Bristol Fashion is temporarily moored up at Tim Banford’s Marina until some pressing problems (electrics, water pumps, batteries, leaks) are fixed. I’m living opposite Tagg’s Island, ten minutes from Hampton Court in the middle of the Thames, which has a fascinating community of houseboats. The Tagg’s Island website has a virtual reality tour of the island (although it really can’t beat a tour by boat) and some interesting links to its residents’ websites; it’s also advertising bed and breakfast and several houseboats are available for sale and rent. This one’s still being built:
I’ve thought about buying a houseboat before, when I saw one near Uxbridge advertised in an estate agent’s window for about £70,000. It was lovely inside and out, was neatly sandwiched between a river and the canal, had a garden and a shed and a rowing boat… but you can’t get a normal mortgage on a houseboat and it’s not easy to get a marine mortgage either. At the time I just couldn’t afford it.
In summer yes it’s fantastic living on a boat, especially on a big river like the Thames, but I’m not sure I fancy another winter afloat. The though of living in a comfy houseboat with 24 hour electricity, proper plumbing and broadband, but still on the water, is an attractive one.