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River Thames Boat Service Westminster – Hampton Court 2015

Author: Bob Handford
This not very well publicised river boat service has been operating for many, many years.

The service runs in the summer months only from April until the end of October.

The thought of arriving at Hampton Court by the river just like the main Kings and Queens who used Hampton Court is a very attractive idea.
Unfortunately the logistics of the river journey all the way do not fit in too well with a full visit to Hampton Court as the river journey takes a full three hours.
If you want to visit Hampton Court \’properly\’ its probably best if you go down to Hampton Court first thing by train from Waterloo, the other side of the Thames from Westminster Pier where the boats start from in Central London. The return boats to London depart Hampton Court Palace at 3.p.m and 4 p.m.

The other main destination the boat visits is Kew Gardens, which is half way between Westminster and Hampton Court.
Kew Gardens is also on the District Line of the Underground

The boats used are not the biggest river boats on the Thames, the largest able to carry about 200 people. They have basic catering facilities.

The departure point in London is Westminster Pier, next to Westminster Bridge with Big Ben towering above. There is an exit from Westminster Underground Station direct to the pier.
Its a pleasant enough journey with an ever changing tapestry of river life from the inner city to near countryside by the time you get to Hampton Court.

Sailing Schedule Westminster - Kew - Hampton Court Palace 2015

In 2015 there are two sailings each day going the entitre Westminster to Hampton Court route.

Departs Westminster 11:00, 12:00
Departs Kew For London 16:30, 17:30
Departs Hampton Court For London 15:00, 16:00

Westminster to Hampton Court 3 hours
Westminster to Kew 1.5 hours

Fares Westminster - Kew - Hampton Court Palace 2015

Note: If you have a Travelcard you can get a 33% discount

Westminster to:

Adult Child Senior
Single Return Single Return Single Return
Kew £12.00 £18.00 £6.00 £9.00 £8.00 £12.00
Richmond £13.50 £20.25 £6.75 £10.25 £9.00 £13.50
Hampton Court £15.00 £22.50 £7.50 £11.25 £10.00 £15.00

Kew to:

Adult Child Senior
Single Return Single Return Single Return
Westminster £12.00 £18.00 £6.00 £9.00 £8.00 £12.00
Richmond £6.75 £10.50 £3.50 £5.25 £4.50 £7.00
Hampton Court £12.00 £18.00 £6.00 £9.00 £8.00 £12.00

Links To Related Information

London\’s River Services – An Overview


River Thames River Services Map – All services


Hampton Court Palace – Information


Comments & Questions

If you have any questions or questions just use the discussion facility below.
Normally I\’ll gte back to you within 24 hours

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  • Alan Hutchings

    Hi. Is there a charge for a 13/14 month old baby.

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Need to contact the operator.
      For the Hampton Court – Westminster service phone number is:
      : +44 (0) 20 7930 2062

  • Lesley Allen

    Hi don’t know if anyone has asked this already but is it possible to do Hampton court to Westminster return trip the other way round? We’re staying in Chertsey and would like to leave Hampton Court in the morning returning from Westminster in the afternoon…

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      In 2015 there is only one boat in each direction on the full route Westminster – Hampton Court leaving Westminster at 11:30 a.m and Hampton Court at 3 p.m.
      Journey time is 3 hours so few people do it in eaxh direction

      There is a much more frequent boat service between Hampton Court and Richmond with first boat leaving Hampton Court at 11:15
      You can complete the journey into London from Richmond by Underground
      Full timetable at

      There is a boat service between Chertsey and Hampton Court which also runs once a day in each direction but as the boat originates at Windsor the times are the right way round for you.

      • Lesley Allen

        Thank you Bob for your comprehensive answer, I will check the links out…most appreciated ⛵️

  • Olga Baranova

    Hello! You have a great site – thanks a lot for your help! Wanted to ask something, if you don’t mind answering – I am not sure that I was attentive enough, may be I lost some info. I have an idea to travel by a river from Kew gardens to Grinwich. Is it possible? I was confused with the names of boat companies and I’m not sure. I have a London pass and going to use their option free boat cruises. Thanks a lot!

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      There is not a single boat service between Kew and Greenwich.
      There is a boat service Kew to Westminster and a choice of boats that run much more frequently Westminster to Greenwich.

      Given the first boat from Kew to Westminster is midday and from Westminster to Kew the departures are 10:30, 11:00, 12:00 and 14:00 you might want to do the journey in the opposite direction.
      The Kew – Westminster timetable is at:


      I was not aware the London Pass covered any of these boats and cannot find mention of it on their web site?

  • Griff Jones

    I am planning to do a dummy run of Westminster to Hampton Court by boat then return to London by train. Once I have disembarked at Hampton Court is Hampton Court station easily walk-able?

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Very short walk across Hampton Court Bridfe, the station is on the other sode of the bridge across the River Thames from Hampton Court Palace

  • Marianne

    Can you get on at Hampton court and disembark at Richmond? What would be the cost?

  • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

    I don’t know – best contact the boat operator.
    Telephone and enquiry form at:

  • Kevin

    Can folding cycles (Bromptons) be carried on the River Boat service from Kew to Hampton Court

  • pj frank

    Hi Bob, I am travelling with my husband – we will be in London for 8 nights. Arriving Monday after Easter , April 6 2015. . There’s also a combo ticket with the tower & Hampton Ct, how do you get to Hampton ct without a boat? Kew Gardens A different day? Kew Gardens boat to Hampton Court one day or make a different trip? we start from Whitehall Ct. Also visiting museums etc. Thought I’d get an Oyster Card (recommended by friend) & maybe London Pass. or would Travelcards be better. Too many tours available! Thank you

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Where will you be staying in London and where/how will you be arriving, one of the airports.
      Bot being nosey, it could make a big difference on what is a better solution for you.

