Oxford Canal Raid 2016

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Chris Partridge Chris Partridge
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Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
It's in my diary. Snarleyow Too now has a longer pair of oars and one or two modifications to the rowing position, so all she needs is a spot of varnish and she will be ready for the season.
How about varying the schedule a little this year by starting on the Oxford Canal, perhaps putting in at Banbury?
Timmo Timmo
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
Trip's in my diary. Zelva needs a run out. Do you think the UK might have finally run out of rain by then and have only sunshine left to offer?

Certainly putting in near Banbury would be an interesting variation. Sneaking up on Oxford on it's blind side, while not necessarily the most picturesque approach, is quite fun.

Four potential issues...

1) Banbury is a narrow canal, half the width of the Kennet and Avon we've explored before. At it's narrowest (where there are boats moored) there's just enough room for two narrow boats to pass (about 14 ft.) Locks are just over 7ft wide. That has implications for the rowers. Anyone with oars longer than 7ft will have to scull over the stern for large parts of the way.

2) The area is not over endowed with slipways or easy places to park and launch. There are car parks in town (not free nor particularly trailer friendly) near the canal, so boats that can be trollied or carried and launched from the towpath can get afloat there. Since that solution has worked for me I've not yet searched further. Happy to do so. Better options may exist north of Banbury on the stretch I've not yet finally completed.

3) WIll have to check the camping options. I know you can camp at the pig farm a little way south of Banbury (some campers have reported bonus bacon butties in the morning.) That might be a little too soon on the journey though. Not sure what the options are nearer Oxford. Some nice waterside pubs so I'm sure something can be worked out.

4) It is further from Beale for the car shuttle.

None of those issues is a complete killer though. If people like the idea of some variety I'm up for it. Will be in the UK for a few weeks during Feb and March so could look for a slipway then if it would help.

Tim



> On 9 Jan 2016, at 15:25, Chris Partridge [via UK HBBR Forum] <ml-node+s967333n4029272h45@n3.nabble.com> wrote:
>
> It's in my diary. Snarleyow Too now has a longer pair of oars and one or two modifications to the rowing position, so all she needs is a spot of varnish and she will be ready for the season.
> How about varying the schedule a little this year by starting on the Oxford Canal, perhaps putting in at Banbury?
>
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Randonneur Randonneur
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Re: HBBR Thames Raid 2016

In reply to this post by Chris Partridge
On Sat, Jan 9, 2016 at 3:25 PM, Chris Partridge [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:
 
How about varying the schedule a little this year by starting on the Oxford Canal, perhaps putting in at Banbury?

Indeed. Ade and me have been talking about Bristol to Beale via the K&A for the last 3 years :-)
It's mostly down hill...

Beale is in my diary but clashes with other things!
Crick Boat Show is 28-30 May and I've been offered a crewing spot on a traditional Broads yacht 23-28 May.
We'll have to see how things pan out.

PP  

LASER41420 LASER41420
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Re: HBBR Thames Raid 2016

Hi,
My oars a 7ft+ and I suspect all the other rowers sets are as well, probably not a viable option without alternative propulsion. We could do split routes and meet up halfway, kind of a multi raid?
Steve
GregHBBR GregHBBR
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
Hi Steve,

While I don't know the length of the Oxford Union in question in great detail, having only walked the area around Banbury itself, I think Tim may be unduly pessimistic about the width of the canal for rowing purposes. Most "7ft" canals are every bit as wide as a "14ft" canal. It is only locks that are half the width, and a single stroke on the oars before you enter should get you to where you want to be without difficulty.

Here's views of Banbury itself taken on a very exceptional day, in 2011, where I will confess that parts might have been difficult to row. And, yes, the final picture was taken on the same day, but just 100yds south of Debenhams and is much more typical of what you might expect on a normal day on a "7ft" canal.

Banbury Canal Day 2011

Banbury Canal Day 2011

Banbury Canal Day 2011

Banbury Canal Day 2011

Banbury Canal Day 2011

Banbury Canal Day 2011
Greg Chapman
GregAfloat - My Boating Biography
Randonneur Randonneur
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Re: HBBR Thames Raid 2016



On Sun, Jan 10, 2016 at 11:11 PM, GregHBBR [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Here's views of Banbury itself taken on a very exceptional day, in 2011, where I will confess that parts might have been difficult to row. And, yes, the final picture was taken on the same day, but just 100yds south of Debenhams and is much more typical of what you might expect on a normal day on a "7ft" canal.

