SIX NIGHT ITINERARY
MAGNA CARTA BARGE
Paired with dear friends and owners of the Magna Carta, we believe this barge cruise is the perfect compliment to a Harrad & Bloom package, creating the ultimate Luxury British Experience.
Magna Carta is the finest most luxurious vessel cruising the British Isles. In 1936 built as a working barge in Belgium and working as such until 1999 in Holland, she was converted into a beautiful floating hotel by her owners Dominic Read and Geoffrey Temple in 2001.
Cruising past some of England's most iconic institutions such as Hampton Court Palace and Windsor Castle, this diverse itinerary offers an exquisite combination of cultural, historical and traditional tours, along with offering exclusive Downton Abbey itinerary (limited availability).
Our two week itineraries can be organised in either order, and includes a direct transfer between locations. Distance from the Cotswolds is two hours, while the journey to Wales will take five.
FOUR SPACIOUS EN-SUITE CABINS
Magna Carta has the most sophisticated modern amenities, including air conditioning, WI FI internet access and underfloor heating in each of the four full width suites. Each suite has exceptionally spacious contemporary en-suite facilities and colour TVs and DVD players.
In the afternoon, you will be met by a crew member of the Magna Carta at the designated meeting point in London. Enjoy a delightful English Cream Tea before being chauffeured to Magna Carta moored outside Hampton Court, the Tudor Palace of Henry VIII, where we remain overnight. Meet your crew at the traditional champagne reception. Tonight, enjoy the first of many gourmet dinners onboard.
Cruise Hampton Court Palace to Runnymede
This morning, explore Hampton Court Palace, the Tudor home of Henry VIII. Walk through Henry’s great hall and haunted gallery and see his chapel, still used for worship today and with the finest Tudor ceiling in existence.
There is much more to see including the stunning privy gardens and the famous maze! This afternoon, the Magna Carta cruises up through Molesey Lock and following the meandering path of the river to our overnight mooring on Bell Weir Lock at Runnymede. Drinks and dinner are served onboard.
Cruise Runnymede to Windsor
This morning's cruise takes us through Runnymede where King John put his seal on the Magna Carta in 1215, from which our vessel takes its name. This afternoon, history comes alive at Windsor Castle!
Built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and lived in for over 900 years by the British Royal Family, the castle boasts unrivaled displays of art, furniture, ancient armor, and royal treasure. Your Tour Guide returns you to Magna Carta for cocktail hour and dinner.
Cruise Windsor to Clivedon
This morning's excursion is a private tour of a Tudor manor that has been in the same family for 13 generations! Authentic and iconic, the manor is regularly used for filming.
Then cruise this afternoon into Clivedon Reach where we have special permission to moor. Cliveden, now a hotel, was once owned by the Astor family. Tour the grounds, discussing the political intrigue and scandal for which Cliveden is famous! A late afternoon cruise is the perfect time to laze in the hot tub. Enjoy another gourmet dinner onboard.
Cruise Clivedon to Cookham
This morning's sightseeing is a visit to the gallery of one of England’s greatest artists, Sir Stanley Spencer. Spencer described Cookham has “heaven on earth” and much of his work was painted in and around the village.
A late morning cruise precedes a tour of Peter Freebody’s Boatyard to watch traditional craftsmen work on wooden boats as they have done for generations. Explore an 11th century village, including a tipple at Ye Olde Belle, reputed to be the oldest inn in the country. Your Tour Guide escorts you back to the barge where Chef presents dinner onboard.
Cruise Cookham to Henley on Thames
A morning cruise takes us to Henley-on-Thames to our final mooring situated along the famous Henley Regatta Rowing Course. This afternoon, your Tour Guide escorts you to Oxford for a tour Christ Church, Oxford’s grandest college.
Founded in 1546, its magnificent surroundings have been the scene of Lewis Carroll writing Alice in Wonderland, welcomed 13 British prime ministers among its students, and just lately served as a set for the Harry Potter films. Return to Magna Carta for the Captain’s Dinner, ending your cruise in style.
After your final breakfast onboard, bid farewell to your crew members before departing for London or your onward travel by private transfer.
Depending on starting point the itinerary may run in the opposite way