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thewomble

Week hire south from Napton questions

67 posts in this topic

If you go as far as Duke's Cut (photo in a post above) you have done the best of the Southern Oxford. This makes a handy place to turn - you can leave the gate open, wind the boat, and go straight back in if there's nobody else about.

I would recommend:

Folly at Napton (maybe for your last night?)

Wharf Inn at Fenny Compton - really good and great value food, handy moorings, small shop

Brasenose Inn at Cropredy - 2 mins walk from canal - small shop on bridge 153

Banbury is not really a place I would choose to moor at, but go up onto bridge 168 and you are on the edge of a Morrison's car park.

Great Western at Aynho is really excellent, but not cheap.

Lovely countryside around Somerton Deep - great place for quiet mooring.

The Bell at Lower Heyford - signs from canal at metal lift-bridge - good value food, 5 mins walk

Boat Inn at Thrupp - good food, not cheapest but OK  - always annoyingly difficult to moor - Thrupp is a boat storage area

Beautiful canal (until they build HS2). Hope you enjoy.

Edited by zimzim
mishtake
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11 hours ago, thewomble said:

Thanks for those plan ideas, just the ticket. Funds are running low so no pub meals for us!

Where is the best p!Ace to moor for the supermarket at Banbury?

Just before or just after Br 168, Morrisons is over the bridge from the towpath and right at the main road.

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On 4/21/2017 at 10:37, thewomble said:

Thanks everyone for the entertaining advice.

I am planning on going South towards Oxford. I have a couple of questions.  

I think it might be slightly ambitious to expect to get as far as Oxford as I think my crew will want to make the trip a bit more leisurely than our previous one, ie. have a bit more stopping time for "fishing" (sticks and string for rods :)). On our last trip we pretty much set early and cruised all day, eating lunch on the move etc.  

For the comparison, we went from Chirk marina to Wrenbury, then turned and went up to Llangollen and then back to Chirk.  Canal planner tells me this was a 76 mile trip.

I realise that with a different route it is hard to compare times and distances, but I am taking on board that someone said the Oxford is windy and so we are likely to be crusing slowly.

First quesion - we are hiring from Black PRince at Napton.   Using canal planner, do I put Napton Junction as our starting point?

As an initial plan I am thinking we aim for Thrupp which canal planner tells me is a 23 1/2 hour trip.  But it seems the nearest winding holes are Enslow (before Thrupp at 22 hours) or Hythe Bridge Arm which a fair bit further on at 27 hours.   That seems like quite a distance between turning points.  Is there anything I am missing in between those two?  Hythe Bridge seems to be only a stones throw from Oxford itself.   So would you perhaps recommend I am for the Enslow winding hole?  And then if we make it back to Napton with time to spare perhaps we could continue on past our hire base at Napton a bit further.  I will have to look into where we would be able to turn after that.?  

How does that sound?  I also heard that the Oxford is shallow and going aground can be a problem. Is this likely to be an issue for us on this stretch do you know?

Many thanks again

 

Yes use Napton Junction as a starting point.

 

and this is picture of Thrupp from google maps, should be enough room to turn.

58fc4705dc875_thruppcrop.jpg.ef93292e660663b62fdd00dce8e49e55.jpg

Have a great trip!

Edited by NickF
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2 hours ago, NickF said:

Yes use Napton Junction as a starting point.

 

and this is picture of Thrupp from google maps, should be enough room to turn.

58fc4705dc875_thruppcrop.jpg.ef93292e660663b62fdd00dce8e49e55.jpg

Have a great trip!

Google (or wherever they get the data from) seem to be confused about whether the River Cherwell is!

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38 minutes ago, Scholar Gypsy said:

Google (or wherever they get the data from) seem to be confused about whether the River Cherwell is!

I noticed that, they do that a lot, most of the HNC is labelled as River Calder on the East side of the pennines.

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Hi everyone,

thanks for all the advice.  I have my canal plan with all your notes on it and will pick up a guide from the marina tomorrow.  

Just a couple of quick things:

If it looks like we won't get to the top of the locks on the first night, where is a good place to stop?

Can I definitely turn after Dukes Lock? (it isn't marked as a turning place on my canalplan)   Only because if we end up going past Thrupp I see it is 4 miles further on, so could be a problem if we can't turn there and have to go further still.

Also, does the canal become the River Cherwell at some stage and is there anything we need to know about this?  

Thanks for answering all my questions so patiently and with good humour. I will let you know how we get on. :)

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57 minutes ago, thewomble said:

Hi everyone,

thanks for all the advice.  I have my canal plan with all your notes on it and will pick up a guide from the marina tomorrow.  

Just a couple of quick things:

If it looks like we won't get to the top of the locks on the first night, where is a good place to stop?

Can I definitely turn after Dukes Lock? (it isn't marked as a turning place on my canalplan)   Only because if we end up going past Thrupp I see it is 4 miles further on, so could be a problem if we can't turn there and have to go further still.

Also, does the canal become the River Cherwell at some stage and is there anything we need to know about this?  

Thanks for answering all my questions so patiently and with good humour. I will let you know how we get on. :)

 

There is space to moor after the 7th lock in the flight, ie before the last two. 

There is a branch to the Thames just below Dukes Lock, on the right, and you can turn there.

The canal shares the river's course in two places. You probably won't really notice the difference, apart from the water colour changing!

i) immediately above Aynho Weir lock, for a few yards (the river crosses the canal)

ii) between Bakers and Shipton Weir Locks, for about a mile, just before Thrupp.

In each case there is a gauge that tells you if the water level is too high (red zone). On the section near Thrupp don't cut the corners!

