Short breaks on the River Thames & Oxford Canal

Canal boat holidays on the River Thames

From the majesty of the River Thames and its beautiful valley dotted with historic market towns, to the peaceful meandering of the Oxford Canal, our Oxford boat yard offers the chance to explore some of England’s finest scenery.

Meander west along the River Thames to Lechlade in the Cotswolds, or east to the dreaming spires of Oxford and the riverside meadows of Abingdon and beyond.

Weekend/3-night breaks from Oxford

Abingdon and back (32 miles, 14 locks, 13 hours)

Head towards Oxford passing Wytham Great Wood before reaching King’s Lock. Next you’ll reach Godstow, where you’ll see the ruins of Godstow Priory next to the lock.  You can moor up here and walk over to The Trout Inn, made famous by Inspector Morse.  On reaching Oxford, you can moor close to Osney Bridge or Isis Lock close to the city centre. This world famous city offers so many places to visit, including the Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Library, Carfax Tower, Natural History Museum and Oxford Castle.  Continue on along the River Thames past woods and meadows before reaching Abingdon Lock. Soon after the lock, you’ll reach moorings alongside meadowlands and close to the riverside Nag’s Head publ. The historic market town of Abingdon has historic sites to explore, including the Abbey Gardens and St Helen’s Church and plenty of places to eat.

Midweek/4-night breaks from Oxford 

Lechlade in the Cotswolds and back (44 miles, 14 locks, 16.5 hours)

Head west along the Thames, passing through Pinkhill Lock and then the Ferryman Inn at Hythe. After Northmoor Lock, you’ll soon reach the canalside Maybush pub at Newbridge.  Continue winding through the Oxfordshire countryside passing through Shifford Lock and then the Trout riverside pub at Tadpole Bridge. After that it’s Rushey Lock, then Radcot Lock and the 13th century stone Radcot Bridge, site of the medieval Battle of Radcot Bridge in 1387.  Next it’s Grafton Lock and soon after you’ll pass Kelmscott Manor, in the Cotswold village of Kelmscott, once the home of William Morris.  The Kelsmcott village pub is the Plough Inn.  Soon after St John’s Lock there are places to moor up and explore the historic Cotswold market town of Lechlade, the highest point where the River Thames is navigable.  Places to eat in Lechlade include The Riverside and The Swan Inn.

Wallingford and back (58 miles, 22 locks, 22 hours total)

Continue heading east along the River Thames from Abingdon (see weekend route above), to the historic town Wallingford. Agatha Christie lived there and many episodes of Midsomer Murders have been filmed there. The town also has plenty of pubs, cafés and restaurants, including The Old Post Office and Shellfish Cow restaurants.  Places to visit include the Wallingford Museum, Wallingford Castle Gardens and there’s a Midsomer Murder Trail to follow.

Lower Heyford and back (29 miles, 18 locks, 16 hours)

Cruise along the River Thames towards and then transfer onto the scenic South Oxford Canal at Duke’s Cut.  We can arrange for your licence from the Canal & River Trust needed to cruise on the Oxford Canal.  Your journey will take you through the outskirts of Oxford to the canal village of Thrupp, with its canalside Boat Inn and Jolly Boatman pubs.  Next you’ll wending your way through the picturesque Cherwell Valley, passing Enslow.  Moor up soon after Pigeon’s Lock if you’d like to eat at the Dashwood Arms gastro pub, a short walk away in the village of Kirtlington.  Next you’ll go through a deeply wooded section of the canal before reaching Lower Heyford.  The village is home to the Bell Inn pub and Forge House Bakery and it’s a half-mile walk away from Rousham House and Gardens.

To check availability and book click here or call us on 0117 463 3419.

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Be Inspired

We offer a range of different types of holidays such as City Breaks, Relaxation Cruises and Popular Destinations

City Breaks
Rural retreats
Popular places

So why choose Anglo Welsh?

Over 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays in England and Wales.
Modern and spacious narrowboat and wide beam barge hire – from 2 to 12 berths.
Wide choice of narrowboat hire locations and canal boat holiday destinations.
Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
Family friendly and pet friendly holidays.
Great days out on the water.
Luxury canal boat hire and Thames boating holidays.

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