British Rowing Tours

The origins of the tour go back to a visit to a rowing event in Spain by Greg Jones (Weybridge) and Pat Sherwin (Southsea). On their return they discussed the idea of a tour with Alan Meegan of the ARA.  He was very supportive and helped to co-ordinate the organisation of the first tour from Wallingford to Weybridge in 1994.Geraldine Ellis, Alan’s secretary, booked the accommodation, which moved each day to where the boats were overnight.  June Lewendon (Southsea) transported the luggage.  There were only 8 residential participants, plus some others who joined in the rowing.

By the second tour – Worcester to Evesham – word had spread and 36 rowers took part.  The 1999 tour from Stourport to Gloucester was the first to use coaches to transfer rowers from accommodation to launch locations.

The early tours, which were organised by Pat Sherwin and Pip Lewendon, alternated between the Thames and the Severn/Avon.  The first tour to go further afield was in 2004 on the Norfolk Broads, organised by John and Caroline Turnbull, who have organised most of the subsequent tours. tjhough some other tour organisers have come forward - Stef Roseblade (St Neots) in 2006, and Peter Barker (Upton on Severn) in 2009 and 2014.  As more and more clubs acquired suitable boats, the tour has grown – 54 participants in 2007, 70 in 2009, and over 80 in recent years. 

The tour can be said to have achieved its aims – to encourage more rowers to think beyond competition and to open up new waterways for touring rowing.  Long may it continue!

Tour No Year Waterway Route
23 2016 Aire & Calder / New Junction / River Don Leeds to Mexborough
22 2015 Great Ouse St Neots to Denver
21 2014 River Severn / Sharpness Canal Worcester to Purton
20 2013 Loch Lomond / Forth & Clyde Canal Loch Lomond, Glasgow to Falkirk
19 2012 Thames Henley to Teddington
18 2011 Lancaster Canal Preston to Tewitfield
17 2010 River Trent / Fossdyke Navigation Nottingham to Lincoln
16 2009 Lake District Coniston and Winderemere
15 2008 Severn Stourport to Gloucester
14 2007 Thames Bablock Hythe to Henley
13 2006 Great Ouse Bedford to Ely
12 2005 Ripon Canal / River Ouse Ripon to Cawood
11 2004 Norfolk Broads Beccles to Norwich
10 2003 Thames Lechlade to Radley
9 2002 Avon Stratford to Tewskesbury
8 2001 Thames Reading to Walton on Thames
7 2000 Thames Bablock Hythe to Pangbourne
6 1999 Severn Stourport to Gloucester
5 1998 Thames Henley to Hammersmith
4 1997 Avon Stratford to Tewkesbury
3 1996 Thames Lechlade to Wallingford
2 1995 Severn / Avon Worcester to Evesham
1 1994 Thames Wallingford to Weybridge