If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you may remember that we take regular holidays with our extended family on river boats in France. This tradition begun a few Christmases ago when I mentioned I’d always fancied a canal boat holiday and the rest of my family (surprisingly) agreed. A couple of glasses of wine later and some googling and we had our first trip booked staying on narrowboats in Wales. Despite the dire predictions everyone made about the weather, the holiday was a surprising success and the next year we decided to try river boats in France.
We’ve now had two summer holidays with Le Boat in France and over the years we’ve also developed a good relationship with them, so they throw in a few extras in exchange for photography and videos. This summer we had hoped to holiday on their new Horizon boats, but for one reason and another it never quite happened.
However Le Boat didn’t forget about us and when one of the new boats became available for a day on the Thames, they offered it to us in return for some digital content. Entirely coincidentally the day also happened to be my birthday and it was (mostly) beautiful weather… we were very lucky.
The Horizon 4 which was the boat we borrowed for the day has 4 cabins and 4 en suites, is beautifully equipped and light and bright inside and out. There is loads of space outside and a couple of big sun loungers on the top deck. Alice was the only one who tested out the cabins, but as you’ll see from the video she obviously found them rather cosy!
I must admit that before the trip I had a rather prejudiced view of what the Thames would be like. It always looks rather murky and univiting as it passes through the centre of London and I hadn’t had high expectations of what it would be like west of the city, but I was really amazed by how tranquil it was.
We travelled from Penton Hook Marina marina (opposite Thorpe Park) up to Hampton Court and were blown away by how pretty the riverside houses were and how much there was to see.
My parents and my sister’s family came on the trip with us. My sister Jane did the photos and I shot some video, whilst my niece Millie was a huge help keeping an eye on Alice. The boys all took it in terms to helm and we cracked open the Prosecco and had a brilliant picnic lunch. It was the best and most memorable birthday I have ever had.
None of us wanted the day to end and despite the fact that my sister’s family were off to Spain the next day, we kept the boat out as long as we could, finally getting back to the marina as it was starting to get dark. All of us agreed we could have happily spent a week long holiday exploring the Thames.
Le Boat have just published their brochure for next year (they also offer holidays in Canada as well as the UK and Europe) and we are in the process of booking our trip for 2018 hopefully on board three two cabin Horizon boats and if you pop over to the Le Boat website or follow their social channels you can have fun spotting images of our family popping up!
Other blog posts about our adventures with Le Boat…