And what better a place to start an inland waterways adventure.
Start from Tooley's Boatyard, just like Tom Rolt and Cressy did all those years ago. 
If he hadn't, then it's likely none of us would be floating on any canals today :-)

PP 
Timmo Timmo
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
Greg's right, it's not all as narrow as 14ft and the idea of starting at Banbury does appeal to me.

However, there are stretches of a mile or more like this:



That's a 14ft canoe.



Further down below Banbury is one of the deep locks. Width of canal above the lock is probably typical of large parts of the stretch from Banbury to Oxford.



Not easy to see, but you may be able to estimate canal width by extrapolating from width of lock.



I remember a few wider sections and some more constricted parts as you pass round the back of Kidlington. If my memory is correct the section made narrowest by moored boats is between Wolvercote and Oxford centre.

The idea of starting from Tooley's boatyard does indeed have significance. But it would have to be a token 'paddle past.' The yard itself has been swallowed by shopping mall development and is preserved (while still a working dry dock) as a adjunct to Banbury museum. There's no vehicle access or launching facility there.



Not in UK at the moment, but back soon and would be able to do a better recce if the idea is popular and accurate info on canal width, launching options and overnight locations is needed to inform a decision.

Or we can do Bristol to Beale, or Lechlade to Beale. The company is at least as important as, if not more than, the route!

Tim
Chris Partridge Chris Partridge
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Re: HBBR Thames Raid 2016

What a lot of info already.
Those of us under oars could handle short narrow stretches with paddles, perhaps, and if the worst comes to the worst the towpath may offer the ability to walk'n'tow much as that goes against the grain. I remember those deep locks and frankly I think I will be getting the boat in on the end of a piece of rope rather than sitting in it with an increasing sense of doom as the lock walls rise ever higher...
We could also go from, say, Marlborough to Beale as that would be down the Kennet with only a short distance up the relatively slow-flowing Thames.
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Chris Partridge
Well I think the Thames Raid should be down the..err....Thames.

The upper Thames from Lechlade is the best; quiet, wild, beautiful and unspoilt by progress. Also we have a well tuned set of camp-sites and charging points.

ttfn
Paul

 
John P John P
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Re: HBBR Thames Raid 2016

Josephine and myself are easy about the choice of route.  We would certainly find it interesting to try a new route but unlike some others here we have only done the whole route from Lechlade to Beale Park once, and that was back in 2012, so would not be strongly against a repeat.  If all goes well with my boat building we might even have a new boat for the 2016 trip and this would have long oars (I think the rowers call them 'blades')  but we can bring a couple of paddles for any narrow sections of waterway, I cant see that being a real problem for any of the boats that are likely to attend.
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Timmo
Timmo wrote
..... the idea of starting at Banbury does appeal to me.
Looking at the map we will be less than 500m from the M40 for a long stretch, and the Oxford canal goes under the M40 twice. The train line, canal and motorway seem to be close all the way to Oxford.  Has anybody done that route? It might not be the quiet and peaceful experience we are looking for.

-Paul
Timmo Timmo
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
Paul makes good points.

I've done the canal from Banbury to Oxford twice and done other short trips on sections of it. Much of the interest for me was in seeing familiar places from an unfamiliar angle.

There are parts that are very rural. Some short bits that are utterly charming (like Thrupp for example). A couple of well regarded canalside pubs. And other bits that are very close to industry, railway, main roads and urban development. The final couple of miles into Oxford (after Wolvercote) is initially lined with very shabby student and 'alternative lifestyle' live-aboards then largely hemmed in by modern housing development. Interesting rather than charming!

The M40 is not as intrusive as you'd at first think. Quieter than the main road we camped near (under?) at Marlow a few years ago, but it is there.

I'm neither recommending the Oxford canal nor trying to put people off.

Maybe it should be a separate trip on another occasion for those of us best equipped for canals.

The journey from Lechlade to Beale is well tried and allows us to enjoy the trip without the complications of managing numerous unknowns. One in particular being where we'll find an accessible slipway on the canal near Banbury.

