Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Oxford to Beale Park

We were the second boat to leave the Oxford moorings this morning and were at Osney Lock a few minutes before 9am having passed nb Urquhart Castle.  No sign of curtains twitching so we must have been very quiet.


The lock keeper was just starting his day telling us he had a restless night because there was no noise from the weir beside his cottage.  We had already noticed the weir was dry!  The lock keeper had contacted the next lock upstream who had confirmed their water level was also low.  However, by the time we reached Iffley Lock the level was back to normal.  The next lock (Sandford) was already set for us.  Well actually the lock keeper had set it for the Oxford to Abingdon ferry which we had passed moored at Oxford.  The lock keeper told us the ferry does the trip twice a day and sometimes it goes rather fast!

Going downstream meant we were now on the far side of the river and this enabled us to get a better look at the earthworks we’d seen going upstream several days ago.


We think it is a trailbike/motorcross circuit.

The ferry caught up with us just as we reached the services above Abingdon Lock.  The nasties hose has a powerful pump at this location and emptied the tank very quickly.  Waiouru was then bow hauled forward a short distance to reach the water hose.  With one tank full and the other empty we continued on our way.

abingdon again

Abingdon again!

It was now just past 10am so we decided to press on rather than stop for the day.  As we approached Day’s Lock the large round hill on the skyline became more noticeable.  It looked to be the dominate local feature overlooking the surrounding land.

knollAs part of this post I check the OSM and identified that the hill does appear to have some significance.

castle hillThe photo above is of Round Hill which is the higher of the two.  I then guessed I might find additional information by searching using the local road name (Witteham) and again I struck gold.

These two feature are known as Wittenham Clumps.  The hill is the site of an iron age hill fort.  The trees on the summit are the oldest planted beech trees in England.  Wikipedia reports it is the most visited outdoor location in Oxfordshire.

We kept going hoping for a mooring below Goring Lock.  Unfortunately they were full and we carried on to Beale Park where there were plenty of moorings.  Its been a long day.  Actually its been much longer than we planned.  Tomorrow we will probably plan to stop at Reading.


Adam said...

Yes, it's a bike track. Action photo here: http://www.nbbriarrose.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/autumn-cruise-day-16.html

Tom and Jan said...

Thanks for confirming that Adam. Nice to know our eyes and brains haven't fully gone!😁

Mandy Klyne said...

Poor old Urquhart...you didn't show her best side! Note to selves, must do more boat maintenance.

Tom and Jan said...

We will moor alongside and you can also do Waiouru's gunwales! :-)