Reading Abbey and Town Cruise


rivercruiseCome July 25th, River Thames Cruises will showcase their brand new cruise focusing on the Reading Abbey Ruins and Town Centre.

The tailor-made cruise is launching to celebrate the re-opening of the Abbey Ruins, and offers passengers a guided tour of key locations in Reading’s town centre from the charming River Thames.

The special cruises are the first of their kind, available this summer to coincide with the reopening of the Abbey Ruins, following a £3.15 million conservation project to make the site safe for the public to enjoy once again. 

The cruise will run every Wednesday and Saturday from the 25th of July till the 18th of August so there are plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy this fantastic experience, in which you can admire the town’s lovely waterways and rich heritage together.

The cruise will take off from the Thames Side Prom by Caversham Bridge at 10am, cruising downstream through the bridge passing De Montfort Island where Robert De Montfort and Henry of Essex had their famous dual in front of Henry II. The cruise then takes you under the new sleek and stylish suspension bridge and down through Reading Bridge to Caversham Lock.


Frink LongshotOnce through the lock you will have passed Lower Caversham and will begin turning into the mouth of the River Kennet to arrive at Blakes Lock, one of the last manual locks on the river. Once through Blakes Lock, the boat will cruise along the River Kennet passing the old town wharfs before arriving at the Queens Road wharf adjacent to Duke Street Bridge.

 The boat will then turn around into the Forbury Loop where it will stop right outside the Reading Abbey at 11:30am. Passengers can then visit the Abbey Ruins (an almost 900 year old site founded by King Henry I that was once one of the largest Monasteries in Europe), the Forbury Gardens, Reading Museum (which hosts a full sized copy of the Bayeux Tapestry) and take a walk around the walls of the Reading Gaol, where Oscar Wilde spent the last few years of his sentence before releasing his famous work, The Ballad of Reading Gaol. 

 The cruise is accompanied by a running commentary and it is possible to have guides for both the Museum and the Abbey Ruins. For those who cannot make the earlier trip, the return trip departing the Abbey Ruins at 4pm offers the exact same route in reverse to ensure you don’t miss out*.

 As well as the full length cruise, there will be shorter hop on hop off cruises around the town centre from the Abbey Ruins every hour from 12pm – 4pm, perfect for those on a tight schedule.

 For full details and bookings, please visit Thames River Cruises website.

 *4pm Caversham bound cruise spaces subject to availability dependant on number of returning passengers from earlier trip. Contact River Thames Cruises for more information.

 To keep up to date with what’s on in Reading follow us on Twitter and on Instagram @livingreading or on Facebook @ArtsCultureRDG.


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