A few days at Thrupp

We don’t really know Oxfordshire but we do know its a canal we would like to cruise again. Its very pretty, there’s plenty of variety, and apart from a couple of rogue booze cruise hirers very peaceful. We managed to set off from the quarry without Eric falling in.

That could have ended badly

And enjoyed the bluebells along the way

And some of last years tall reeds

Through some more woods

And some open fields, this one had sheep goats and alpaca grazing, but Eric was more excited to see Whitehill satellite earth station at Enslow. It’s one he may have visited during his early engineering days.

Whitehill Satellite earth station

The next lock took us onto the River Cherwell and we instantly felt the boat speed up without us touching the throttle, (or bottle for that matter) It’s amazing how much the width of the river increases the efficiency of our transit.

The Cherwell at Shipton

But it wasn’t to last as we were squeezed into one of those odd shaped locks, known as coffin locks,

Shipton weir lock

to take us the last few twists around to Thrupp. We were lucky to get moored in, and while everyone else was looking at the beautifully kept village, we were both looking at the mooring edge and thinking the same thing. Its clean, its low and its a perfect edge to paint the gunwale from.

The popular Thrupp Visitor Moorings

We hadn’t intended to stay more than one night at Thrupp, but it was too good an opportunity to miss.

A good place to relax

So whilst Eric exercised his artistic talent with the paintbrush, I got my spinning wheel out and enjoyed a few hours in the sunshine.

Spinning in the sun

We weren’t the only ones taking advantage of this lovely spot,

Brian the blacksmith on Bronte

Brian the Blacksmith had set up shop and I was very tempted with his dragon But it was beyond my pocket money budget and I if I’m honest I knew I’d have trouble finding a place for it to live and be admired.

And out of the fire came a dragon

Thrupp really is a lovely place, whilst Eric was painting I enjoyed walking into Kidlington and along river and I’m sure we want to moor here again, if only so Eric can paint the other side to match,

I wonder how long it will look so smart

And because there was a function going on we decided not to go for a pint of bitter at the Boat, which is where Lewis and Morse used go to unwind at the end of a hard case.

The Boat Inn at Thrupp

The Boat

Tim Time

“Where are you this weekend Mum?” ….“Banbury” ….. “I’ll be arriving on the 14:56” …..and so we set off cruising late and only made it as far as Haynes lift bridge on Friday, but at least we had a crew.

Hello Tim, nice to have company aboard

It’s a pleasant mooring just beyond Banbury. It gave our city boy son enough fresh air that he slept like a log and we had a lazy start to the weekend. So whilst I waited for the men to wake up, I stuck my head outside to say hello to fellow bloggers on NB Freespirit, who are making the same journey as we are but with a tighter timescale. And I have to say, it has made me smile that we’ve unwittingly snapped very similar photos but we managed to snap Firecrest and Freespirit moored together.

Yes thats NB Freespirit moored ahead of us

We saw many things that made us smile over the weekend. And whilst seeing a smartly dressed paddle gear made me groan, it was Tim who took the time to read its message….Kings Norton lock

I like the odd spot of clever graffiti, and as these paddle gears have been out of action for a while.

We made sure Tim earnt his keep working the locks for us

Helpful visitors are always welcome

But most of the lift bridges on the South Oxford are usually kept open these days

Haddens Lift Bridge near Nell Bridge House farm

Word had filtered through from boats travelling north that the Chisnell lift bridge was misbehaving in the strong winds so we called it a day and moored up for the night. What could be better than mooring opposite a field of fluffy sheep

Until they realise what’s for tea

As always when Tim comes to visit, (or any other visitors for that matter) I do feel a compulsive need to feed him well and our weekend was punctuated with cooked breakfasts, sumptuous teas and picnics on the go.

On the whole, quite healthy

But we made sure we walked off our calories when we moored up at the quarry near above Pigeons lock and discovered the woods were full of bluebells.

The Quarry woodlands above Pigeons lock

And we all celebrated when we were able to tick off a significant bridge number. Weve seen plenty of 100’s but its nice to see a 200.

Bridge 200

It really has been a lovely weekend, despite some horrible windy moments, its remained dry and the sun has shone most of the time. And the scenery has been lovely

Dashwood lock

But this was were we had to say goodbye for this visit. There is a good footpath from Pigeons lock up to Tackley train station for Tim to return to his own home.

come again soon