Bomb disposal experts were called this week after a dummy wearing a balaclava was spotted on a boat on the Thames with a fake missile launcher on its roof.
A spooked passerby called police after spotting the creepy-looking dummy and launcher on the barge in Reading.
According to the Metro, a police spokesman said: "Thames Valley Police received a report from a member of the public about a suspected weapon on a canal boat in Caversham last night.
"Officers attended and conducted a search of the area, and the boat was located. The reported weapon was found to be purely ornamental.
"Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) were also informed and are satisfied it was not a live device."
The statement continued: "The canal boat was moored near a children's play area in Christchurch Meadows, where the River Thames flows through Reading.
"After approaching the boat, police and the bomb disposal unit inspected the missile and confirmed the deadly-looking weapon was a dummy."
The prank did not go down well with local residents. Speaking to the Daily Mail, one local said: "What a stupid thing to put on top of a boat in a town centre.
"Goodness knows what possessed the boat owner - didn't they realise the panic it would spread?
"We're hoping the police take the time to have a word with them and ask them to remove it.
"It's not funny at all in this day and age, with all the horrible things involving terrorists."
Britain's al-fresco experiences for Spring
Bomb squad called after fake missile launcher spotted on Thames barge
An exciting and innovative art exhibition is open for lovers of the great outdoors visiting Anglesey this spring. The 2.5m canvas paintings of four different Anglesey landscapes were painted on location by renowned landscape artist Anthony Garratt and will be left out in the elements over the spring for all to enjoy. Four on Anglesey was commissioned by Menai Holiday Cottages and the unique, outdoor exhibition is only the second of its kind. Menai Holiday Cottages offers cottages for rent in coastal locations near the paintings.
The arrival of spring and warmer days means the opening of the Brudenell Hotel stylish sea-facing terrace from the beginning of April. Just a stone’s throw from the wide shingle beach, the terrace is the perfect place to sit, relax and watch the ever-changing sea as it glistens in the spring sunshine. The new season brings a fresh abundance of fish and seafood to the Suffolk shores and diners can look forward to delicious crayfish, prime gurnard and skate as well as foraged vegetation such as sea purslane.
In Argyll and Perthshire, spring lovers can enjoy the exclusive experience of their own Picnic Butler by a loch. Each location offered by Forest Holidays is nestled in the natural luxury of breathtaking Forestry Commission land, surrounded by dramatic mountains. The Picnic Butler will take you to the extra special place to experience the picnic of local produce. Also an experienced forest ranger, the Picnic Butler will offer guidance on foraging, making fires, spotting wildlife and outdoor survival. Guests at the two locations can choose from a range of Picnic Butler experiences tailored towards couples or families. The picnic hampers will feature produce from local suppliers, including Scottish smoked salmon and Caboc cream cheese bagels, Scottish crisps, Arran cheese and Arran oat cakes, Tunnocks tea cakes, Scottish spring water and sparkling wine.
This spring, movie-buff Brits can grab a beanbag, popcorn and a cocktail and settle in for a night of entertainment with screenings of cult-classics, indie flicks, and latest award-winning films at Cult Screens' outdoor cinemas in Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Greater London. The spring programme gives options for all tastes, including Eddie Redmayne's Oscar-winning performance in Theory of Everything at Caversham in May.
In the Cotswolds, these dome-shaped structures serve as spacious bedrooms, each with gorgeous views of their peaceful location just outside Chipping Norton. Inside Buttercombe Gridshells' domes, there are quilted walls, curtains, dimmable LED lighting and king size beds to take camping to a totally new level. A few steps away, an open plan Cotswold stone barn is your spacious inside/outside dining with open fire places. Behind the barn is a fitted kitchen with an oven, hob and fridge, as well as a wet room with a hot shower for families to enjoy nature without losing touch of life's little luxuries.
Sopwell House's tranquil spa offers an array of treatments, from hot stone massages to salt and oil scrubs. The best part about visiting when the weather is nice is taking time out after your treatment to relax in the spa garden. The elegant space features sun loungers, a seating space and refreshments for spa guests wanting to take their day of indulgence outdoors.
Quirky boutique hotel Oddfellows, in the heart of Chester, has a secret garden where guests can dine and drink alfresco. The hotel boasts a huge amount of space outdoors which you can take advantage of whatever the weather as there are electric canopies, fires and heated booths. Spring, however, is the best time, when the garden comes alive as resident florists Wilds get really creative. At the city centre hotel, you will love dining in the Garden and drinking in the Secret Garden.
