Kingston has almost three miles of pleasant riverside location as well as various boat hire operators. From here you can cruise towards Westminster Pier, in the alternate direction towards Hampton or go on a circular cruise between Richmond and Teddington Lock, courtesy of Turk Launches, Parr Boat Hire, River Thames Boat Project or Westminster Passenger Services. Most services only operate throughout spring and summer (although Turks has a winter timetable), and some offer vessels for private hire should you want to celebrate your birthday on the Thames. Kingston has some of the most picturesque riverside scenery, and once you alight there are numerous pubs and gardens ideal for picnicking, feeding the ducks and relaxing. Alternatively head to Eel Pie Island, a former jazz haunt and now home to Pete Townshend’s publishing company, the Lightning Seeds’ recording studio and Twickenham Rowing Club. The charity-run River Thames Boat Project has cruises with facilities for disabled people and many of its boats serve as “floating classrooms”.