Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service

Growing up in London and without a family car, meant routinely travelling by bus.  We were forever jumping on the backend of a Routemaster to get to school, to visit family, to shop and for family days out.  By the time I was ten, Dad had bought a car and so travelling by bus became infrequent.  Then, at seventeen, I passed my driving test and took to the roads myself.  Since then, I could probably count on two hands, how many times I have travelled by bus.

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

More recently, getting around by car seems to be getting increasingly stressful.  The roads are so much busier, the cost of fuel and general upkeep of a car is just stupid, and let’s not forget the parking issues.  As a parent of two toddlers, parking can be an absolute nightmare.  Parking problems have been known to put me off travelling to certain areas.

The new River Rapids Bus service

Recently, The Go-Ahead Group got in contact with us, to introduce us to their new River Rapids Bus routes operated by Thames Travel.  The new bus routes, X38, X39 and X40, offer comfortable, family friendly travel between Oxford – Wallingford – Henley and Reading.

The River Rapids bus service operates a mixture of newly refurbished and spacious double-deck and single-deck buses.  Each offering free 4G Wi-Fi and contactless payment systems on board.  Tickets can be bought as singles, returns, unlimited travel in a day, multi-trip or season tickets.

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

The routes offer terrific trips along the Thames and easy access to some great attractions between Oxford and Reading.  Fantastic shopping locations including the new Westgate Centre in Oxford and Oracle Shopping Centre in Reading.  Tourist attractions such as Oxford Castle, Cholsey & Wallingford Railway and Henley’s River & Rowing Museum.  Boat trips, riverside walks, tours and trails can all be enjoyed along the route too.

Ticket prices, route timetables and details of fun things-to-do along the new River Rapids Bus route are available on the Thames Travel Website.

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Travelling the River Rapids Bus Service

Yesterday, we travelled between Oxford and Wallingford using the new bus service.  We boarded a X40 single-deck bus and purchased a family ticket.  This offers one days unlimited travel for up to 2 adults and up to 3 children for just £15 (under 5s go free!).

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

The heating on the bus was most welcome, as it was a very cold day.  The bus was clean and spacious, with plenty of room for wheelchair users, pushchairs, and luggage.

It was the first time that the boys had been on a bus, and so the journey was a little adventure in itself.  It was lovely to take some timeout from driving, as I could focus on the boys and enjoy the pretty views along the way.  It’s surprising how much more you get to see when you aren’t sat behind the wheel.

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

We enjoyed a few hours in Wallingford, where we stopped for lunch, did a little shopping and spent some time in the park.  The boys were getting a little sleepy so we decided to get the return bus back to Oxford.  Thankfully, the bus arrived as indicated on the timetable, so we didn’t have to wait.

I have to admit, taking the bus made a very nice change.  Plus, travelling by bus certainly seemed to make things easier.  I like the idea of visiting Henley before Christmas and after yesterdays experience, will definitely leave the car at home!

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

Thames Travel Family Bumper Competiton

To celebrate the launch of the new and improved River Rapids bus service, Thames Travel have got prizes galore to give away, thanks to their official partners along the route.  Up for grabs is unlimited bus travel on the new bus service for 3 days.  Plus, a family trip on the Santa Special train from Cholsey & Wallingford Railway, tickets to Harry’s Highlights tour, a visit to Henley’s River & Rowing Museum and loads more!  You can enter the competition here.

The River Rapids Bus service can be found on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Follow @RiverRapidsBus or use hashtag #RiverRapidsBus to keep up-to-date with the service.

Lisa x

Adventure on the new River Rapids Bus Service - The Love of a Captain Blog

*This post is in collaboration with The Go-Ahead Group.

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Ray
    November 8, 2017 at 9:28 pm

    I haven’t traveled on a bus for years! It does seem quite nice to have a day out and then just jump on the bus without having to worry about anything else. Just sit back and relax!

  • Reply
    Ami
    November 7, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Wow!!! Buses have come a long way since my days of getting the bus to college. I love how happy and excited your boys are to be on a bus 🙂

  • Reply
    Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels
    November 7, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    We never travel by bus locally, but do when visiting cities such as London or Bristol. It is fun – once in a while! Kaz

  • Reply
    fashionandstylepolice
    November 7, 2017 at 9:40 am

    The bus looks great. Good to know it is spacious for buggies and all.

  • Reply
    Ana De- Jesus
    November 7, 2017 at 1:17 am

    It is great that they have introduced a new bus service and that you had a wonderful time! It sounds like Wallingford is a wonderful place to spend your afternoon x

  • Reply
    Lisa
    November 6, 2017 at 8:36 pm

    Sounds like a great service. Lovely pictures of everyone enjoying their journey.

  • Reply
    Emma
    November 6, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    My two love using public transport, although we don’t use it regularly where are because it is so infrequent. I think it’s great that you are so connected where you are.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    November 6, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I remember when I took my kids on their first bus ride. They loved it! There is something about travelling via bus, train, or plane that really excites kids. I like the idea of this bus. When I get to London someday, I will have to use them to get around:)

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