Idyllic Experiences and Days Out on and along the river Thames

Step back in time and join us to enjoy memorable experiences and days out aboard our beautifully restored vintage boats and elegant pre-war Rolls Royces as we take you out on one of the most idyllic stretches of the River Thames through Oxfordshire and Berkshire.

Vintage Days Out River Thames Map

This stretch of the river is linked with the timeless classic ‘Wind in the Willows’  and Jerome K. Jerome’s 1889 ‘Three Men in a Boat’, and you’ll pass by (or visit on a private tour)  stately homes, centuries-old riverside restaurants, historic bridges and locks.

While the river is the focus of our experiences and days out, our Rolls Royce fleet means that a diversion inland to a place of interest is also an option.

Read more about our vintage boats and pre-war Rolls Royce fleet.

Overview

  • 2-hour to full-day bespoke cruises available
  • From 2 to 20 guests
  • Flexible itineraries with vintage boat/car transportation
  • A range of on-board catering options
  • Child friendly

Let us Inspire You: 7 Vintage Days Out to Enjoy

Our experience at the luxury end of the hospitality industry translates into delivering highly tailored experiences where our focus is a personal service with keen attention to detail. To inspire you, we have compiled a selection of seven Vintage Days Out, one for every day of the week! 

Brunch on the River Thames

1 – A Classic Vintage Day Out

Laze about on the river with friends

Relax aboard one of our vintage boats as you cruise along the river, taking in historic sites and the beautiful countryside, enjoying the company of friends and family, and even business guests or colleagues. Depending on the boat chosen, catering options can include Brunch, Lunch, Picnics, Afternoon Tea and Dinner. Whichever option you choose, you can be assured your meal will be served on vintage tableware with crystal glassware
Stop by to dine at a waterfront restaurant
Arrive in style at a river-front restaurant

2 – A Gourmet Cruise

Cruise to a selected restaurant on the river with canapés served en route.

What better way to arrive at one of the Thames’s most celebrated river-front restaurants than by vintage cruiser? Make a day of it with Canapés en route, then perhaps Afternoon Tea on the return trip – if you have room for it!

Popular restaurants include:

Beetle and Wedge at Moulsford 
Immortalised in ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and ‘Three Men in a Boat’, the boathouse restaurant’s emphasis is on quality of food, wines and service.

The Swan at Pangbourne 
A beautiful 17th century listed building with traditional oak beams and open fires. For lazy summer days there is a beautiful terrace overlooking the river.

Shaun Dickens at The Boathouse, Henley-on-Thames 
An unparalleled riverside setting featuring fresh, local British produce. Recently awarded a coveted AA 3 Rosette Award. 

Vintage Days Out will arrange your reservation as part of your day’s experience.

3 – A Private Country House Tour

Experience the grandeur of a bygone era with a combined boat and country house tour.

Stonor Park Library Private Tour
Stonor Park library

Private tours can be arranged at:

Stonor Park

The Hon. William Stonor and/or Lady Ailsa Stonor will guide you on a private tour of their home, a majestic house that has been home to the Stonor family for 850 years.

Architecturally fascinating, discover art and treasures collected from across the globe and view historic maps and documents that reveal generations of service to the country. A private tour through this house is a vivid walk through history.

Lunch is served in a private dining room and afterwards, guests return to their boat in a chauffeured Rolls Royce.


Cliveden House

Built in 1666, Cliveden House has remained a pinnacle of intrigue and glamour for the elite.

Cliveden from the river or by pre-war Rolls Royce
Cliveden – from the river or by pre-war Rolls Royce

The house has played host to every British monarch since George I and has been home to three Dukes, an Earl, Frederick Prince of Wales and the Astor family. A private Butler’s tour and talk will reveal the secrets and revelations from over 350 years of history.

Following the behind the scenes tour, lunch or afternoon tea will be taken.

The venues we use are personally selected, offering the highest standard of cuisine and service.

