A fantastic starting location, Lower Hayford is perfect for taking a step back in time and exploring beautiful historic sites in the south of England.
Oxford, the 'City of Dreaming Spires' is only a 7-8 hour cruise from the base making it a perfect short break. And further afield are the historic towns of Windsor, Marlow and Hampton Court, all situated on the River Thames.
Oxford & Return
28 Miles | 18 Locks | 3/4 night cruise | 5 hours per day
A great weekend city break or a more relaxed midweek break, allowing extra time to explore the City of Oxford. Head south on the South Oxford Canal cruising through pretty farmland heading into a deeply wooded stretch, meandering through pretty villages, stopping off at canalside pubs. A short taxi ride from Thrupp is the world famous Blenheim Palace, well worth a visit. Continue cruising down the South Oxford Canal to the moorings close to Isis lock for an easy walk into Oxford- the City of Dreaming Spires. Famous for being the home of one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford hosts many museums, shops, pubs and restaurants to explore. Turn at the moorings for the return journey back to the base at Lower Heyford.
Cropredy & Return
34 Miles | 24 Locks | 3/4 night cruise | 6 hours per day
More suited to a midweek break, but can be done over a weekend with longer cruising hours per day. Your journey heading north will pass through pretty farmland past Upper Heyford. Continue through the Cherwell Valley to Somerton Deep Lock and on to the wharf at Aynho with its canalside pub. Cruise through several lift bridges (many of which will be left open for boaters to pass straight through) and on to the town of Banbury where you can walk through the Old Town, visit the Market Place and Banbury Cross, the Castle Quay shopping centre or entertain yourselves at the cinema, 10 pin bowling or the famous Tooleys Boatyard / Banbury Museum. Continue cruising through the peaceful countryside to the quiet, picturesque village of Cropredy- home to the annual Fairport Convention. Moor along the towpath before the winding hole and take a short walk into the village for a pub meal, before turning your boat for the journey back.
Oxford, Lechlade & Return
76 Miles | 36 Locks | 1 Week Cruise | 5 hours per day
Heading south on the South Oxford Canal from Lower Heyford, you will cruise through farmland to the pretty village of Thrupp, with a selection of pubs and an award winning tea room nearby. Take in the world famous Blenheim Palace - just a short taxi ride away. Continue cruising south to the moorings close to Isis lock for an easy walk into Oxford- the City of Dreaming Spires. Join the River Thames (a licence will be required and can be purchased from the lock, roughly £80 for one week). Head north on the River Thames passing the outskirts of Wytham Great Wood, onwards through scenic open countryside and under the oldest bridge on the River Thames - an impressive triple-arched 13th Century stone bridge. Continue through beautiful countryside to the pristine village of Kelmscott, meandering on to the market town of Lechlade. Take a stroll around this idyllic Cotswold town with its excellent antique shops, or sample one of the many pubs and cafes before making the return journey.
Oxford, Cropredy & Return
60 Miles | 42 Locks | 1 Week Cruise | 5 hours per day
Head south on the South Oxford Canal from Lower Heyford and cruise to the pretty village of Thrupp, with a selection of pubs and an award winning tea room nearby. Take in the world famous Blenheim Palace - just a short taxi ride away. Continue cruising south to the moorings close to Isis lock for an easy walk into Oxford - the City of Dreaming Spires, enjoying all of the history the city has to offer. Head back north through Wovercote and Lower Heyford, continuing on to the old town of Banbury with its Market Place, Castle Quay shopping centre, cinema, 10 pin bowling and famous Tooleys Boatyard. Enjoy the beautiful countryside as you head for the picturesque village of Cropredy where you can relax before returning to base.
Hampton Court Palace & Return
204 Miles | 84 Locks | 2 Week Cruise | 5 hours per day
From the base at Lower Heyford, cruise through farmland to the pretty village of Thrupp with its nearby pubs. Continue south to the beautiful city of Oxford- the City of Dreaming Spires. Famous for being the home of one of the most prestigious universities in the world, Oxford also has many museums, shops, pubs and restaurants to explore. Leaving Oxford, join the River Thames (a licence will be required and can be purchased from the lock, roughly £80 for one week). Travel through the historic market towns of Abingdon and Wallingford, stopping at riverside pubs along the way and onwards to Basildon, where there are moorings for the Beale Park wildlife park. Continue on to the pretty village of Sonning and the attractive market town of Henley-on-Thames and visit the fantastic array of independent shops, the River & Rowing Museum or some of the many pubs, bars and eateries. Moving on, you will pass through Marlow and Cookham cruising on to the town of Windsor to visit attractions such as Windsor Castle and Legoland. Cruise on towards Runnymede and Staines-upon-Thames and moor at Penton Hook marina to visit one of the UK's biggest theme parks - Thorpe Park. Travel on past the towns of Chertsey and Weybridge to reach Hampton Court where you can explore the home of Henry VIII, visit the grand gardens and famous maze and spend time walking the corridors steeped in Tudor history before returning to base.