Monthly Archives: May 2017

Journey North 20: Oxford – Heyford

14 miles 9 locks 

On Monday night we had a visit from Maffi on Milly M who tied up next to us. We went on a little tour of old Oxford pubs.

Then on Tuesday morning we set off along the Oxford canal. I did most of the steering and James worked the locks as I’ve stubbed my toe painfully and didn’t fancy too much leaping around locks.

The Oxford canal is quite lovely even in the rain. We tied up at Heyford, just along from Bones, who came over to visit us later on. However with the signal being pretty much non existent, this morning I took the train in to Oxford so I can work (now taking a short break while I upload something! )

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Journey North 19: Abingdon – Oxford

8 miles, 4 locks 

Just a short one today, to get to Oxford where we plan to spend a few days.

We started late so let the cats out for a bit in the morning. Lyra enjoyed stalking geese.

Then on upstream through beautiful Oxfordshire. And quite a few rowers on these waters! 

A novice boat from an Oxford town club

We stopped above Osney Lock to visit a friend and have a drink in the Punter then it was on to the canal to moor at the very end of the Oxford canal.

This evening we spent enjoying exploring Oxford and eating ice cream!

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Journey North 18: Reading – Abingdon 

30 miles, 8 locks

A fabulous day’s boating on the Thames. A little rain in the morning gave way to sunshine for the rest of the day.

Another Severner built by Charles Hill – Severn Enterprise – spotted near Goring.

Beautiful views near Dorchester

We arrived in Abingdon and by chance ended up mooring almost exactly where we moored in 2008 with Maffi when the Thames was in flood.

We spent the evening wandering around the lovely town, remembering our time here in 2008 and also childhood visits with my grandparents.

Willow in 2017

Lucky Duck in 2008

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Journey North 17: Henley – Reading 

10 miles, 3 locks

Another evening jaunt to move on to Reading. I started work at 8am so we could set off at 4. So the first two locks were still manned when we passed through. 

Sonning Bridge

Sonning Lock was looking particularly lovely in the evening sun.

We tied up outside Tesco in Reading before going for a walk into the town. James grew up nearby in Bracknell and we also have fond memories of stopping here on Lucky Duck in 2008, when James wrote one of my favourite blog posts ever, The Bollards at Reading Gaol

This is roughly where we moored the Duck in 2008

Yes here we are:

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Journey North 16: Marlow – Henley

8 miles, 3 locks

A lovely sunny evening’s cruising to Henley.  

Salters Steamer

Temple Island

Our mooring in Henley for the next day or so is on the Henley Royal Regatta course.

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Journey North 15: Molesey – Marlow

31 miles, 11 locks

A good days’s boating along the beautiful Thames. 

At Staines we stopped to buy diesel from fuel boat Merchant – we always try to buy from working boats where possible.

Then on through Windsor where there was a huge equestrian event going on including carriage driving. By this time the sun was out and it was a beautiful day for boating. 

Now we’re tied up below the lock on the visitors moorings in Marlow but tomorrow we won’t go far as I need to log in and do some work! 

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Journey North 14: Bulls Bridge – Molesey

16 miles, 15 locks

The tide at Brentford was at 1pm so we spent the morning locking down the Hanwell flight. 

The old asylum at Hanwell

It was hard work because the paddle gear seemed to be lacking in grease so the lower locks particularly were stiff. But we had the bike for lockwheeling and a boat several locks in front was drawing paddles for us so we had a good road. 

Then after a brief stop at Thames lock it was out onto the tidal river! I’ve rowed this section and we did this section on Lucky Duck being towed by Jim and Sarah Warrior on our first ever trip. 

Richmond Half Tide lock

We went through Teddington lock where we bought our Thames licence then carried on up through Kingston and Molesey Lock, eventually finding some nice moorings at Hurst Park. We’d hopes to find space at Hampton Court but it was full even at 2:30pm.

Then once moored we went back into Kingston on the bus to deliver James’s hired suit back to Moss Bros. We were also meeting a friend in Kingston so we stayed around and had first waffles and ice cream then pizza before drinks in the Ram! Then back on the bus. 

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Journey North 13: Battleb ridge Basin – Bulls Bridge 

16 miles, 4 locks

We are on our way again today after a wonderful week or so in London at the Cavalcade and celebrating our wedding. 

Yesterday, after seeing family we slipped our moorings in Battlebridge Basin and set off along the Regent’s canal for the next stage of our journey, along the Thames and up through Oxford to Birmingham. It was a glorious day for boating.

Of course Camden was packed!

Once out of central London we didn’t want to stop until we got to Bulls Bridge but we did tie up alongside our friends who live on their beautiful ex BCN day boat Raleigh in Southall. 

Molly the cat pays a visit

There was a perfect Willow sized space on the 24h moorings at Tesco so we happily stopped for the night.

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A New Journey: Hackney Town Hall – London Canal Museum 

2 miles, 3 locks 

Photo Brian McGuigan

I want to dedicate a whole post with lots of photos when they are ready to the 6th May 2017, the most wonderful day and the start of a new adventure for us. For now here is a lovely photo taken by Brian of nb Alton and our colleague at Bollington of us as we set off after the ceremony to our reception by boat.

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