Friday 30 April 2010

Theale to Woolhampton

The Kennet & Avon is certainly treating us to new experiences. The first being the turf sided locks, there are only 2 surviving out of the original 21. We also went through 2 scalloped locks and 6 electric bridges (5 swing and 1 lift). Our hearts were certainly beating fast getting into Woolhampton lock, the current runs very strong. The lock has to be set ready before opening the electric bridge, as you need a good hard run to get past the flow of the joining river, even then it was a bit hairy.

001Garston Lock turf sided chamber



Sheffield scalloped Lock


Tyle Mill electric swing bridge


The Rowbarge, Woolhampton – circa 1730

Wednesday 28 April 2010

Kennet & Avon

Had a few challenges today as we turned off The Thames onto the Kennet & Avon canal. The current was quite strong as we approached Reading town centre, to pass the Oracle shopping centre we had to proceed under traffic light control due to the narrow channel and the even stronger current. Only then to be faced with an open weir on one side and the lock on the other. Moored in open countryside again, enjoying the weather and having yet another bbq in April.



The Oracle shopping centre, Reading



Open weir making it difficult to enter lock


Southcote Lock, another 103 locks to Bristol, then back again

Tuesday 27 April 2010

Abingdon to Reading

Spent a relaxing weekend in Abingdon. Pip & Rog’s daughter and family came to visit on the Saturday and friends of theirs came out to them on the Sunday. Set off towards Reading Monday morning, found difficulty again looking for moorings, but all was well in the end. This morning has been incredible, not only has the weather been really superb, the scenery on the Thames has been stunning. Moored at Tesco, Reading, unfortunately we had to do some shopping.

009 Day’s Lock, Little Wittenham. Location of the annual world Pooh stick championships


Shillingford Court, just one of the small properties that line the Thames


Cruising down the Thames in perfect weather


Taking on water at Cleeve Lock


Windsong cruising behind us.


One of the many weirs on the Thames


Caversham Bridge, approaching Reading


Black swans, Reading

Saturday 24 April 2010

Oxford to Abingdon

Lovely blue skies for our departure from Oxford, making it a really special cruise down the Thames to Abingdon.  Found really nice moorings and the weather is fantastic, so staying put for the weekend. Bbq’s, wine, good company, what more can you ask.

003 Leaving Oxford behind


Passing Oxford College rowing clubs


Waiting for Ian & Pip to open Iffley lock


Sandford lock, they are definitely getting bigger


Nuneham House, where Victoria & Albert honeymooned in 1841




Thursday 22 April 2010


A short walk into Oxford to do the tourist visit and take a few pics.

003 Oxford castle


Nuffield College


Carfax Tower


At the top of Carfax Tower


99 narrow steps to the top


Bikes everywhere


Bridge of Sighs


Radcliffe Camera




Wednesday 21 April 2010

Newbridge to Oxford

Started our return journey from Lechlade down stream, moored overnight at Newbridge. Set off from Newbridge, the weather is still being very kind, although the wind is rather cold. It was our turn for mishaps today as I got stuck on a sand bank and had to be pulled off by Rog and Pip on Windsong. The Thames is very shallow in places and we still found it extremely difficult to find moorings. We did plan to moor well before Oxford, but the first moorings available were at Osney Bridge, close to the centre of Oxford.

006 All the locks are well maintained, and have nice gardens with features


Just passing Port Meadow, close to Oxford


The Oxford Canal joins the Thames


Osney Bridge in the background


Welcome to Oxford

Monday 19 April 2010

Upper Thames, Lechlade

Found good moorings at Lechlade and the weather couldn’t be better. Lechlade is a very pretty place. This is the furthest navigable point, tomorrow we turn around and head back to Oxford.

010Halfpenny Bridge, once was a toll bridge for pedestrians until 1839

008  St. John’s Church


Plenty of swans around, just a few

Total lock count to date: 83

Saturday 17 April 2010

Upper Thames, Kelmscott

After our first night mooring at Eynsham, we found good moorings on the second night at Newbridge. We woke to a good frost and mist on the water, which turned out to be a really hot sunny day.

014 13 century bridge at Newbridge


The river became very twisty and seemed to double back sharply several times, the countryside is still very rural for miles and miles with no sign of houses.

023 Shifford Lock


029 Tadpole Bridge

We were hoping to find moorings at Radcot, but we have found trying to find moorings for narrow boats not easy, as the banks are shallow. We travelled further on to Kelmscott and managed to get in there.

033 Not easy mooring, but scenery wonderful


Perfect end to a perfect day