Not really Wolvercote, although that’s the nearest village.
It’s actually within the ‘Oxford’ city signs, so, technically, I’m IN Oxford, although it’s about a 30 minute ride on the bike. The cycle path from entering ‘the City’ becomes made up asphalt for the 6 or so miles into town.
Means it’s an easy and pleasant ride. Lot’s of walkers, boaters and cyclists, tourists, locals and families.
I’ve been here now for 2 weeks. I will be leaving today to move closer in to town.
I’m mooring about 1/4 mile from ‘Dukes Cut‘ named after the Duke of Marlborough who commissioned it’s creation in 1789. This is the northernmost entry to the Thames, by-passing Kings Lock.
It’s got solar. It’s got mobile. It’s got parking (for now). The parking is only temporary whilst the landowner is providing access to the navies working on the A44 improvements to store their equipment.
There’s room for 3 boats.
Here’s what it looks like.
Enslow to Wolvercote
Skipping Kidlington, which is the next stop down.
There’s places to stop, but they don’t provide me with three things I need, parking, solar and mobile.
Enslow was a nice stopover. On the edge of a nature reserve.
Spiders like it there too.
The canal joins the Cherwell about 1 mile down at Shipston-on Cherwell, and the navigation becomes much deeper, allowing for the boat to travel without the drag on it which is the norm in the very shallow waters of the Oxford canal.
CRT give me money
Well, more the government really.
Remember those Winter Fuel payments?
Well, suddenly they’ve decided to dish them out to continuous cruising boaters, (of which I am one), to the tune of a one off payment of £600.
This should help me in an investigation of the pubs and drinking habits of citizens of Oxford!
A contribution to my new knowledge and understanding shall we say….
Here in Wolvercote, there are a selection of pubs.
4 To be exact.
I preferred the Wolvercote personally. On Friday and Saturday, I went around them all, instead of sitting on the boat. To be honest, it wasn’t much different, which is why I probably don’t go in pubs nowadays.
The Trout, I visited on an afternoon during the week.
They served my cider in a glass with (other peoples) lip marks around the rim.
Pretty disgusting. Made my stomach churn for a little after. Wrote a review about it on Googlemaps, to which they replied, to their credit.
One downside of being closer in is the shocking state of traffic and roadworks around Oxford.
On Friday, I decided to drive to Botley Retail park to get some DIY supplies from Wick’s, should have been about 20 min drive, max.
I had to come off the A34 at somewhere called Botley Interchange, and the traffic was shocking.
On returning to rejoin the A34 after buying my ply-wood, I reasoned that the traffic would be quicker joining the A34 as it would disperse onto the dual carriageway, making it a free flow of traffic
How wrong can you be?
I was sat at the roundabout for literally 1 hour.
The other roads to the North of Oxford are not much better.
All in all, doing the job I do, it’s much better to live no-where near the city and avoid it altogether.
Getting around Oxford by car is pretty much a lottery at the moment.
First day in town, I took the time to visit Oxford’s own curated museum, the Ashmolean.
Free entry, it was well worth the three hours or so I spent wondering around.
Here’s some pictures.
Ashmole was essential a benefactor pledging some of his worldly goods in the dispersal of greater, more widespread knowledge.
Many of the themes I was familiar with.
The artefacts and presentation were new. It was a worthwhile visit, for sure.
Pub crawl around Jericho
Not really a pub crawl more 3 or 4 pubs after some time on the pop earlier in the day.
Jericho is a suburb on the North side of Oxford. It’s very hip and slightly eccentric, like a mix of social housing, millionaires and students, if you can imagine that…
It’s always struck me as a cool place to hang out when I’ve been working on that side of town, but obviously because of my driving responsibilities, I’ve never had the chance to go out there.
Moving the boat down made it so I could walk to the centre of Oxford in about 8 minutes.
So that’s what I did!
Here’s a photo from inside the Victoria, one of the pubs in Jericho.
As you can see, the focus is on BOOZE in this pub. Draught classics like Grolsch and pretty much any spirit you can think of is stacked behind that bar.
Life after Jericho
I intended to take a trip down the Thames, or should I say ‘up’ the Thames. Heading toward the source, so up. In a direction I’ve not been before. From Oxford, I’ve only ever gone East, into London, but I thought I would try to make a trip to the source of the Thames which is close to Cirencester rather than just turn the boat around and head back up the Oxford Canal.
That seemed a bit boring. This seems like more of an adventure.
From Oxford to Lechlade
Turns out the weather has different plans. As I approach the final stop of the navigable Thames, Lechlade, the skys open.
Cycling the remaining 20 miles and back again has absolutely 0 appeal.
I’m going to have to try another time.
For now I’m moored at somewhere called the ‘New Inn’. Here’s a picture.
I popped in for a pint and to check the place out. It’s like a pub, restaurant and hotel.
Here’s the boat moored up at the bottom of the beer garden.
That bridge behind the boat, someone has run into and knocked all the Cotswold limestone into the river.
Tomorrow, I’m going to have to hotfoot back to Oxford as this cycling effort has received a firm kick in the head. Tonight, I will enjoy Lechlade. Tomorrow, I will crack on, back down to Oxford.
Timelapse video of Oxford to Lechlade
I made this video.
It’s from Godstow Abbey, Oxford to the New Inn, Lechlade.
Pictures from the last 2/3 weeks.