Week long breaks on the River Thames & Oxford Canal

Stan Cullimore enjoys a Thames boating holiday

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 afloat.

From our Oxford base you can 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.

Aynho and back (44 miles, 26 locks, 23 hours)

Cruise along the River Thames towards Oxford 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.  Next it’s Upper Heyford, with its Barley Mow pub and thatched house.  You’ll then cruise through the village of Somerton before reaching Aynho Wharf and the Great Western Arms.

Banbury and back (57 miles, 34 locks, 29 hours total)

Continue on through the Oxfordshire countryside from Anyho to the historic market town of Banbury.  Moor up to explore the town, including Tooley’s boatyard, one of the oldest working dry docks on the canal network.  And the Banbury Cross, erected in 1859 to celebrate the wedding of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter to Prince Frederick of Prussia.

Henley and back (109 miles, 38 locks, 42 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 pub. 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.

Continue heading east along the River Thames from Abingdon, 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.

Next you’ll reach Goring with a heritage trail to follow and a choice of places to eat, including Pierreponts café and Masooms Tandoori Restaurant.  Continue on past Beale Park Wildlife Park to Pangbourne with its riverside Swan pub.  After passing through Mapleduram, you’ll reach Reading, with its Oracle shopping centre and Reading Museum, home to half a million objects, crossing archaeology, art, natural history, social history and world cultures, including Britain’s Bayeux Tapestry.

Next you’ll reach the village of Sonning with its riverside Coppa Club and impressive St Andrew’s Church and historic Bull Inn next door. Soon after you’ll arrive in Henley-on-Thames, with its riverside River & Rowing Museum and excellent choice of independent shops, restaurants and cafes, including the Shellfish Cow Restaurant.

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

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

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Over 55 years providing unique canal boat holidays in England and Wales.
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Canal boat holiday routes for novices & experienced boaters.
Flexible holiday booking, no hidden costs.
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Great days out on the water.
Luxury canal boat hire and Thames boating holidays.

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