With unrivalled, stunning views across the City and Tower of London, this rooftop bar is one of the capital’s best kept secrets. It's the perfect place to enjoy longer spring days and watch the sun go down with a cocktail, perched on the 12th floor of DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton. Skylounge boasts two outdoor roof terraces on either side of the indoor bar that have two completely different themes. The Peroni Bar serves a selection of refreshing Italian-style beverages all made with Peroni and Nantucket Beach Club, which opens on 1 May, is a new summer residency offering a taste of East coast island living, complete with its very own lighthouse and swing-bench to kick back and relax in.
The Goring's garden is the largest privately-owned hotel garden in central London and amazingly, measures in at just a few feet larger than Centre Court at Wimbledon. This spring, relax on the Veranda looking over the garden and enjoy the iconic afternoon tea. There is a choice of over 21 teas including the hotel’s own blend of Assam and second flush Darjeeling to accompany the delectable finger sandwiches, home-made buttery scones, raspberry and pistachio choux, and white chocolate mousse and strawberry jam on a crumble base.
Sit back and relax under the stars with a film this spring in Kew Garden’s sprawling country estate, Wakehurst. Set in 465 acres of country estate, the attraction boasts ornamental gardens, temperate woodlands, a nature reserve and an Elizabethan mansion. The Spring/Summer movie season launches at 10am on 9 April.
The four AA star Hell Bay Hotel is celebrating the start of warm weather with a pop-up Crab Shack, a rustic outdoor restaurant eatery ran from May in a former barn transformed to hold four-weekly claw-cracking feasts. The rustic banquet in Bryher, popular with islanders and visitors alike, will offer crab, mussels and scallops fresh from the surrounding waters. Hearty chunks of fresh bread, fries and salad will be served to make up the feast. Aprons, shell-cracking tools, shelling demonstrations and making friends at the communal tables are all part of the experience.
Head to the heart of London's Belgravia this spring to enjoy the menu at Pont St on the secret terrace at Belgraves. The restaurant offers the ultimate all-day dining experience, with spring dishes including tempura oysters, burrata with Parma ham and caramelised fig, homemade goats cheese ravioli with wild garlic pesto and the all-important Belgraves bespoke burger with truffle mayonnaise.
Warwick Castle’s medieval-style glamping experience for families returns this May, with 35 bell tents available through the holidays in a shaded glade. Communal Pamper Tents offer mobile phone charging points, power points, mirrors, hairdryers and a partitioned dressing area, while communal Games Tents provide a selection of modern and classic family games. The Glampsite is five minutes' walk from the castle and is located in a quiet woodland glade close to the River Avon, within walking distance of Warwick town centre with its restaurants, traditional pubs and diverse shops.
From May, you can watch drama, musicals and opera at the Minack Theatre, the world famous open-air theatre in the most dramatic of settings. The theatre is carved into granite cliffs and set in glorious gardens with panoramic views of Porthcurno Bay. Make the most of that extra hour of daylight watching The Seagull, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and many more in this modern-day Roman amphitheatre.
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Britain's best family holiday destinations
Bomb squad called after fake missile launcher spotted on Thames barge
Home to Hadrian's Wall and Harry Potter's Alnwick Castle, England's northernmost county boasts dramatic scenery and a spectacular coastline for visitors to enjoy.
Found just off the south coast of the UK and only two hours from London, the beautiful scenery of the Isle of Wight is the perfect holiday destination all year round.
With miles of stunning coastline stretching into the North Sea, North Norfolk has a host of traditional seaside resorts and stunning beaches.
Yorkshire is not only home to moors, dales and national parks, but also a breathtaking coastline that will appeal to people of all ages.
Aviemore, in the Cairngorms national park, is a year round destination with snow in the winter and mountain biking, walking and climbing in the summer.
Pembrokeshire, West Wales, has become a haven for swimmers, wildlife watchers and outdoor enthusiasts thanks to its amazing coastal scenery and range of activities.
The coastal county boasts old fashioned seaside resorts and expansive beaches so there will be something for the whole family to enjoy.
Cornwall's coastline is famous for its beautiful beaches and range of outdoor activities such as surfing, swimming and rock pooling.
Not only does Devon have a host of stunning beaches but it also plays host to attractive cities such as Plymouth and Exeter.
Home to ranging hills and rolling countryside, the Lake District is known for its hill walking, climbing and wide range outdoor pursuits.