Hope that sounded neutral!

Tim.


> On 19 Jan 2016, at 09:11, Paul (admin) [via UK HBBR Forum] <ml-node+s967333n4029288h41@n3.nabble.com> wrote:
>
> Timmo wrote
> ..... the idea of starting at Banbury does appeal to me.
> Looking at the map we will be less than 500m from the M40 for a long stretch, and the Oxford canal goes under the M40 twice. The train line, canal and motorway seem to be close all the way to Oxford.  Has anybody done that route? It might not be the quiet and peaceful experience we are looking for.
>
> -Paul
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

This post was updated on .
Every reply (except the first one) related to the Oxford Canal. So I have branched the Oxford Canal Raid into its own topic.

I may need a stiff drink to cope with this organising achievement

-Paul
Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

Could we make the Oxford Canal Raid a separate event? e.g. in at Banbury and out somewhere near the Thames?
Maybe a long weekend trip spanning the Banbury Canal Day??

Doing more raids is good for the HBBR group!

cheers
Paul
Randonneur Randonneur
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016


I'd avoid any weekend when there is an organised canal day! You won't move anywhere at all!

For info, Banbury to Oxford details:

Total distance is 27 miles, 1¾ furlongs and 16 locks (not counting Banbury Lock No 29). There are at least 19 moveable bridges of which 15 are usually left open and 1 small aqueduct or underbridge.

This is made up of 27 miles, 1¾ furlongs of narrow canals; 16 narrow locks.

This will take 14 hours, 44 minutes which is 2 days, 44 minutes at 7 hours per day. For initial calculation purposes (before adjusting for such things as overnight stops) this is taken as 2 days of 7 hours and 22 minutes each.

Overnight stopping places

This is calculated based on 2 full days travelling starting at Banbury Lock No 29.

Each full day will be approximately 7 hours and 22 minutes travelling.

First full day of trip
On the the Oxford Canal (Southern Section - Main Line), at Dashwood's Bridge No 209 (half way between High Bush Bridge No 208 and New Brighton Bridge No 211). This is 14 miles, 1¾ furlongs and 8 locks and will take 7 hours 22 minutes.
Last day of trip
On the the Oxford Canal (Southern Section - Main Line), at Oxford. This is 12 miles, 7¾ furlongs and 8 locks and will take 7 hours 22 minutes.
This is my default narrowboat settings. Faffing around UKHBBR style at locks will take a lot longer (based on 3mph and 15mims/lock).
(Portaging canoest can knock a day off that time)

PP




On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 2:18 PM, Paul (admin) [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:
Could we make the Oxford Canal Raid a separate event? e.g. in at Banbury and out somewhere near the Thames?
Maybe a long weekend trip spanning the Banbury Canal Day??

Doing more raids is good for the HBBR group!

cheers
Paul
Sail when you can, motor when you can't http://www.millibee.co.uk



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Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

Parking in or around Oxford is virtually impossible - Liza (studying Maths) says the cyclist's own the roads!

There are numerous out of town Park and Ride car parks. We may be able to find a discrete corner of a field to store cars+trailers OR choose a car park with 24 hour Security personnel.
Timmo Timmo
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

In reply to this post by Randonneur
Pete is right. While there would be a certain kick about parading through the busy town there are no moorings to stop at within at least a mile of the centre either way during the festival. Through the town both sides of the canal are moored solid and there are boat trip craft cruising up to the winding hole just past B&Q (it is as charming as it sounds) and back to clog things up still further. 

While I can recommend visiting the event you need to come on land, book ahead for a mooring, or be prepared to moor a long way out and walk in. It's certainly Banbury's finest annual event but very little of it has any connection with boating or canals.

On a quiter day the museum cafe on the towpath right by the shopping centre can be a pleasant pause for a brew and a slice. 

Banbury itself has few charms left and five minutes in the market place will pretty much exhaust them. 

Pete's timings look good, perhaps scope to shave a little off them. 

A small group moving fast (at Pete and Adrian's average Bram pace) could do the trip in one long day. I've done it in just over 9 hours going through the locks, mostly single handed, but that was very hard. Half the locks were with me (full when I arrived) which did help.

