Runnymede by boat: Visit the riverside site of the sealing of the Magna Carta
This summer is the ideal time to visit historic Runnymede on the River Thames by boat, with 2015 being the year the world celebrates the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.
On 15 June 800 years ago, King John met with a group of barons on this small meadow beside the Thames. This is the spot where he sealed the Magna Carta, seen by many as the symbolic first step toward modern democracy. If you are cruising along the River Thames you can moor close to the Magna Carta Memorial which is on National Trust land. Details of mooring prices are here: http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/runnymede/prices/
Be aware that on Monday 15th June this year, mooring around the Magna Carta Memorial is suspended as an official ceremony - Magna Carta Foundation of Liberty – will be taking place. This will commemorate the 800th anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta and is planned to take place on Runnymede Meadows, organised by Surrey County Council and the National Trust.
What is there to see at Runnymede?
Every year Runnymede is visited by thousands of people from all over the world. They come to see three memorials which represent the ongoing struggle for liberty.
Magna Carta Memorial, built by the American Bar Association, is a domed classical temple containing a pillar of English granite on which is inscribed: 'To commemorate Magna Carta, symbol of Freedom Under Law.'
Very close by is the John F Kennedy Memorial which stands in its own acre of land, given by the people of Britain to the USA, honouring the memory of the assassinated President.
A short walk up on Cooper's Hill, you will find the Commonwealth Air Forces Memorial which was unveiled by The Queen in 1953. It was built to commemorate the men and women of the Commonwealth Air Forces killed in World War II, who have no known grave.
Boating holidays on the Thames
Today Runnymede is an ideal place to relax in lush green space beside the river, or to pause and reflect on the history of the struggle for freedom. If you are enjoying a boating holiday on the Thames you can visit many other points of interest including Henley, Cliveden, Eton, Windsor and Abingdon.
“At many spots along the River Thames you will find ideal moorings where you can tie up and enjoy a picnic,” says Chris Clark, proprietor of Kris Cruisers, a Thames-based holiday boat hire company. “Or perhaps you may prefer to visit one of the fantastic riverside restaurants and pubs this area has to offer.”
The British Marine Federation recently developed a special App which gives access to a wealth of information about exploring the Thames by boat.
Find out more here:
Article: Alison Clements