June 12 (12)

The ‘Old Barn’- on the Oxford Canal, Twyford Wharf

You will depart from ‘The Old Barn’ at Twyford Wharf Narrowboats, Adderbury, Oxfordshire, ideally situated some 4 miles below the town of Banbury on the Oxford Canal. You have the choice of travelling south to the city of Oxford and beyond or north to Napton or Braunston where for anyone with an interest in canal law and legend to miss Braunston would be tantamount to visiting Canterbury and not going to the Cathedral.  This canal junction has captured the hearts of artists, writers and photographers more than any other canal junction with its twin Horseley Iron Works towpath bridges dating from the 1830’s when the canal was straightened to allow a quicker journey by boat. Previously, the canal meandered extravagantly between Braunston and Wolfhampcote adding a further two days to the journey. Arriving at Braunston you can head up the Grand Union Canal or head west and take the Leicester Section to Crick, Market Harborough.  If you have two weeks, onwards to Stratford-upon-Avon or north to the castle town of Warwick.

Leaving the ‘The Old Barn’ and heading south towards the City of Oxford you will leave behind you the rocket-like spire of King’s Sutton church which soars above the watermeadows and where the River Cherwell flows alongside the canal. The Cherwell forming a natural border between Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.  The first lock you encounter is King’s Sutton lock where you might buy your first ice-cream of the holiday!  On to the village of Aynho where you will find a excellent pub, The Great Western, where food is some of the best you will eat and selling Hook Norton Ales- if you have not tried them, then you are in for a treat!  On through Upper Heyford where the canal drifts through the delectable landscape of the Cherwell Valley and on to the quaint village of Thrupp.  From here it is a short journey to Oxford where the canal joins the River Thames, either by Dukes Cut Lock or King’s Lock.  On exiting the Canal you can cruise gently upstream to the head of the River at Lechlade or head east (downstream) to Reading.