      • pj frank

        staying at Royal Horseguardds. Arriving at Heathrow at 7am we can leave luggage at hotel after our arranged van pickup. so I guess we can have lunch & take the 3 hour tour?? – visit locally – Museums usually not open on Mondays. Thanks

        • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

          OK, real close to your hotel is Charing Cross Rail Station you can buy a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 there and you will qualify for the railways 2 for 1 promotion.
          They cost 32.10 GBP each and will cover your transport in Central London (zones 1-2) for 7 days

          You can buy these from lots of places but by buying them from the RAILWAY STATION TICKET OFFICE (not Underground) you’ll qualify for 2 for 1 entry to lots of London’s attractions
          Full details at this page

          The Travelcard gives you money off river services as well

          The only tedious part of this is that the railways insist on a passport size photo each, unlike everybody.

          There is also 2 for 1 entry to Kew Gardens and Hampton Court but as these are both outside the centre of London you’ll need standard train tickets to qualify.

          The boat service to Hampton Court and Kew are only just starting and Westminster Pier to Hampton Court is 3 hours on the boat and you need at least half a day to see Hampton Court
          I’f suggest if you want to do the river service you use your Travelcard to Waterloo Station, then buy rail tickets to Hampton Court , these will qualify you for 2 for 1 entry with the 2 for 1 vouchers and get the river boat back to Westminster
          There is another river service Hampton Court to Richmond which is more frequent. Richmond is in zone 4, so if you show your Travelcards zone 1-2 they’ll sell you an extention fare for zones 3-4 of the journey

          With Kew Gardens you can make a day off it there and return on the boat or get a train from Waterloo to Kew one-way to qualify for 2 for 1 and get the boat back to westminster Pier near your hotel

          London’s museums are open every day, unlike places like Paris.
          Your arrival day is Easter Monday, a national holiday. Everything is open, but there may be road closures in the area, there is normally some event going on around Trafalgar Square on holidays.

  • Alice Lam

    Hi Bob, I will be travelling with my husband and we will be in London for 6 nights. I am therefore planning to get two 7-day Travelcards with our passport sized photos at the National Rail counter at Victoria Station in order to benefit from 241 offers. I researched more and would like to take a river cruise at least from the Tower of London pier to Westminster Pier. I saw that there are many different offers available, e.g. HOHO bus ticket offering one free cruise, RiverRedRover ticket (241) + printer voucher, or 33% off with Travelcard. I kinda feel that if I purchase a HOHO bus ticket, I will not be making much use of the Travelcard for the tube on that day (seems to be wasting the Travelcard) and so I am inclined to not purchase a HOHO ticket. I am now considering whether I should get the RiverRedRover ticket (241) or simply get two single journey tickets with our Travelcards and would love to hear your advice! Thank you, Bob!

    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      If you just want a single journey on the river I would agree that the HoHo bus option is not appropiate.
      There are 3 river operators that do the river services. For tourists the best one in terms of viewing is probably City Cruiises.

      There are a bewildering array of discounts and promotions that become available on this service trough the year.

      The current advance purchase offers on the official web site are the benchmark to beat.
      With a Travelcard you can get 33% discount on standard prices too but only for tickets boght on the day at the ticket kiosks

      Groupon seems to have a City Cruises offer also very frequently, I think there is one at the moment for the Red Rover ticket but they seem to appear very regularly bar the peak months of late June to August.

      • Alice Lam

        Hi Bob! The online offers seem to be valid until end of March only. We will be visiting London from April 1 – 6.

        • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

          Yes, offers on the river boats do not last long and come and go very frequently depending on demand.

          If you are patient new offers may appear or they may just take the view that their boats will fill up over the Easter holiday period anyway without any need for promotion .

          • Alice Lam

            Yes! I looked at the Days Out Guide page every few days to check out the 241 offers to see if there are any updates. For the Westminster Abbey for instance, the 241 voucher was only valid until 31.03.2015… and so I kept revisiting the Days Out Guide to see if something new would come up! To my surprise, I found that a new offer was made available but only until 02.04.2015. I downloaded and printed the voucher. Today I visited the Days Out Guide again and found that 241 deal is no longer available for the Abbey. I am glad that I printed the voucher earlier!

  • Walden rio

    I really like this blog post! As, i love to buy Thames Cruises Tickets and want to travel their with my friends and family.

  • Chris Kimberley

    Hi there can u take bicycles and buggies from Hampton to Kew ?



    • http://www.londontoolkit.com/ Bob

      Assuming you take South West train services to Richmond then Overground to Kew the only reason not to take a buggy is if you cannot independently carry the buggy aboard or you travel at a time when carriages are jam packed.

      For bicycles there are restrictions.
      For South West Trains, see:

      For the Overground compact folding bikes are accepted on all London Overground trains at
      all times. Restrictions for non-folding bikes apply Mondays to Fridays
      (except public holidays) between 07:00-10:00 or 16:00-19:00

  • Matt

    Can you give me the sailing times from Hampton Court to Kew

  • Jo Drake

    We want to take an open-top boat (but also with an inside part in case it rains!) tomorrow Wednesday August 14 2013 from Kew to Hampton Court

    Also on Wednesday August 14 2013 from Hampton Court to Kew

    What are the times

    Where do you pick up the boat in Kew

    Do you buy the tickets on the day—–if so, do you need to be there 30 minutes before leaving?

    This is URGENT

    • Bob

      Full details about the Hampton Court boat is on their web site (link below)
      I think it covers most of your questions.

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