Sunday, Day 1 Henley on Thames
Meet the Captain or a crewmember 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.
Monday, Day 2 Henley on Thames to Hurley
After breakfast we make a visit to Eton College, founded in 1440 and once school to Prince William and Prince Harry. Here a beautiful new footbridge not only allows splendid views of the collect and river but takes you to Luxmore's Garden, an island garden created by an Eton Housemaster in 1880. There is also time to view the Provost's and Fellow's Gardens. 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 fuelled 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.
Tuesday, Day 3 Hurley to Cliveden to Cookham
This morning we cruise through magnificent scenery past the riverside towns of Marlow, Bourne End and Cookham and down into the spectacular Clivedon reach where we have special permission to moor at the house itself. After lunch we visit Cliveden Estate and Gardens. This magnificent estate, former home of Lord and Lady Astor, boasts amazing views and incredible gardens. First laid out in the 18th century they include a formal parterre, a wonderful water garden with a restored Pagoda made for the Paris Exhibition of 1867, a long garden with topiary and 18th century Venetian statues. Truly stunning. A late afternoon cruise takes us to our stunning overnight mooring in Cookham. Dinner on board.
Wednesday, Day 4 Cookham to Windsor
Artist Sir Stanley Spencer, one of England’s greatest and most eccentric painters, once described Cookham as ‘Heaven on Earth’. Much of his work was painted in and around the village. This morning, after breakfast we visit Stanley Spencer’s gallery and admire some of his paintings. Our afternoon cruise takes us through Maidenhead and Boulters Lock (made famous in Victorian times), past fabulous waterside homes in Bray and down to the heart of Windsor.Cruise to Runnymede followed by a visit and afternoon coffee at stunning Saville Gardens. Saville Gardens comprises of over 1,500 hectares of Windsor Great Park and is maintained by the Crown Estate and contains a diverse range of land uses. Over 60% of the Great Park is open to the public and it is estimated that more than 3 million visits are made each year. The Gardens Department is responsible for 600 hectares of the Great Park including the Savill Garden. There is also an optional visit to the nearby Wisley Gardens which is 200 acres of botanic gardens, famous for their trials of new varieties. Dinner on board.
Thursday, Day 5 Windsor to Hampton Court
Early morning cruise to Hampton Court which takes us to the Hampton Court Palace Flower Show, set in 25 acres of Royal parkland, where ingenious design, original ideas and creative flair, combine to inspire. Organised by the Royal Horticultural Society, nurseries, societies and charities create 25 colour filled traditional and contemporary gardens in the grounds of Hampton Court Palace, including spectacular water gardens. There are also stunning floral displays in 8 huge marquees, including the British Rose Festival, plus much, much more. After this heady and colourful assault on your senses we return to Magna Carta for dinner on board.
Friday, Day 6 Shepperton to Hampton Court Palace
After breakfast we visit the famous Kew Gardens. With the new Bonsai collection, Palm House where all the plants have their first flush of new growth and tropical water lilies are opening their exotic blooms in the nearby Waterlily House. Plants of a smaller stature or scale can be seen in the Rock Garden and here plants from the world's mountain ranges are grown alongside Mediterranean species, both enjoying the open, sunny position and free-draining soil. Farewell Dinner on board.
Saturday, Day 7 Hampton Court Palace
Following breakfast, disembark the barge for your transfer to the designated drop off point.
On alternate weeks the cruise will be in the reverse direction. This is a sample itinerary and is subject to change.