Canal Holidays in the UK

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Thames Circular Cruise

17 - 21 nights
Thames - Oxford Canal - Grand Union Canal Cruise 


The Thames circular cruise is probably the most exciting and rewarding of all circuits incorporating every aspect of the Inland Waterways.
Please phone 01525 372355 to book your boat for the Thames Cruise.

Wide locks up the Grand Union Canal with the long tunnels at Blisworth and Braunston. The narrow locks and meandering South Oxford Canal contrast with the width and grandeur of the River Thames.

Thames Circular Barge Holiday Map

This map is simplified and is not an accurate guide.

Oxford Canal
The canal rises up the hill at Napton with views of the village and windmill before meandering 11 miles across the summit through Fenny Compton giving some breathtaking views of the Warwickshire countryside.
The canal passes right through the centre of the picturesque market town of Banbury, before following the Cherwell Valley down to the River Thames at Oxford.
The lift bridges, narrow locks and stone walled villages will make it a journey to remember.

Windsor Castle on the Upper River ThamesLower Thames
There are two ways of joining the Thames from the Oxford Canal; either by the Dukes cut above King's Lock or at Isis near the city centre.
Oxford's historic buildings and the wide river with its rowing clubs make a sharp contrast to the canal.
The locks are manned and shared with river and seagoing craft, so sit back and enjoy travelling through the front garden of England and ending up at Windsor Castle and Hampton Court.
Stop at Hampton Court's own moorings to visit the house and possibly lose the kids in the maze!

Tidal Thames
The Thames is tidal below Teddington and the Grand Union Canal is entered at Brentford, this may only be navigated at high tide as directed by the lock-keepers. All our boats are approved by 'The Port of London Authority' to cruise the tidal section of the Thames between Teddington and Brentford. Under no circumstances are our boats allowed to cruise along the tidal Thames through London between Brentford and Limehouse.

Upper Thames
In three weeks the Upper Thames from Oxford to Lechlade may be included. Here the river meanders to the extreme and on occasions boats are seen astern that you have not yet met.
A Wyvern-built narrowboat travelling through LondonLechlade, set in the flood plane with its high church steeple, is a rewarding sight and marks the upper limit of navigation to the Thames.
If time, the River Wey from Weybridge to Godalming may be visited or a theatre evening at Oxford.

Thames Licence
The River Thames is controlled by the Environment Agency and therefore the Canal & River Trust Licence is not valid; a seven day licence for the River Thames can be purchased from the lock-keepers at both Oxford and Teddington when you first go on the river. 

Hours cruising:
The Thames Ring: 116 hrs*.
248 miles, 102 wide locks, 37 narrow locks, 36 Thames locks, 2 tunnels.

* These are approximate hours and do not account for possible delays.

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