Originally Posted by MattD
I'd ruled out the Thames because of the registration hassle and costs (Unique boat name, reg plates, having to send off design conformity documents etc)... Having read the posts on this thread I looked into it again.
Now I'm plotting buying the required equipment for a boating/camping break thanks to that link Landlockedpirate :-)
I never would have thought that some locks would have camping allowed and that some have showers and loo's!
How long does it take on average to pass through a lock on the Thames? Being the complete nerd that I am I merged the lock distance/time information with the facilities information, shoved it into an excel spreadsheet and decided that it would take about 8 hours to get from Lechlade to King's lock (the last lock with camping it seems reasonable to do in a day) allowing 15 mins per lock. Does that seem about right?
As a visitor you dont need to worry about any of the requirements for names, plates etc. Just turn up at one of the named locks, pay your money for either single days or 1 month and sign a declaration about the safety of your boat.
40 miles in a day is possible, but its a long hard day, especially if the weather is rubbish. I would look at fitting some kind of bimini top, really useful to keep at least some of the rain off.
Toilets and washing facilities need a little bit of planning, get a River Thames Map and plan stops at pubs and restaurants. There are also 4 or 5 swimming pools along the route to go for a shower. As well as the lock campsites there are also quite a few commercial campsites along the route, use The UK Camp Site for Tent and Caravan Campers in the UK
The Thames is a really nice trip and well worth the effort.