Waterways Welcome Centre

Welcome aboard the William James, Waterways Welcome Centre for the River Avon and surrounding areas. The boat is open through the summer months and provides information for tourists, locals and boaters such as leaflets, tourist information, chandlery, gifts and souvenirs. 

The William James is a Welcome Centre for Avon Navigation Trust where boaters can use the on-board iPad to purchase short term licences for the River Avon navigation if unable to purchase before arrival. 

Welcome Centre – Open from 16th March 2024 Wednesdays to Sundays 9am to 5pm plus Bank Holiday Mondays. Closed for the Winter from November until March. 

The Welcome Centre’s usual base is next to the Avon Lock in Tewkesbury, and she can also be seen mobile at River Festivals and events along the river. 

To get in touch with an enquiry or request, please call 0300 111 2010


William James is the 3rd name given to this boat, initially called Ragdoll II and has since been changed from Millennium Swiftsure to William James. William James was a railway promoter in his time for Stratford areas. Born in Henley-in-Arden on 13th June 1771 – 10th March 1837, he spent his life dedicated to the railway system and also shared his fathers interest with the Inland Waterways, of which he helped with navigation on the river for his transportation of coal. He held shares in the Upper Avon Navigation Company.