Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Friday, 25 May 2012

Highlights of the Oxford Canal

It's not so long since we wrote about out journey through the Oxfordshire countryside on the lovely South Oxford Canal.  We were last here in January, we had good sunny weather on the whole then, but of course not as hot as this week has been. I don't want to repeat myself about the places we stop, but hey the countryside is decked out in all her spring glory now!  Hope you enjoy a peek along the way we've travelled.
The hedgerows are full of white May blossom on the hawthorn trees, while the towpaths are lined with the white flowers of the cow parsley. It is all so pretty.
The iconic lift bridges of the Oxford Canal are so attractive too, thankfully many of them are permanently raised nowadays.
Silaging being done in the fields yesterday, happy memories of younger days on the farm with our cousins during the silage and hay harvesting.
Had to put in another photo of Somerton Deep Lock House, it is so pretty standing up so tall at the side of the deepest lock on the canal. Do you remember their only access is by boat or along the towpath, with no services, electricity, water, gas etc. They run a generator for electricity and filter canal water for use indoors. They also get no bills!
They have super views all around them, a really lovely place to be.
At Aynho, we spotted  "Reckless, the boat that Guy built" from the tv series. Looks like it has been made into a more conventional boaty home now. Edit:  Apparently not the tv one, thanks Adam.
At King's Sutton Lock the Union Jack bunting was out, dancing in the breeze.
More of the May with a yellow oil seed rape field in the distance.
We made an early(ish) start, we have slipped into lazy ways over the bad weather, so we have been trying to get going a bit quicker in the mornings to make the most of the day.  So at Banbury we stopped about 10.30, I washed the boat down whilst Ian checked on e-mails and work. Then we looked around the town, bought a few bits and bobs that were needed before setting off again.
At Little Bourton Lock, our canal guide said this was "a beautifully kept lock and cottage". Sadly not so now.
Windows are boarded up and although the sign says it is owned by local boaters, I'm not sure what they are doing with it.  The garden has signs of previous care, with blackcurrant bushes, roses, bluebells, and geraniums making a valiant effort through the grass and weeds. I must admit to wishing I could bring it all back to life again, so it could be "beautifully kept" once more.

We had to stop for a walk around Cropredy, it is such a pretty village.  And we needed wanted an ice cream from the shop by the bridge too.
village sign

village church
village pub

And another hawthorn tree, it was just stunning against the blue sky and fresh green grass.
Warm, warm sun, cool water and a gentle breeze, a beautiful way to spend the day.
Tonight we are moored in a very quiet spot, no buildings in sight, and birds singing all around us.

9 miles, 9 locks


  1. I think that may be a different Reckless. We passed the one from the tv series on the GU at the end of March, and it was still dark blue with the name down the side. It also has bigger portholes that the boat you passed.

  2. Ahh, someone trying to cash in on the fame! Wonder which came first.

  3. I adore the cow parsley and the hawthorn blossom. I look forward to them every year and have cultivated both in my garden.

    I also have memories of hay making with my cousin on my uncle's farm when I was a child. Good days!