South East England
Sailing Trips & Tours

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Our most recommended South East England Sailing Trips & Tours

Oxford Experience Cruise

1. Oxford Experience Cruise

This 50-minute long river cruise takes you on a fascinating stretch of the Thames River, starting with the University Regatta Course and heading towards the quaint Iffley village. This section of the river – referred to by the locals as the Isis – is one of the liveliest, and paints an accurate picture of the bustling river life. As you make your way down the river, you'll see the ancient Folly Bridge, Christchurch College and Meadows, the university rowing houses, and Iffley Lock. The waterways next to you contain rowers, punt boats, and pleasure cruisers, and are equally interesting to watch. During the cruise, your captain will share some history of the river and gladly answer any questions. Your cruising vessel will be one from a fleet of many Edwardian-style river launches. These boats combine the elegant lines and teak interiors of the early 1900s with environmentally-friendly zero-emission technology of today.

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From Brighton: Isle of Wight Full-Day Trip via Portsmouth

2. From Brighton: Isle of Wight Full-Day Trip via Portsmouth

Meet in central Brighton and travel by bus to the nearby city of Portsmouth. Learn about Britain's naval history before traveling to the Isle of Wight via the Wightlink Ferry. Get a great photo of Portsmouth's Spinnaker Tower and its historic dockyard as you depart. Arrive at Fishbourne shortly before noon. Take a scenic 20-minute drive to the charming village of Godshill. Upon arrival, discover its medieval church and see its 500-year-old thatched cottages, tea shops, and the Model Village. Explore the village with your guide and learn more about local history. Continue to Alum Bay, famous for its multi-colored sand cliffs and "the Needles". Choose between a chairlift ride or a walk down the steps to the picturesque beach. Enjoy the views of this scenic location, with plenty of fantastic photo opportunities. After some time here, travel back to Fishbourne for a 6:00 PM journey back to the mainland, followed by drop-off in Brighton.

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Oxford: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

3. Oxford: Afternoon Tea Sightseeing River Cruise

Traveling down the University Regatta course, the boat passes Christ Church Meadows, the University College Boat Houses, and other landmarks on your way to Iffley lock. This is often a busy and vibrant section of the river where training rowing crews, punts, and pleasure boats jostle for river space in a wonderful display of Oxford at play. Passing through the lock at Iffley is an experience in itself. The river scenery and fascinating buildings combine to form a picture perfect location. Beyond Iffley you will travel into the tranquil water meadows that surround Oxford and there are abundant opportunities to spot wildlife amongst the green banks and overhanging willows. The boat turns for home at Rose Island, a favourite destination of Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell on their river journeys. Aboard the boat an indulgent afternoon tea is provided by the renowned riverside restaurant, the Folly. The traditional menu typically includes: a selection of finger sandwiches, homemade scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, a selection of cakes, tarts, or petit fours, and tea.

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3-day Isle of Wight & the Southern Coast Small-Group Tour

4. 3-day Isle of Wight & the Southern Coast Small-Group Tour

Day 1: Get your sunglasses and sun cream ready, you’re departing London and heading to the sunny, southern Isle of Wight. First, head to the ancient port-city of Portsmouth. This bustling spot blends modern marvels with centuries of sea-faring stories. You can grab a bite to eat here before your guide picks you up and takes you to the ferry at Gunwharf Terminal. It takes less than an hour and there’s plenty of onboard refreshments. Your first stop on the Isle of Wight is the important religious site of Quarr Abbey. The building here is beautiful and combines French, Byzantine, and Moorish designs. Then, you will get to meet some real local heroes. In the evening, you'll arrive at the unforgettably quaint village of Shanklin in time for an early dinner.  Day 2: Today, you’re going to discover the unmissable highlights of the Isle of Wight. After an enjoyable breakfast you will venture to the Yarborough Monument. This is the tallest monument on the island and celebrates the life of a wealthy earl from the 19th century. Continue to a photo-stop at the beautiful views of endless green fields at Brading Downs and then head to Osborne House - Queen Victoria's holiday destination! Explore the Italian-style building and discover pristine green gardens, ornate golden rooms, and historically fascinating artefacts. After witnessing that magnificent man-made marvel, it’s time to see the Isle of Wight’s most beautiful natural wonder, the Needles. These sharp white stacks that stick out of the ocean are beautiful to behold. You can hop on a boat to get close to them and venture to an old defensive battery that’s nearby. Your last stop today is at the cliffs of St. Catherine’s Down. As the sun starts to set, these epic cliffs and green valleys look stunning. You travel back to Shanklin in time for dinner. Day 3: In the morning, say goodbye to Shanklin and head on the ferry back to Portsmouth. Now that you’ve reacquainted yourself with the mainland, travel to one of England’s most history-soaked cities, Winchester. Visit the glorious cathedral, an ancient mill, cute cafes, and more than enough museums. After you’ve studied up on the history of England, it’s time to go have some fun. Visit the home of one of the world’s most popular gins, Bombay Sapphire. Once you’ve had enough of the tipple, it’s time to head back to London. Make a short stop at Runnymede before arriving in London in the evening.