Two days would be realistic allowing for pub and meal stop times. Might have to spread over three days to allow for arriving, launching, shuffling vehicles, and the reverse process at the other end.

Tim.


On 20 Jan 2016, at 14:53, Randonneur [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:


I'd avoid any weekend when there is an organised canal day! You won't move anywhere at all!

For info, Banbury to Oxford details:

Total distance is 27 miles, 1¾ furlongs and 16 locks (not counting Banbury Lock No 29). There are at least 19 moveable bridges of which 15 are usually left open and 1 small aqueduct or underbridge.
This is made up of 27 miles, 1¾ furlongs of narrow canals; 16 narrow locks.
This will take 14 hours, 44 minutes which is 2 days, 44 minutes at 7 hours per day. For initial calculation purposes (before adjusting for such things as overnight stops) this is taken as 2 days of 7 hours and 22 minutes each.

Overnight stopping places

This is calculated based on 2 full days travelling starting at Banbury Lock No 29.
Each full day will be approximately 7 hours and 22 minutes travelling.

First full day of trip
On the the Oxford Canal (Southern Section - Main Line), at Dashwood's Bridge No 209 (half way between High Bush Bridge No 208 and New Brighton Bridge No 211). This is 14 miles, 1¾ furlongs and 8 locks and will take 7 hours 22 minutes.
Last day of trip
On the the Oxford Canal (Southern Section - Main Line), at Oxford. This is 12 miles, 7¾ furlongs and 8 locks and will take 7 hours 22 minutes.
This is my default narrowboat settings. Faffing around UKHBBR style at locks will take a lot longer (based on 3mph and 15mims/lock).
(Portaging canoest can knock a day off that time)

PP




On Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 2:18 PM, Paul (admin) [via UK HBBR Forum] <<a href="x-msg://10/user/SendEmail.jtp?type=node&amp;node=4029292&amp;i=0" target="_top" rel="nofollow" link="external" class="">[hidden email]> wrote:
Could we make the Oxford Canal Raid a separate event? e.g. in at Banbury and out somewhere near the Thames?
Maybe a long weekend trip spanning the Banbury Canal Day??

Doing more raids is good for the HBBR group!

cheers
Paul
Sail when you can, motor when you can't http://www.millibee.co.uk



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Timmo Timmo
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

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Absolutely! Oxford actively discourages cars by restricting roads (creating jams) and limiting car-parking. It wants people to use the Park and Rides.

One alternative is to park at Wolvercote. There's a public car park there just by the river (with height restriction so roof topped boats off/on outside on the road) then either take the Dukes cut from the Oxford Canal through to the Thames and do the two locks down to the meadows at Wolvercote or complete the trip into Oxford and then come back upriver to Wolvercote. 

Next option is to go through town to the end of the canal, then on down the Thames to the slipway on the south of town.

A trip from Banbury to Oxford certainly creates issues with launching and retrieving. I've lived round here for 21 years and know of few options at either end! But I've never seriously searched, there may be facilities I've not yet tripped over.

Will probably mean the trip starts further north on the canal from Banbury and involves some river work at the Oxford end to wrap it up. Not a problem, just need to factor the distance into the timings.

Tim.


On 20 Jan 2016, at 16:09, Paul (admin) [via UK HBBR Forum] <[hidden email]> wrote:

Parking in or around Oxford is virtually impossible - Liza (studying Maths) says the cyclist's own the roads!

There are numerous out of town Park and Ride car parks. We may be able to find a discrete corner of a field to store cars+trailers OR choose a car park with 24 hour Security personnel.
Sail when you can, motor when you can't http://www.millibee.co.uk



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Paul (admin) Paul (admin)
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Re: Oxford Canal Raid 2016

Timmo wrote
Absolutely! Oxford actively discourages cars by restricting roads (creating jams) and limiting car-parking. It wants people to use the Park and Rides.

Will probably mean the trip starts further north on the canal from Banbury and involves some river work at the Oxford end to wrap it up. Not a problem, just need to factor the distance into the timings.
A bit of river work adds to the interest and sets up a mini challenge. Much better to launch recover far from the the madding crowd, as you suggest (both ends).

A stop at the Head of the River pub is mandatory btw. A chance to chat with Ms. Hadley and it has jolly nice views of the river and a seriously old stone bridge.

-Paul