Sunday, 19 March 2017

Ella's Adventures - Week 5

Monday 13th March - Day in Thrupp

Today was a brilliant day - warm and sunny!  So we took Toby and went to explore the area. 

We started off with coffee at Annie's Tearoom,it was so warm that we were able to sit out in the sunshine.

We then set off along the towpath back towards the church past all the permanent moorings.  It really is an idyllic spot and we are sure that there would be a long waiting list to get a mooring here.

We crossed the bridge at the church.  The church at Shipton on Cherwell overlooks the bridge and the canal which curls round the foot of the church yard.

We walked back along the other side of the canal and through the fields until we got back to The Boat Inn where we were moored.

We spent the rest of the afternoon working on the boat, cleaning her inside and touching up the outside.  

For a treat we took ourselves back to Annie's Tearoom and had a delicious afternoon tea.  That will keep me full until tomorrow!!

Tuesday 14th March - Thrupp to Oxford

Today we set off for Oxford, very exciting!!  The weather was nowhere near as nice as yesterday, but at least it was dry and mild.

Oddly enough we passed not one but two boats moored under bridges, there was room to pass, but I can't imagine why anyone would want to moor in the dark and gloom!

Another weeping willow showing the new green leaves coming through very clearly now.

The second boat moored under a bridge.

On the approaches to Oxford we were greeted by these beautiful murals under the bridges.

We moored up for the next couple of nights just past Aristotle Bridge, in a very quiet area and about 1.5 miles out of Oxford.  Moorings in Oxford are difficult to find, so we thought it would be best to moor on the outskirts.

Wednesday 15th March - Day in Oxford

Another beautiful sunny day for our tour of Oxford.  

We met our friends Madeleine and Graham at the railway station and spent the day looking round the city. It was a fantastic tour and we explored places we would never have found on our own, so a big thank you to Madeleine and Graham for such a brilliant day!

The best part for me was visiting the Bodleian Library - I remember visiting the library when I was training to be a librarian, many decades ago!! 

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest and most important nonlending reference libraries in Great Britain.  It is a legal deposit library entitled to a free copy of all books published in Great Britain. 

We completed our tour with a refreshing drink at the Turf Tavern which featured in many of the Inspector Morse novels and TV adaptations.

Thursday 16th March - Oxford to Abingdon

Today we leave the Oxford Canal and make our way down onto the River Thames.

We passed through Isis Lock and moored at the pontoon, we then had to turn the boat through 180 degrees before we could head off towards the river along the Sheepwash Channel.  A hair raising manoeuvre, which we did manage much to my amazement!

We met a very helpful lock keeper at the first lock, Osney Lock, where we bought our licence for the River Thames.  We have a Canal and River Trust licence which allows us to use canals and some rivers, but does not include the River Thames.  The Thames is covered by the Environment Agency and we needed to buy a licence for the 31 days we intend to be on the river.

We also met another narrowboat, nbGiorgia Grace, who came through the lock with us and answered all of our questions about the different ways things are done on the river.

The river flows around Oxford and we passed under Folly Bridge which we walked over yesterday on our tour of Oxford.

Rowing is very important at the colleges in both Oxford and Cambridge and we were lucky to see a crew from Exeter College practising as we cruised past.

Some stunning, enormous houseboats which we haven't seen since we were on the Erewash Canal on our share boat, nbMinuet.

We cruised past Nuneham House built in 1756, standing in grounds designed by Capability Brown and presently owned by Oxford University.

The river is huge compared to the canals we are used to.  It also flows at about 5 miles per hour, which has a huge effect on the speed at which we travel.  At the moment we are travelling downstream - going with the current so we are travelling much faster than usual!!

The final lock of the day was Abingdon Lock, we came through the lock on the right of the picture and the river passes over the weir on the left of the picture.

We moored up for the night just up from the town bridge next to a delightful meadow which is great for Toby.

Friday 17th March - day in Abingdon

Today we explored the town of Abingdon, we walked back up to the lock and weir.

Toby met Winnie the Pooh and his jar of honey.  I don't think Toby was all that impressed!

Abingdon Abbey was probably founded in the 7th century but there is nothing left of the abbey building.  These ruins are the remains of a folly built around 1920.

Abingdon Gaol dates from 1811, but is now being redeveloped into flats and restaurants. 

Abingdon Bridge was originally built in 1416 and has been repaired and renovated over the years.  It's medieval appearance is maintained by using the original stone to face the new concrete arches. 

Sunday 19th March - day in Abingdon

St Helen's Church Abingdon

A particularly windy day, so we decided to take Toby for a long walk along the river towards Sutton Courtenay.  We sussed out the next lock and found the church, All Saints Church, where George Orwell and Herbert Asquith are both buried in the local churchyard.

We have decided to stay in Abingdon until Monday as the weather has turned rather windy and unpredictable.  The river conditions are looking very good, so once the weather improves we shall resume our cruise and head for Wallingford.

1 comment:

  1. Try to moor just above Days Lock for a while. One of my favourite spots on the Thames. There is a lovely walk across farmland, alongside ancient ridge and furrow fields and past the allotments to Dorchester and its fine abbey. Well worth a visit.
    Crossing to the other side of the lock, a path takes you up and around the Saxon Hill fort beside Wittenham Clumps and the 'poetry tree' at the top of the hill.