4 – A Celebration

An extraordinary venue for an anniversary, reunion, special celebration or even a proposal…

We love nothing more than celebrations on the River Thames during the day or evening. Our team will ensure that your cruise is more than special. We will happily dovetail our river cruise into your extended celebration plans but we like to think our private charter along the Thames will be the highlight of your day. 

If we need to transport you from to and from the mooring, you only have to ask, and our vintage Rolls Royce will be there to meet you.

Romance on the river - boat for twoRomance on the River

What could be more romantic than surprising your partner with a Champagne cruise for two on Nina, our iconic 1950s Venetian-style cruise? This might also just be the optimal moment to propose. 

5 – A Traditional English Country Pastime

Experience the country life and history of Oxfordshire and Berkshire

For those looking for a bit more action on their Vintage Day Out, we recommend combining a boat cruise with an traditional experience to learn more about country life and the history of the area.

Clay Pigeon Shooting
Step right into country life by learning to shoot at the Royal Berkshire Shooting School. Recognised as the finest shooting school in the country, our guests enjoy their lesson in one of the most beautiful shooting grounds in Britain.

Walking in Oxford Tours
Walk through the streets and university quadrangles of Oxford with your esteemed Blue Badge guide who will introduce you to the city known as the ‘City of Dreaming Spires’ and worldwide as the home of the University of Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Your tour will include a visit to one of the top three colleges in the city. Depending on college availability, you may even be able to view the iconic ‘Harry Potter dining room’ in the Great Hall at Christ Church.

6 –  A Visit to a Winery

Visit one of England’s finest vineyards for a private tour and tasting

Chiltern Valley Winery is set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and comprises a vineyard, winery, brewery and liqueur-making facility. Guests are given a private tour and tasting by the owner or the owner’s son.

7 –  A Classic River Event

What could be more prestigious and exciting than experiencing one of England’s historic events on the River Thames?

Britain is renowned for its pageantry and summer social events and the Thames does not disappoint. The following events are extremely popular and early booking is recommended.

Lollapalooza at the Henley Royal Regatta
Lollapalooza at Henley Royal Regatta

Henley Royal Regatta – 3rd–7 July 2019 
Founded in 1839 Henley Royal Regatta is undoubtedly the best-known rowing regatta in the world, and is famous both as a great sporting event and as a social occasion. 

With Vintage Days Out you can choose to arrive by river at Henley Royal Regatta in VIP style. Our private mooring is one of the best opposite the start. Between refreshments your private charter will cruise along the course to give you a real insider’s view of the event. Private parking is arranged for your arrival, or we can collect you from Henley Station by vintage Rolls Royce to transfer you to the marquee and mooring for coffee and pastries. A chef-prepared lunch, Champagne, wine and drinks from the bar will follow throughout the day.

We also arrange Vintage Days Out for Henley Women’s Regatta (21–23rd June 2019), the UK’s premier women’s rowing event.

Thames Traditional Boat Festival  – 19th–21st July 2019
Take part in the Thames Traditional Boat Festival aboard our historic ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’ Charles Cooper and celebrate the best in British boatbuilding. The event features the largest display of traditional boats in Europe, a WWI air display, a gathering of  other ‘Dunkirk Little Ships’ who also sailed to Dunkirk, amphibious vehicles and, in the past, highlights have included Her Majesty’s ‘Rowbarge Gloriana’ and Duncan Campbell’s Blue Bird to name just a few. A perfect family day out on the river!

Royal Swan Upping – 15-19 July 2018 (TBC)
Follow the journey of the traditional rowing skiffs of the Royal Swan Uppers and Swan Uppers from the Vintners’ and Dyers’ livery companies for a day as they carry out their annual conservation survey of Her Majesty The Queen’s swans and cygnets in the Royal Swan Upping.

On-board Catering

An essential component of your Vintage Day Out is the pleasure of eating out on the river. Depending on the time of day, the occasion and the boat, we offer a range of dining options, from a Champagne brunch, through a ‘Deck Picnic’ or cream tea, to a Chef-prepared 5-course tasting menu. View details about Our Fleet and available catering options.