The golden age of cruising on the Thames took place at the turn of the 20th century
The river became a fashionable holiday destination and thousands of day-trippers took advantage of cheap rail travel to spend a day on the river in Henley, Richmond, Twickenham and further west.
The last remaining houseboat from this era, the ‘Astoria', is still moored on the Thames at Hampton.
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Downriver of Teddington Lock, for some 55 miles until its mouth, the Thames is a tidal river.
The twice daily ‘flood tide' (water coming in from the North Sea) lasts for about 6 hours whereas the ‘ebb tide' (water going out to sea) lasts 30 minutes longer.
At London Bridge, the water level rises by between 4 and 8 meters between low and high tide.
It is said that Eel Pie Island (originally Twickenham Ait) gained its name after Henry VII visited an eel pie stand there on his journeys en route from London to Windsor.
The main building on the island, Eel Pie Island Hotel, hosted tea dances in the 1920s, jazz and skiffle in the 50s and, in the 60s and 70s, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, The Who, Rod Stewart and Eric Clapton all performed there.
Today, it is home to Twickenham Rowing Club, Richmond Yacht Club and one of the River Thames' last fully functioning boatyards.
Discover great places to visit between Hampton Court Bridge to Eel Pie Island