OXFORD AND RETURN
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Visit the City of Dreaming Spires and marvel at the unique blend of traditional and modern culture. As well as the beauty of the city's world famous colleges Oxford offers a host of tourist attractions and a vast selection of restaurants and pubs which give this historic city a vibrant and cosmopolitan feel
The city of Oxford was founded in the 10th century and has been a University city since the 13th century.
The University houses the Bodleian library which was opened in 1602, and it contains 9 million books on 176 km of shelving. It is housed in a remarkable group of buildings which form the historic heart of the University, and you can explore the quadrangles of these magnificent structures at no charge.
This route takes you down the River Cherwell valley all the way to Oxford, pasing small villages and passing under quaint lift bridges, and of course with Canalside pubs to keep you refreshed!
This cruise allows you to spend a couple of days sight-seeing in Oxford
Cruise south from Twyford Wharf along the Oxford canal, passing the village of Kings Sutton to your left.
Where the River Cherwell crosses the navigation at Aynho Weir lock there is a strong stream lock. Observe the water level reading on the coloured level indicator board, on the top side of the lock, before deciding to continue.
This pleasant rural stretch of the canal is well punctuated by the characteristic wooden lift bridges that are usually left open.
It is well worth walking a mile east of Aynho Wharf by bridge 190 to visit the village of Aynho.
There is a pub canalside called the Great western. The village square has been untouched throughout the generations, and a 17th century mansion called Aynho Park is on the other side of the road.
Stop here for the night, it is 2 hours to here:
The canal continues its rural path, through water meadows and open pastureland.
The village of Upper Heyford is close to the canal, and there are a couple of pubs here, the main street of thatched stone cottages falls steeply to the canal.
Lower Heyford also has a village pub- the Bell Inn an attractive 17th century pub just off the towpath.
Rousham House is to the right of Bridge 207 and the gardens are open to the public. The house dates from 1635 but is not open to the public.
The canal is very wooded around here, the woods becoming very thick, the overhanging tress making a tunnel through which the canal passes.
The Oxford Arms is a ½ mile from the canal in Kirtlington, the lane to it is to the left of Pigeon bridge 213.
By Bridge 216 is the Rock of Gibraltar pub which has moorings.
Moor here for the night it is about 6 hours to here
Shipton-on-Cherwell is off to your right past Bridge 219, the church overlooks the canal. In 1874 the village was the scene of a railway disaster when 34 people were killed when the train fell into the frozen canal off Shipton bridge. In the 1860s the thighbones of a huge dinosaur were found in a nearby quarry & are on display in the University Museum in Oxford.
By bridge 221 in the lovely canalside village of Thrupp is the the Boat Inn, and by bridge 223 is the Jolly Boatman which has a canalside patio.
The canal skirts around Kidlington which is a suburb of Oxford until it reaches Dukes Cut where you can join the Thames (Licence required), or continue into Oxford, although be aware that there are limited Visitor moorings due to designated conservation areas and private moorings.
It is 5.5 hours to here
The city of Oxford was founded in the 10th century and has been a University city since the 13th century.
The University houses the Bodleian library which was opened in 1602, and it contains 9 million books on 176 km of shelving. The Bodleian Library is a working library which forms part of the University of Oxford. It is housed in a remarkable group of buildings which form the historic heart of the University, and you can explore the quadrangles of these magnificent structures at no charge. Different ticket options allow you to visit the interior of some of the buildings, such as the University’s oldest teaching and examination room, The Divinity School (built 1427-88). Here you will discover more of the University’s fascinating history.
Also worth seeing is the Saxon Tower, which is the oldest building in Oxford- The tower is the easiest climb in Oxford, with good solid stairs including a handrail. There are several places to stop and rest if you need to. From the top of the tower there is a marvellous view of the city of Oxford and its famous "dreaming spires".; also the 15th century pulpit where John Wesley, founder of Methodism, preached the Michaelmas Day sermon on 29th September 1726; 13th Century stained glass in the East Window; 14th Century font from St Martin's Church ; Reredos of the 14th century Lady Chapel, restored in 1941; The door of Archbishop Cranmer's prison cell f rom Bocardo Prison is held in the tower. Archbishop Cranmer and his fellow bishops Latimer and Ridley were burned at stake in Broad Street in 1556; The church treasury, which includes a Elizabethan chalice dated 1562, and a Sheela-na-gig, dating back to late 11th or 12th century.
