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Oxford to Reading 

South Oxford Canal

River Thames

£1140 pp  (£2280 per charter)

Cruise 5 - 5th to 11th May 2025 (6 nights)
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This is a trip of 38 miles and 13 locks from Oxford Visitor Moorings to Reading Bridge.


The last time ‘Ellis’ was down this direction was 2023 when we spent a lovely few weeks playing on the upper Thames to Lechlade but only had enough free time to go down as far as Dorchester.  SO – this time we’re allowing more than enough time to tie up to a tree (mooring tends to be quite an adventure on the river… rarely managing to get fully alongside. 


We’ll expect our guests to arrive about 1.30pm  and after an introductory blah blah (and most probably a glass of something fizzy) we’ll depart Oxford  Visitor moorings, top up with water   and put in an hour or so chugging (depending on the weather) –  This will take us through ‘Sheepwash Channel (if we’ve been moored on the Canal – or straight on to Osney lock if we’ve been moored on the river proper).


We’ll probably work though Iffley lock before beginning the search for somewhere to tie up for the evening. 


The next morning (after a simple DIY breakfast), we’ll chug off  and continue our downstream journey.  Todays planned stop will be Abingdon which isn’t far… possibly arriving by lunchtime depending on where we were able to moor last night.  It’s a lovely little town and even has an outdoor swimming pool (Lido) right by the river where we may be able to moor.


After a hopefully peaceful evening, we’ll cast off and chug onwards  through Culham and Little Wittenham and then Capt. E. will be keeping an eye out for a suitable tree to chuck a rope around.  It was here he tested out an expired life jacket and enjoyed an hour swimming in the river on what felt like the hottest day of 2023.  Here’s hoping for a similar opportunity … sans life-jacket.  The walk into Dorchester is around the edge of a field and up the road but it’s well worth it as Dorchester is really pretty with a couple of lovely pubs and an Abbey.


Our next day will be a bit longer as we meander our way downstream  through Shillingford, and Wallingford – probably stopping for lunch around Moulsford (perhaps with a libation in the Beetle and Wedgewood Boathouse.  Tonight we may end up moored in Goring.


Depending on the weather and folks desire to explore, we can perhaps spend the morning in Goring and cast off after lunch for a short hop to Whitchurch – once again an opportunity to visit a local hostelry after dinner will present itself.


Our final full day will see us heading to Mapledurham where (if we’re able to moor) guests may like to visit Mapledurham house depending on what day of the week we end up here… like many boating trips, it’s difficult to ensure we arrive when things are open so it’s a case of ‘pot luck’ – ( I have no idea where that phrase comes from).


We’ll aim to moor up on our final night at Reading Bridge visitor moorings which are quite close to the station.  This should make for an easy departure  for when guests leave after breakfast on the final morning.  If mooring here isn’t easily available, we might need to continue downstream through Sonning lock (only a couple of miles) and aim for Sonning Bridge moorings instead.  Don’t worry though, we can always turn and head back up stream to ‘drop off’ guests as close to the station as possible on the morning of departure.


The moorings outlined above are only suggestions – the aim on the Thames is generally to put in the miles on a morning and tie up around lunchtime BEFORE non-experienced boaters appear and fill up the mooring spots.

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