Sunday, 18 April 2010

"Classic Waterway Walk"

So says an article in "Waterways World"!  "The Oxford Circular" - approximately 6 miles starting from Godstow.
So.................. we managed to moor (just about) opposite the ruins of the Abbey at Godstow and off we went.
Moored opposite the ruins of the Abbey - this is the first brood of goslings (Greylag geese) this year
 - so says the lock keeper and he should know!

We walked along The Thames Path as far as the low Osney Bridge, then through a bit of the city of Oxford before arriving at the terminus of the Oxford canal.  It was so much better than I was expecting!  All I 'knew' up to this moment was what I had read and what I had been told by other boaters and neither had tempted us to travel by boat into the centre of the city.  The terminus itself is actually really quite nice.  There is mooring for about two boats but nowhere to turn - you would need to reverse.  There is a stretch of residential mooring for about eight boats - electric, water, post boxes(!) and really nice surroundings.  To get onto The Thames from the canal you have to go through Isis Lock.  As you walk along the canal towards the junction with Duke's Cut there are sections where mooring is forbidden as they are dedicated conservations areas.  On the other side of the canal are, I think, terraced Victorian houses whose long, thin, well-maintained gardens are lovely.  There are places for visiting boats to moor albeit a bit of a walk into the city.  Next time we go down the South Oxford I think we will carry on and go down to Isis Lock.

Then we encountered 'Agenda 21' , Residential Mooring Sites.  There were, I think, four stretches of the canal where new mooring rings had been installed and there were lots of residential boats - some OK, some scruffy and some really scruffy.  I don't think I have a serious problem accepting this but I do have a problem accepting the unsightly 'tut' piled up along the tow path.  I know that there has been a problem with continual moorers along this stretch of canal but I don't know details - I must find out.

We walked into Wolverton and went to find the famous 'Trout Inn' - made famous because it regularly  featured in episodes of 'Inspector Morse'.  What a lovely old building in a fabulous location but ........... it was heaving with people! 

It's not surprising that this pub is so popular given it's character and it's lovely location over-looking the weir stream.  After a six mile walk we didn't have the energy to cope with these crowds so slunk back to the boat for our own gin and tonics.
                                                The Trout Inn at Wolvercote.  Business 
                                                                     is booming!     

Our friend, Les, could well have painted this pub sign.

The lovely warm sunshine this weekend has certainly encouraged babies to be born!
These little goslings have been  regularly foraging around right outside our boat.
The adult geese are really good parents.

Yesterday I saw my first brood of ducklings of the year and today we saw some little baby moorhens.

A brood of twelve.  Imagine that!

                                                            A ball of black cotton wool?
                                                            One of four - a baby moorhen.

Tomorrow it is our intention to reach Abingdon.

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