The Sheldonian Theatre was built in 1668 from a design created by Christopher Wren. It was named after Gilbert Sheldon, who was Chancellor of the University at the time the construction was funded. The theatre is used for music recitals.
Blackwell's Bookstore is an institution in Oxford. It's not just a regular bookstore - it has the largest single room devoted to book sales in all of Europe (the 10,000 sq. ft. Norrington Room). In order to create such a large space in a small city, Blackwell's excavated underneath Trinity College's gardens. Blackwell's sells both new and second-hand books, and has a cafe.
The Botanic Gardens are located on the peaceful banks of the Cherwell River, the gardens were started in 1621 as the Physic Gardens, for the study of medicinal plants. These are the oldest botanic gardens in Britain. In addition to the lovely outdoor gardens, there are greenhouses which grow many varieties of exotic plants and flowers. Just next to the gardens, crossing over Rose Lane, there are rose gardens that are exquisite in July.
Hertford Bridge is often called the Bridge of Sighs because of the similarity to the famous bridge in Venice. Actually, it looks more like the Rialto Bridge, and this Oxford structure was never intended to be a replica of any existing bridge. It was completed in 1914 to connect two sections of Hertford College.
Oxford castle was originally built in 1071 for William the Conqueror, to enable the Normans to control the area. A prison was built within the castle, which continued to be in use until 1996.
The prison was mainly used to house prisoners from Oxfordshire and Berkshire, and also the University's 'rebellious scholars' (as recorded in 1236). From 1613 until 1785, the prison and castle were owned by Christ Church, who leased the jail (gaol) to prison keepers. In 1785 it was redeveloped into a prison and house of correction, with a tower on which they held public executions. The last execution was in 1863.
Days 4 5 6 7
You can happily spend a couple of days in Oxford and then cruise back to Twyford Wharf over 2 days as it is only 13.5 hours back.
NB: This route has been provided as a guide only. Information may become inaccurate or out of date. You should always check with the marina that the route is possible within your time frame, current weather conditions and canal stoppages etc.
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Maps and Guides
Pubs available on this canal route:-
|Pub Name||Pub Address||Distance from Twyford Wharf||More Info|
|Pierreponts Foodstore and Cafe||High Street, Goring Beside The Bridge And Lock RG8 9AB||Full Details|
|Rossini At Leatherne Bottel Restaurant||Bridle Way, Goring RG8 0HS||Full Details|
|The Alexandra Arms||James Street, Rugby CV||Full Details|
|The Swan||Strreatley RG8 9HR||Full Details|
|The Swan||Shooters Hill, Pangbourne Rg8 7du RG8 7DU||Full Details|
|The Ferryboat Inn||High Street , North Of Whitchurch Bridge RG8 7DB||Full Details|
|Beetle And Wedge Boathouse||Ferry Lane Moulsford Ox10 9jf OX10 9JF||Full Details|
|The Golden Lion||Main Street, Easenhall, Rugby CV23 OJA||Full Details|
|Coach And Horses||Butchers Row, Banbury OX16 5JH||2.71 Miles||Full Details|
|The Bowling Green||Overthrope Road, Banbury OX17 2XA||2.32 Miles||Full Details|
|The Olde Auctioneer||44 Parson's Street, Banbury OX16 5NA||2.78 Miles||Full Details|
|Ye Olde Reindeer Inn||47 Parsons Street, Banbury OX16 5NA||2.78 Miles||Full Details|
