The South Oxford Canal is one of the prettiest in Britain for a narrowboat short break or holiday. Winding its way peacefully along the Cherwell Valley from Oxford to Banbury & Braunston, through classic canalside hamlets and villages such as Thrupp, Lower Heyford and Cropredy, it ascends to the beautifully remote summit level toward Warwick, Stratford and the Heart of England. If you wish to keep as isolated as possible you don't even need to leave your boat, but for those that do there is plenty for everyone to do: sightseeing, walking the towpath, cycling the surrounding country lanes, sampling the many local pubs which serve excellent real ale and food. The South Oxford Canal has some unique diamond-shaped locks and rustic lift bridges (many left open nowadays), none of which are too close together to make you feel like you're working!
Our Lower Heyford base is ideally placed for a full week's canal holiday or a short canal break to Oxford or Cropredy in a weekend or midweek canal break.
Easy cruising to Oxford or Banbury and return through outstanding scenery. Both Oxford and Banbury have excellent shopping opportunities and a wide range of pubs, cinemas, restaurants and clubs. Oxford also boasts the famous University Colleges, Museums, the Castle, Ice Rink and Theatres.
Cruise beyond Banbury through rolling countryside to Cropredy, home of the annual Cropredy Festival (Fairport Convention), or beyond Oxford onto the Royal River Thames. If you want total solitude then head upstream on the upper River Thames towards Lechlade and the heart of the Cotswolds where only wildlife and the occasional riverside pub keep you company – bliss!
Cruise north past Cropredy to Napton or perhaps as far as Braunston, considered by many to be the Heart of the Waterways. Cruise south toward Oxford and then onto the River Thames towards its source above Lechlade and the Cotswolds, or downstream through Oxford enjoying the many beautiful reaches of England's most famous river perhaps as far as Whitchurch or Goring.
TWO WEEKS - THE WARWICK RING
This extended time would allow you to reach Warwick (and its famous Castle) and continue on one of the famous Midlands canal rings into Birmingham by the Grand Union Canal then returning on the Coventry and north Oxford Canals via Tamworth, Atherstone and Rugby. A real adventure for canal enthusiasts this trip includes lots of locks both wide- and narrow-beam together with three tunnels and many, many lovely villages and pubs.