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1 hour ago, thewomble said:

Hi everyone,

thanks for all the advice.  I have my canal plan with all your notes on it and will pick up a guide from the marina tomorrow.  

Just a couple of quick things:

If it looks like we won't get to the top of the locks on the first night, where is a good place to stop?

Can I definitely turn after Dukes Lock? (it isn't marked as a turning place on my canalplan)   Only because if we end up going past Thrupp I see it is 4 miles further on, so could be a problem if we can't turn there and have to go further still.

Also, does the canal become the River Cherwell at some stage and is there anything we need to know about this?  

Thanks for answering all my questions so patiently and with good humour. I will let you know how we get on. :)

Unless you were really unlucky and got off very late, with daylight until 8:30 I would have thought you should make the summit for the first night.  If you don't then you have 2 locks and 3 locks from the top where you can stop.

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17 hours ago, thewomble said:

Can I definitely turn after Dukes Lock? (it isn't marked as a turning place on my canalplan)   Only because if we end up going past Thrupp I see it is 4 miles further on, so could be a problem if we can't turn there and have to go further still.

As posted - yes, you can definitely turn in the T-junction that is Duke's Cut, immediately upon exiting the lock (shown on photo above).

If you are short on time, you should wind at the right-angle turn at Thrupp (satellite view also posted above) - Handy way is to put someone ashore with a bow line on the water/pump-out point immediately before the right-angled turn. Let them hold your bow on the line while you swing the stern around to the left - easy!

That right-angle at Thrupp is something of a decision point (depending on your progress) - it's quite a way to the next winding opportunity.

If there is a space on the VMs just after the right-angle (you could send someone to look), and you want to stop at Thrupp, you might want to consider winding the boat anyway and reversing a few yards to the mooring - saves you quite a bit of time if time is tight.

 

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The trip you are planning would make a nice six week journey.

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Yes. Spare a thought for the Wombles battering up the Napton Flight in the rain.

Referring back to whoever it was that said you could no longer get to Tesco's by scrambling up the bank by the road bridge just North of Banbury: yes you can. Mrs. Athy road(?)-tested this path on Saturday and returned intact and bearing shopping.

 

Edit: just checked the BBC weather forecast which reckons that, though rain was forecast for Cropredy where we were this morning, and though it's raining as I write here in Upwell, Napton will stay dry and will indeed have a sunny evening. Fingers crossed.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Athy said:

Yes. Spare a thought for the Wombles battering up the Napton Flight in the rain.

Referring back to whoever it was that said you could no longer get to Tesco's by scrambling up the bank by the road bridge just North of Banbury: yes you can. Mrs. Athy road(?)-tested this path on Saturday and returned intact and bearing shopping.

 

Edit: just checked the BBC weather forecast which reckons that, though rain was forecast for Cropredy where we were this morning, and though it's raining as I write here in Upwell, Napton will stay dry and will indeed have a sunny evening. Fingers crossed.

 

 

Here at the fantabulous Lower Heyford tis a tad damp but only been a couple of very short showers so far today so we may get away with it.

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The Wombles should have been under way for three days now, but no word from them. This could mean that they're having such marvellously full and tiring days that they haven't had the opportunity to post about their progress, or that they hate the route which several of us recommended so much that they aren't speaking to us any more. I hope it's the former.

 

...or, of course, that they have no way of gaining access to the internet on their boat.

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5 hours ago, Athy said:

...or, of course, that they have no way of gaining access to the internet on their boat.

Wandering Wombles checking in! We are currently moored for the night at the Great Western in Aynho and all is well :)   There is some internet provided on the boat but it is spotty at best and internet is not really a priority at the moment which I'm sure is as it should be.

We have indeed had some interesting weather but on the whole it has been better than expected (though we did absolutely freeze the first night and have all gone to bed fully clothed with as many layers as we can each comfortably sustain since).  

We got away from Napton at 3 o'clock on Monday and had a great run up to the summit and we moored for the night just after bridge 124 at 7pm. It was a great way to start the journey, just enough locking to keep us busy without being tiring.  We didn't get quick as far as planned on Tuesday as the intermittent hail got rather heavy as we were going through the Claydon locks so we pulled over to wait it out at 3.45pm and never got going again as our spot was very pleasant.  

My daughter has become a rather avid bird watcher lately and we have spotted some peregrines, kestrels and an enormous heron, as well as the countless ducklings and moorhen chicks which has been lovely.

We took on water today at Cropredy and were lucky to be the only boat going south at the locks there as there was a queue of 5 or 6 going the other way this morning. Stocked on a few fresh items at Morrisons at 3 o'clock and then cruised on uninterrupted to our current location. 

Your advice has been invaluable and means I have been able to cruise on with confidence about what is ahead.  In fact it almost certainly saved us a disagreement about where to stop for the supermarket (which is marked on our Pearsons guide) as hubby though we needed to moor sooner and I was able to state with confidence that in fact bridge 168 was the best place and broke no argument.

As for the loveliness of the Oxford, I cannot say I have been disappointed.  It is indeed the rural idyll you have painted it as and we are all thoroughly enjoying ourselves and the peaceful serenity.  If the weather is on our side I see no reason we can't push on to Thrupp for our turn tomorrow and I will be well satisified.  There has been just the right number of locks and points of interest to keep everyone happy and not tire out the youngsters (though some of those paddles are VERY hard for young arms to wind). 

So to all who took the time to get involved in my plans, THANK YOU  :).  I will check in again when we are safely back on shore next week.

Cheers

 

 

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Splendid! I would, though, have a word with the hire company about the central heating (or lack of) on the boat when you get back, it may save some other poor so-and-so from hyperthermia.

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