|The Admiral Holland||Woodgreen Avenue, Banbury OX16 0AU||3.22 Miles||Full Details|
|The Duke Of Cumberlands Head||Main Street, Clifton, Banbury OX15 0PE||3.35 Miles||Full Details|
|Great Western Arms||Aynho OX17 3BP||3.11 Miles||Full Details|
|The Bell Inn||Manor Road, Great Bourton, Banbury OX17 1QP||5.46 Miles||Full Details|
|The Brasenose Arms||Station Road, Cropredy OX17 1PW||5.90 Miles||Full Details|
|The Red Lion||8 Red Lion Street, Cropredy OX17 1PB||5.98 Miles||Full Details|
|The Castle At Edgehill||Edgehill, Banbury OX15 6DJ||9.28 Miles||Full Details|
|The Wharf||Wharf Road, Fenny Compton CV47 2FE||10.47 Miles||Full Details|
|The Jolly Boatman||216 Banbury Road, Thrupp OX5 1JU||13.42 Miles||Full Details|
|Cross Road Hotel||Weedon NN7 4PX||16.83 Miles||Full Details|
|Heart Of England||High Street, Weedon NN7 4QD||16.80 Miles||Full Details|
|The Narrowboat Inn||Watling Street, Stowe Hill, Weedon NN7 4RZ||16.66 Miles||Full Details|
|The Old Olive Bush||Flecknoe CV23 8AT||16.45 Miles||Full Details|
|The Wharf||Cornhill Lane, Bugbrooke NN7 3QB||16.91 Miles||Full Details|
|The Trout||Godstow Road, Wolvercote OX2 8PN||17.36 Miles||Full Details|
|The Plough||Wolvercote Green, Oxford OX2 8BD||17.03 Miles||Full Details|
|The Anchor Inn||2 Hayfield Road, Oxford OX2 6TT||18.21 Miles||Full Details|
|The Harcourt Arms||Cranham Terrace, Oxford OX2 6DG||18.79 Miles||Full Details|
|The Old Bookbinders||Victor Street, Oxford OX2 6BT||18.87 Miles||Full Details|
|The New Inn||Wantling Street, Buckby Wharf, Long Buckby NN6 7PW||19.24 Miles||Full Details|
|The White Horse||Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BB||19.24 Miles||Full Details|
|The Lighthouse||Park End Street, Oxford OX1 1HH||19.28 Miles||Full Details|
|The George||Watling Street, Kilsby CV23 8YE||22.32 Miles||Full Details|
|The Old Royal Oak||Crick Road, Rugby CV21 4PW||22.80 Miles||Full Details|
|The Wheatsheaf||15 Main Road, Crick NN6 7TX||22.87 Miles||Full Details|
|Rupert Brooke||8 Castle Street, Rugby CV21 2TP||23.70 Miles||Full Details|
|The Lawrence Sheriff||28 High Street, Rugby CV21 3BW||23.56 Miles||Full Details|
|The Raglan Arms||50 Dunchurch Road, Rugby CV22 6AD||23.40 Miles||Full Details|
|The Merchants Inn||5 Little Church Street, Rugby CV21 3AW||23.57 Miles||Full Details|
|The Bell Inn||2 Kilworth Road, Husband Bosworth LE17 6JZ||30.81 Miles||Full Details|
|The Sugar Loaf||18 High Street, Market Harborough LE16 7NJ||34.77 Miles||Full Details|
|The Village Inn||101 St Marys Road, Market Harborough LE16 7DT||34.93 Miles||Full Details|
|The Waterfront||Terminus Union Wharf Marina Market Harborough LE16 7UW||34.95 Miles||Full Details|
|The Waterfront Restaurant||Union Wharf, Leicester Road, Market Harborough LE16 7UW||34.95 Miles||Full Details|
|The Oat Hill||31 Kettering Road, Market Harborough LE16 8AN||34.88 Miles||Full Details|
|Foxton Locks Inn||Bottom Lock, Gumley Road, Foxton LE16 7RA||35.03 Miles||Full Details|
|The Black Horse||Main Road, Foxton LE16 7RD||35.32 Miles||Full Details|
|The Shoulder Of Mutton||4 The Green, Market Harborough LE16 7EU||35.97 Miles||Full Details|
|The Fox And Hounds||116 City Road, Tilehurst RG31 5SB||41.30 Miles||Full Details|
|The Tylers Rest||149 Norcot Toad, Tilehurst RG30 6BS||41.12 Miles||Full Details|
|The Hinds Head||Wasing Lane, Aldermaston RG7 4LX||45.14 Miles||Full Details|
NB: Distances are as the crow flies and will vary for actual canal boating travel distance.