Canoe Days Out

Berkshire - River Thames - Bray to Windsor (& return)

This page was submitted by Keith Day (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - Bray is just a mile or so south of Maidenhead bridge. From the M4 it is best approached from Junction 8. Take the Motorway spur (A308M) signposted to Maidenhead and at the roundabout take the third exit (A308 towards Windsor). Take the fourth left (as you go under the motorway) into Upper Bray Road. This will lead into High Street, Bray. Ferry Road is the fourth on the right and the slipway is at the far end.

For those with SatNav the postcode is SL6 2AT.

Get a map with driving directions to start (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - The slipway is at the end of Ferry Road, next to the Waterside Inn (considered by many to be the countrys best restaurant). Parking at the slipway is purely for the temporary use of the slipway so I suggest you unload and then park in the village car park at the junction of Old Mill Lane and High Street. (Use the link to the map and zoom in.)

General Description - The trip to Windsor is about 4 .4 miles (9 mile return trip) taking you through locks.

From the launch site, go to the right (taking care to enter the lock cut and not the wier channel) to Bray lock. All Thames locks are manned by lockkeepers who are happy for canoes to pass through with other vessels. On this occassion however we portaged round the lock with ease. The river now passes under the M4 but this is soon left behind as the hotel on Monkey Island, Bray film studios and Dorney Court are passed on the right. As you pass Windsor Race Course on the right you will reach Boveny Lock. After passing the wier channel on the right, take the right channel immediately in front of the lock chamber. This will lead you to a set of boat rollers which will simplify portaging.

The final stretch of just over a mile takes you into Windsor. This stretch is very popular with trip boats from Windsor turning at Boveney Lock and self drive lauches and rowing boats for the tourists.

After passing under the A355 (Windsor Bypass) there are ample mooring sites next to the park on the right.

We chose to picnic here prior to returning to the start usung the backwater on the right just after Winsor railway Brige.

A number of photographs are by courtesy of

Comments on this trip

14 Oct 2014 We now hire canoes and will drop off at the Ferry pub for you to paddle down to Windsor with a pub lunch. The Cookham stretch is a fantastic sight all year but especially in Autumn when the leaves start turning.

19 Aug 2012
The company Canoe and Kayak Tours do canoe trips in and around Windsor along the river Thames. The guides are great and fun. www.canoe and kayak

Nic Harley
16 Jun 2007
Hi Keith, I just had to let you know - that we did this and it was really lovely! Thanks nic

28 May 2007
I think the Bray slipway is now clear of nesting swans. There are two or three backwaters on this stretch described in, which although it starts in Windsor covers much of the same stretch

Nic Harley
27 May 2007
Hi Keith,

I was passed your website details and we are now planning to paddle along the Bray to Windsor stretch. Do you know if it is still best to launch at Boulters?

I can't wait to do the trip - are there any back waters along this stretch. Not long long ago we did St Patricks stream. The Thames is a lovely river.



28 Mar 2007
I understand the slipway at Bray is closed (March 2007) due to nesting swans. If you experience this a suggested alternative launch point is just above Boulters Lock in Maidenhead where there is a free car park.


Dorney Court
Windsor Race Course
Waterside Inn
Thames Conditions

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson