Thursday, 22 April 2010

The Upper Thames – the return journey…

On Tuesday morning we left Lechlade on our return journey

SDC10637 Old Father Thames at St John’s Lock

SDC10638 Model cottage and water mill at St John’s Lock

As we were travelling downstream, we made good time and moored in the same place at Newbridge that we moored on our outward journey.  This time we tried the other pub for our evening meal, the Rose Revived.

Yesterday morning we set off again, in bright sunshine but with a strong, very cold wind, our goal for the day being the moorings at Kings Lock, just west of Oxford.  On the way, just before we reached Pinkhill Lock, Serenity got stuck on a sandbar!  So, we returned the favour and spent some time attempting to pull her off.  We managed it in the end, hampered by the wind and the strong flow which kept pushing us the way we didn’t want to go!

SDC10642 Serenity, well and truly stuck

SDC10645We later had a visitor when we stopped at Oxford Cruisers for fuel

There were no moorings available at Kings Lock, so we continued to Godstow Lock – nothing there either, so we were forced to carry on to Osney Bridge, passing the beautiful open spaces of Port Meadow.

SDC10647 Nunnery ruins at Godstow Lock

SDC10648 Port Meadow

As we got further into Oxford, it became clear that the city does not welcome it’s visitors that arrive via the river.  The area is very shabby and run down, with no mooring provision at all – not that we would want to moor in an area like that anyway.  Not at all what we expected of the Thames!  The canal doesn’t fare any better either, apparently.  Perhaps the council are so high-minded that they only concern themselves with promoting the more historic buildings in the town for tourists to ogle at – most of which claim some connection to the ‘Harry Potter’ films!  How sad that they feel they have to attract tourists with something so mundane! 

We moored between Osney Bridge and the lock, not an easy task as the flow is tremendous here, being forced between the concrete edge, and the high walls of an old factory – the river here is about the same width as the average canal.

SDC10649 The entrance to Sheepdip Channel, and the Oxford canal

Serenity’s crew went sightseeing in the city this morning, but I couldn’t be bothered with all that traffic and noise, so I took Cassie for a long walk along the Thames Path instead.  We will stay here tonight and head for Abingdon tomorrow, where the welcome for water-borne visitors is said to be entirely different.


  1. You've compounded Serenity's embarasment by including the green marker in the photo, proving they were on the wrong side of it! I bet they won't forget which side to go in future.

  2. Adam

    Yes, shame that, not that we rubbed it in or anything!!!!!!


  3. No excuses, I hold my hands up. Don't know why I panicked, I sometimes have these dizzy mare moments.


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