others.
-    No collection of wood.
-    No visitors allowed in Cliveden’s grounds after estate closing time.


All information correct as of 26 July 2020. On rare occasions, including in the event of inclement weather, there may be a change to the boating schedule at short notice. 

If you are making a special trip please telephone Cliveden in advance on 01628 605069 for the latest details.