what to do on the river in may

The first full month of activity on the river sees a jam-packed calendar of events, days out and river cruises.  A few of the highlights include


Love Food Live  Bank Holiday 4th-6th May

This extravaganza of food, drink and cookery demonstrations have become a riverside hit, taking place at Mapledurham in the country park, we operate a ferry service from Caversham Pier to the event (passing through Mapledurham Lock – new this year!). It is a great day out for all the family and you won’t go hungry. Outbound sailings at 11.00 and 14.00 with return cruises at 15.15 and 17.15 . Click Here to book the Mapledurham Food Festival Ferry

Sunday Lunch 5th May and 2nd June

This is a relaxed style lunch with two courses of roast, freshly prepared using local ingredients and served as we gently glide along the river. The 3 chefs behind this cruise are passionate about the use of local ingredients and a traditional style. Cruises on 5th May, 2nd June, 16th June, 7th July and the 4th August.  Join us from 12.30 for pre departure drinks and the sailing leaves at 13.00 from Caversham Pier. Book the Sunday Lunch Cruise here

Reading Abbey Shuttle 11th May and 29th May

Back after a trial run last year the twice-daily sailing starting from Caversham Pier calls at Caversham Lock (next to the Reading Lido) then turning on to the Kennet. Passing through Blakes Lock before stopping at the Bel and the Dragon for those wishing to visit the Lock Museum, Duke Street Bridge for the town centre and Museum of English Rural Life before arriving at Abbey Wharf for the Abbey Ruins. The cruise lasts about 1 hour 15 minutes in each direction. This trip is part of our Kids Go Free Half Term special. Find out more about the Reading Abbey Shuttle here

Soul Cruise 17th May

Get your weekend started in style with Reading Legend Jim B. Donovan playing vinyl funk and soul. This is best party to be found on the river and Jim plays his sets as we we slip our lines in the early evening until the sun is well and truly set. With a full bar onboard the Soul Cruise is one 3 hours of fun you will not want to miss. Departs 19.30 tickets £18.50 in advance. A great night out with a group of friends. Book the Soul Cruise Here

Afternoon Tea 19th May

Extremely popular this is afternoon tea served with a twist, freshly prepared by artisan baker Laura and her team at Benchrest (worth a visit in central Reading) this is a great mix of savoury and sweet treats as well as scones, cream and jam (locally sourced). With two menu options (one of which is vegan) this cruise has been a big hit. Booking early is advised but if your chosen date is full there are more sailings throughout the year. Departs Caversham Pier 15.30. Book Afternoon Tea on the Thames here

Sundowner Cruise 11th May and 25th May

As the river winds down at the end of the day, the boat sets sail, our favourite time on the river this cruise is the best floating bar in town. Spend two hours gently cruising along the Thames. Sip a glass of Pimms, cold beer or try one of our signature cocktails. Soft drinks and fresh air on the foredeck also available. This is the first Sundowner Cruise of the season, plenty more to follow but we recommend you experience this cool cruise. Departs 18.00 two hour cruise. Book a Sundowner Cruise here

Hop-on-Hop-off  to Goring 26th May

This pioneering trip offers a flexible day out on the river, make the day your own and join us for a short time or take the boat all the way to Goring. With multiple stopping off points and boarding points along the river you can use this cruise as part of a walk, cycle ride or transport to a pub lunch in Goring. We stop at Mapledurham Lock, Pangbourne Meadows, The Swan at Pangbourne (request stop), Beale Park and Goring. One way and return tickets available, choose how many hops you take and make your own day on the river.  Plan your day on the river here

Beale Wildlife Park Ferry 26th May, 28th May and 30th May

The wildlife park is always a hit with younger members of the family and going by river makes this a real day out. Departing Caversham the boat will pass through two locks before dropping you off at the private landing stage outside the park. Departs Caversham Pier at 10.30 and leaves Beale Park at 15.45 . There is an additional chance to use this as a shuttle from Pangbourne, joining at Pangbourne Meadows. This trip is part of our Kids Go Free Half Term special. Book the Wildlife Ferry

Half Term & Weekend Round Trips

We are running 30, 45 and 80 minute round trips form Caversham Pier every weekend (including bank holidays) throughout May and also daily during half term. These trips are a great chance to get on the water and especially with the 80 minute trip you are whisked a world away from Reading all the way to Mapledurham, turning by the weir and lock. Explore Cruises from Caversham Pier

As part of Reading Children’s Week between Saturday 25th May and Sunday 2nd June one child travels free with a full fare paying adult.