Well done Gordon and Dorenda on a 5 star experience! Despite the pain of having to cater for my coeliac needs, Dorenda’s cooking was diverse, delicious and dangerously moreish. More walking needed!
For anyone contemplating a river cruise, this is an ideal first taste. 3 nights and a comfortable cabin, sedate crusing speed with plenty of material on board to track the route and discover the attractions along the way, only 2 other travelling companions, and plenty of scenery, wildlife, locks and shore walks to keep the interest bubbling away. Nightly wines also helped entice sleep, though the peace and quiet and the gentle lapping of the water was so lulling it was easy!
We boarded at Abingdon where the lock and weir were quite busy. Such a pretty and historical town which we had time to explore before we headed for Kailani, our comfy home for the river adventure.
Abingdon has the unique tradition of throwing buns from the top of the Town Hall (now a museum of note) to celebrate any royal occasion…the last were thrown by the Mayor to mark Queen Elizabeth 11’s 90th birthday. It’s quite a way down to the square below, so you’d want to be a skilfil catcher to avoid being hit. The Abbey gardens, and old castle ruins were an enjoyable stroll. Our accommodation at The Brewery Tap pub was slopey due to its age, but very roomy and the pub meal was a ripper!
Once on board, with our light luggage, 1we set off at 2 miles an hour after a welcome glass of prosecco and stuffed dates rolled in goat’s cheese. The slow pace set the tone of the next couple of days.
Wallingford was the Day 2 exploring place – old village shops, pub on the water where watched the nearby Red Arrow, Lancaster and Tiger Moth et al entertain the crowds for the Family Day at the nearby airbase, and the Quaker Meeting House.
Then it was boat houses of the rich and famous, bridges, boating in earnest, and many breathtaking house designs as we sipped our drinks, had delicious morning and afternoon teas and generally indulged ourselves. There was a range of water birds, cattle and a darting kingfisher to entertain us.
Then we moored at Goring and enjoyed an hour or so visiting the old Mill, the tribute wall to George Michael covering his childhood home with tributes and the local gourmet grocer’s before we headed for our final night at Caversham…again a delectable meal, and a final night on the cabin bunks. We had parked our car at Caversham and caught the train and bus to the Abingdon starting point, so it was a very convenient end point for us.
Would totally recommend this hotel boat experience! ❤