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Oxford: River Cruise plus 3-Course Dinner

5. Oxford: River Cruise plus 3-Course Dinner

Your Oxford evening begins when you board an elegant Edwardian gentleman’s riverboat for a cruise to take in the highlights of river life in Oxford. See Folly Bridge, Christchurch Meadows, the university boat houses, and part of the regatta course while sipping a complimentary glass of Prosecco. This is the perfect time to be on the river as the light takes on a magical quality. Disembark at The Folly restaurant, where your dinner will be served in charming surroundings either inside the restaurant or, weather permitting, on the floating river terrace. The Folly's evening a la carte menu offers relaxed fine dining. You’ll find a comprehensive wine list if you’d like to purchase wine to complement your meal.

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Oxford: River Cruise and Walking Tour to Iffley Village

6. Oxford: River Cruise and Walking Tour to Iffley Village

Embark on an active day out to visit Oxford. In the first half hour, you will walk past colleges of the University including Christchurch to reach the departure point for the river cruise boat. Then, glide for about 20 minutes along the Thames river to reach Iffley village. During the river cruise, watch the rowers and hear all about the Oxford rowing tradition. You'll travel along the same stretch of river that writer Lewis Carroll once rowed on and created the story for Alice in Wonderland. When you reach Iffley lock, you can see traditional narrow boats passing through the river lock. Disembark for a 1-hour walking tour to explore Iffley village which is a gorgeous village with many quaint thatched cottages and one of the oldest and most unique churches in England. This includes the option for a short drinks stop at a historic garden pub too. The default itinerary is that you then walk back 2 miles from Iffley village to Oxford city which takes approximately 1 hour. Along the way, your guide will point out specific points of interest and if you choose to learn more, they can also tell you all about Oxford lifestyles and heritage.

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Oxford: Punting River Trip with Optional Walking Tour

7. Oxford: Punting River Trip with Optional Walking Tour

See Oxford from the river on this punting or rowing tour. Your guide will meet you and walk you along Broad street to the boat house. On route there, you will walk past some of the most famous sights of Oxford and learn about them from your guide.  Then, go out on the beautiful river for an hour. While on the river, you'll get lots of insight into Oxford student life and traditions. This is in fact how almost every Oxford university student celebrates their graduation.  Locals often take picnics or Pimms on the river, which is sold at the boat house. The boating activity is ideal for private groups couples and families as the boats only fit max 3 or 4 customers. You also have the option to book a private group or a public shared group walking tour which lasts 90-120 minutes to schedule either before or after the 1-hour boat trip.

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Other Sightseeing Options in South East England

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What people are saying about South East England

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,102 reviews

A really enjoyable and interesting way to see another aspect of Oxford. We thoroughly enjoyed chatting to our guide and hearing about different aspects of Oxford life.

This is a highly recommended river trip. Great sights to see from the boat and an all together good experience. We saw herons and kingfishers.

Really enjoyable experience. Our guide was friendly, informative and full of entertaining stories. Lovely scenic cruise too.

Very enjoyable boat trip, very knowledgeable guide, lovely scenery.

It was very relaxing and enjoyable, and the scenery was beautiful