I went on a passenger-driven boat and had a riverside picnic with views of Hampton Court and Kingston from the river.

I was recently invited with my family to try out a GoBoat at one of their south London locations and, despite being a passenger-driven boat, it was one of the most relaxed boat journeys I’ve had.

What you need to know

The boats seat up to eight people, making it a great family day out or trip with friends if you fancy doing something a little different.

There are several locations in London to choose from, including Canary Wharf, Kingston, Paddington and Thames Ditton.

The boat is passenger-driven, meaning that one of the group will have to volunteer themselves to drive the boat.

You’ll receive a short lesson from a staff member on how to steer it and will be given a map of the best route to take depending on your location.

The boat is pretty simple to steer, even I had a try and the boat travels at a leisurely speed, so you’ll be able to steer it with relative ease.

There’s also a picnic table on board if you want to bring a picnic, like we did, to enjoy whilst you are onboard the boat.

You can opt for an hour, two-hour or three-hour slot depending on how much time you’d like to have on the boat.

An hour slot costs between £85 - £95, a two-hour slot between £125 - £135 and a three-hour slot costs between £165 - £175.

Alcohol is allowed onboard, but you are limited, as Go Boat only permits pre-mixed alcohol, beer, cider, wine and bubbles at no more than 15 percent.

So you can bring a bottle of something special on board to toast a special occasion like a birthday, but they do advise that the captain stay sober.

Dogs are also welcome on board, we brought ours on board and she enjoyed a day on the river.

Although, a word of advice, do be sure to make sure your dog is secure and has a  harness on espeicially if they get excited by water.

Surrey Comet: Go Boats also welcome dogs on board Go Boats also welcome dogs on board (Image: Emily Davison)

The boat also provides life jackets on board and contact details of a GoBoat staff member if you get stuck.

The boat ride

We sailed from their Thames Ditton location, which is located on the river front in Summer Road, a short walk from Thames Ditton station.

On the day the weather turned out in our favour and, although it was somewhat cloudy to start with, we were not hit with rain on our trip.

Although if you are caught in the rain, GoBoat do offer some boats with canopy coverings and also have umbrellas on board to keep you dry.

We were given a map which gave us a guide of where to sail, starting with a route upriver towards Hampton Court Palace, where we got simply fantastic views of the palace from the riverside.

Surrey Comet: You can take the boat for a one, two or three hour trip tYou can take the boat for a one, two or three hour trip t (Image: Emily Davison)

We then headed back towards Thames Ditton Island and all its quaint riverside houses and river boats, before heading down-river towards Kingston Riverside and Kingston Railway Bridge.

The trip to Kingston takes around 45 minutes each way and the route there is a very pleasant one, where you’ll pass under bridges and riverside walks.

We also took a picnic onboard with us to enjoy whilst we admired the views.

We spotted lots of river wildlife on our journey, including swans, ducks and a stray seagull that took a particular interest in our picnic spread.

Surrey Comet: You can take a 45-minute trip to see views of Kingston Railway BridgeYou can take a 45-minute trip to see views of Kingston Railway Bridge (Image: Emily Davison)

There are lots of very pretty places to take photos on your journey, including Hampton Court and Thames Ditton Island.

If you are looking for a relaxing, fun day out with family and friends then a Go Boat trip is something you should try this summer.

It’s a great way to see the city from the river and to explore at your own pace, and it makes for a memorable day out.