Frequent Questions

Please find below answers to our most frequently asked questions.
Can't find the answer you're looking for? Please don't hesitate to contact us.

Cliveden Estate is a National Trust property. Entry is free for National Trust members, if you are not currently a member of National Trust an entry fee is payable upon arrival. You can purchase entry tickets as part of our online booking process to speed up entry when you arrive.

Cliveden opens at 9:30 with last entry for boating at 16:30 - please ensure you arrive on site before the gates close! Cliveden Estate closes at 17:30

If you have already booked and are looking for directions to the river please click here for a map.

We are lucky enough to operate from the beautifully restored boathouse at Cliveden Estate. To find us please use postcode SL1 8NS and park in the main car park on site at the top of the estate. The boathouse is a 20-30 minute walk from the car park, just follow the signage to the river.

If you or any member of your party requires assistance getting to the boathouse please speak to the National Trust welcome team upon arrival at the estate. They will then request a space. Please be aware a minimum of 30 minutes notice is required and capacity is currently limited. The shuttle service runs 10:00 - 16:30, please note dogs are unfortunately not allowed in the shuttle bus.

As Cliveden Estate is a National Trust property entry fees are applicable if you are not already a National Trust member. Tickets can be booked through Boating at Cliveden as part of the online booking process.

To plan the rest of your day at Cliveden please see the National Trust Cliveden website.

For more information on becoming a National Trust member please visit the National Trust website.

Where possible we have carefully selected our boats to be suitable in all weathers - we do operate in England after all!

The skippered cruises and self drive launches have full length canopies to keep you covered and dry in the event of a shower.
Our unpowered boats by their nature are uncovered - we still operate in light rain and recommend you bring suitable clothing. In the event of heavy weather or if it is not deemed safe for you to go out we will of course aim to rebook or offer a refund.

Please note all our operations are subject to river and weather conditions - if we are forced to cancel your booking on safety grounds we will rebook or fully refund your trip.

Our modern self drive fleet have been specially selected to be as simple and safe to operate as possible. No previous experience or licence is required, we'll give you a full briefing on how the boat works and the safety equipment onboard before you go.

All boats must have a designated skipper over the age of 21 who will be responsible for the boat and passengers while you are out. A security deposit in the form of card details will be required and a waiver agreed to at the time of booking to ensure that you are fully insured.

We have a full range of buoyancy aids available on site. These are compulsory for all guests on canoes as well as for children aged 12 or under and non-swimmers on all other boats.

Suitably sized buoyancy aids will be provided for all other passengers upon request.

Please note it is the parents responsibility to ensure that buoyancy aids are worn by children for the full duration of your trip.

We welcome dogs aboard most our self drive boats as long as the dog is happy! Please ensure they are clean when boarding as any additional cleaning required would be chargeable from your deposit.

Due to the mixed groups of guests carried aboard our Skippered Launches we cannot guarantee access for dogs - if a fellow passenger is allergic or not comfortable with dogs they will unfortunately be unable to board. If you do not have someone you can leave the dog with in this case we recommend booking a self drive boat to avoid disappointment.

Unfortunately dogs are not allowed on the shuttle bus.

Due to the exposed mechanics unfortunately the Pedal Powered boat is not suitable for dogs.

Dogs are not permitted aboard Liddesdale at any time.

Comfortable outdoor clothing is recommended for all vessels.

The river is an exposed environment and it can often feel cooler than other areas on any given day - it is advisable to bring an extra layer or two to stay warm, particularly if there is a breeze.

If you are hiring one of our canadian canoes we recommend packing a complete change of clothes just in case. This can be stored for you in The Boathouse while you are out.

Any payment received will be refunded providing 2 weeks written notice of cancellation be given by the Customer.

The Customer will be liable for any balance of the Boat Hire and the cost of any goods or services reserved on the Customers behalf should cancellation, for any reason whatsoever, take place during the 2 weeks prior to the date reserved unless the vessel and all services reserved are re-booked.

In the event that it is necessary for The Company to cancel the booking a full refund or rebooking will be given.

In the near future we would love to offer a wheelchair accessible boat though some infrastructure improvements are needed before we are able to do so.

At present we are able to offer the following advice, if you have any further queries please do contact us and we'll be happy to help.

  • Skippered cruises require 3 or 4 steps to be made down in to the boat. Boating at Cliveden staff will be happy to assist those requiring a little support.
  • Self drive electric launches require two (large) steps down in to the boat which will lean a little as weight is applied.
  • Rowing boats, Canadian canoes and the Pedal Boat all require good mobility to be able to safely board as the smaller size means they move more as weight is applied. These boats would not be recommended for those with limited mobility.
  • Liddesdale requires good mobility as well as the ability to stand from a very low seated position.
New for 2024: The National Trust shuttle bus is now fully accessible following investment in a new vehicle.

The boathouse is a lovely 20-30 minute walk from the car park, just follow National Trust signage to the river. There are a total of 172 steps on the recommended route, for those who prefer a more gradual descent an alternative route is available via Spring Drive. We recommend using the toilet facilities in the Gas Yard before making your way down to The Boathouse.

For the less mobile there is a free fully accessible shuttle bus available from outside the walled garden to the Boathouse. This service runs on a first come, first served basis for boat ticket holders only. The bus is only available 10:00 - 16:30 and should be requested in the National Trust Information Centre upon your arrival at the estate, at least 30 minutes in advance.
Please note the shuttle bus is currently running with limited capacity, help us to help those who need it most by walking if you are able.