The River Thames, England's finest river, flows from its source in the heart of the Cotswolds through a rural idyll above Oxford, characterised by water meadows and cattle grazing, down to meet the Oxford Canal at the 'City of Dreaming Spires' with fabulous views as one approaches. Beyond Oxford the Royal River Thames links many beautiful and some famous waterside towns and villages - an unforgettable boating experience as you mingle with traditional Thames craft such as skiffs, passenger steamers, and rowing eights. The choice of an entirely rural or cosmopolitan weekend is in your hands!
On the beautifully peaceful Upper Thames the locks are usually worked for you by smart and friendly lock-keepers, giving you the ultimate isolated and relaxing boating holiday, interspersed with historic waterside inns and settlements, all linked not only by water but the easy-to-walk Thames Long Distance Path.
SHORT WEEKEND BREAK - the Oxford Ring
Easy cruising through the outstanding rural scenery of the Oxfordshire Cotswolds borders from Lower Heyford. Oxford offers excellent shopping and a wide range of pubs, cinemas, restaurants and clubs: a perfect destination for history and night-life lovers. You can even cruise one of the smallest canal 'Rings' by turning onto the Dukes Cut and the River Thames as it flows across Port Meadow, giving you the iconic view of Oxford's Dreaming Spires. Turn into the secretive Sheepwash Channel to re-join the Oxford Canal in the heart of the city ('Jericho') for your homeward journey. Moorings in Jericho on the Oxford Canal lie within just 1/4 mile of Oxford City Centre
SHORT MIDWEEK BREAK
With the extended time a midweek short canal break offers, you could cruise further downstream beyond Oxford to pretty Abingdon, or simply use the time to spend more time discovering the Oxford - City of Dreaming Spires. Alternatively turn into the secretive Dukes Cut and head upstream on the Thames towards Lechlade in utterly remote rural tranquility with only the occasional waterside pub interrupting the solitude and beauty of the river.
ONE WEEK HOLIDAY - OXFORD CANAL AND RIVER THAMES
The Oxfordshire Cotswolds are never better viewed than from a narrowboat as you cruise upstream to the navigable limit of the River Thames at Lechlade from our base on the Oxford Canal! It's a gentle boat holiday - plenty of time to stop along the way - and it's also supremely rural with not a town in sight until you reach Lechlade. Not only boating but walking is good too, with the Thames Long Distance Path alongside....
....if you prefer to cruise down the River Thames toward London from our base at Lower Heyford on the Oxford Canal you could comfortably cruise along the Oxford Canal and River Thames to reach Goring or Whitchurch before returning, having taken in many of the best sights along the Thames including Oxford, Abingdon, the miniature thatched village of Clifton Hampden, Wallingford, and Goring. Don't forget that the upstream journey may take longer owing to cruising against the current!
Please note that an extra Visitors Licence is payable upon entry to the River Thames i.e at the first Thames lock you pass through.