Canal Holidays in the UK

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Thames Circular Cruise

Thames - Oxford Canal - Grand Union Canal Cruise 

This cruise takes a minimum of two weeks - to make time for sight-seeing we recommend another 3 or 4 nights.

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

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!
There is a short tidal section between Teddington Lock and the Grand Union at Brentford which may only be navigated at high tide.

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 fifteen day licence for the River Thames can be obtained at both Oxford and Teddington. All the rest of the circle is covered by the Canal & River Trust licence
The cost of a 7 day visitors licence for the River Thames in 2014.
Upto a 42ft (12.5m) boat £42.50
Between 42ft & 49ft boat £51.00
Between 49ft & 59ft boat £60.00
Between 59ft & 65ft boat £69.50
Between 65ft & 70ft boat £79.00 

Hours cruising
Total for Thames circle: 110 hours.
Banbury and return to base: 35 hours each way.
Oxford and return to base: 45 hours each way.
Oxford to Lechlade and return to Oxford: 24 hours.

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