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    Two dogs welcome
From £224 per night. Dogs Stay FREE.
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From £174 per night

Dog-Friendly Boating Escapes

Escape the crowds and discover the fabulous River Thames from a different perspective. Together with your furry friend, why not take a self drive river cruiser to meander along the gentle waterways on a comfortable berth packed with modern amenities through routes around London. Stop off for some fabulous walking opportunities and make sure to visit fido-friendly sights along your route. The Benson base in Oxfordshire allows you to explore the best of Windsor, Oxford, Henley-on-Thames, Reading and Marlow from the river stopping off at delightful waterside inns. All Le Boat river cruisers range from budget to premiere sleeping from two to twelve and come equipped with all you need to enjoy a city adventure with your canine companion.

Begin your boating adventure for the first time or as a more experienced crew member with full tuition provided at the start of every journey. When you arrive at the base, you will be given an in-depth briefing on every aspect of your boat from which knots to use to how the oven works. After your instruction lesson you will be given a temporary permit for the duration of your holiday. Most visitor moorings on canals and rivers are governed by the Canal & River Trust and are free of charge, meaning your boat will be permitted to moor anywhere on the towpath side of the canal as long as no obstruction is being caused. An overnight fee may be charged for overnight moorings at a select number of privately owned sites such as The River Thames. 

A suggested route for those wanting a longer escape is Benson return via Windsor, a vibrant trip passing Windsor Castle before heading to the Royal Gardens to relax under the warm sun and explore the grounds with your furry friend. This route from Thames Benson passes 34 locks and can be completed in seven nights. Highlights include treating your canine companion to historic dog walking sights including Windsor's Abbey and Castle and Cliveden House. Also make sure to visit Maidenhead's multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants including dog-friendly The Waterside Inn.

If you’re looking for a shorter break, Chertsey return via Henley-upon-Thames is an easy-going riverside adventure filled with waterside pubs and pretty greens that tempt you to stop. This route from Thames Benson takes a duration of three nights passing through 18 locks. Highlights include Henley's extraordinary church and market square to explore with your furry friend and stopping off at Cliveden House for scenic walks and a visit to their shop which welcomes doggy guests.


All dog-friendly river cruisers are available from April to November. Arrive on Monday- Saturday for a 3, 4, 5, 7, 10 or 11 night stay. Please note that each route has individual changeover dates. In a river cruiser berthing 4, enjoy a 3 night stay from £619 or 7 night stay from £919 in the low season, excluding fuel supplement. Supplements apply on summer dates and larger boats.

For more information on payable fees and deposits, check out our Holiday Extras.

What To Expect

It's important to bring along a bed, bowl, food, lead and toys for your dog whilst on board and may be advisable to invest in a harness or life jacket for your dog. A welcome pack can be accessed online and river cruisers are equipped with a variety of power equipment. All river cruisers come with a well-equipped kitchen where you can whip up a meal for your guests and furry friend too. Dog-friendly river cruisers starting at Thames Benson include a water tank covering two to three days of normal use. You will need to refill water by stopping at the marinas along the canal/ river. This service is often charged by the marina. Your boat will be supplied with a full tank of diesel and you will be required to pay for the fuel you use, normally, you would not need to refuel en-route. Before departure, you will be required to leave an engine hours deposit at your start base. At the end of the holiday you will either be refunded the excess or be asked to pay any additional costs as required. Deposit tariffs are based on your boat's engine size and destination region. Life jackets are supplied and safety rings are attached to every boat, it is recommended that children wear their life jacket while cruising.

Bow wow factor

Dogs love boats so this will be especially exciting for them with lots of different sights and smells for them to enjoy every day of the trip with lots of dog-friendly pubs along the Thames route.

Need to know

Accessible by Train
Accessible by Train
Dine With Pet
Dine With Pet
Pub Within 1 Mile
Pub Within 1 Mile

Featured Boats

Some boats have separate cabins with en-suite bathrooms giving these canal boats unparalleled privacy. The boats offer a variety of sleeping arrangements from single and double beds to singles that convert to doubles, making it possible for you to cruise with children, single adults or couples plus your four legged friend too! Laundry and towels are included.


Although the décor is more traditional and the features and fittings are quite basic, they are clean, excellently maintained and come equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.

8 adults   2 pets  

Comfort Plus and Comfort

These are good-quality, stylish and well-equipped boats of varying ages, designs and styles.

12 adults   2 pets  


These were designed exclusively by Le Boat, for Le Boat, and come with a light and spacious kitchen and saloon, spacious top deck and both front and rear thrusters make mooring and manoeuvring very easy.

12 adults   2 pets  

Dog-Friendly Nearby

Drop in at the dog-friendly Waterfront Cafe at Benson and also visit dog-friendly Stonor Park close by. Enjoy lovely walks along the Thames Path alongside the river banks, tow paths and boat moorings. Also enjoy visiting the waterside pubs along the way including the Three Horseshoes, Henley as well as the Trout Inn which is in an idyllic setting with a lovely terrace and is very dog-friendly.

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