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Oxford and the Thames

After a peaceful night below Kidlington Green lock, we decided to press on and complete our journey to Oxford. It was straightforward enough, a couple of lift bridges to raise and two locks to pass through before we reached our destination, the visitor moorings near Aristotle bridge. After we had showered and changed we took a walk into the centre via the Oxford yarn store which coincidentally was (almost) on our route. Our circular route brought us back to our mooring by walking the towpath from the end of the canal.

We decided to go the opposite way the following morning as we had a few bits of shopping to do and we were back on board for lunch by noon. The sun came out in the early afternoon so we decided to go for a walk, this time heading away from the busy streets of the city centre. A few hundred yards away, the road crosses the railway line and as we approached we saw an incredible sight in the distance, a steam train was approaching, as it came closer it was clear to see that this was a bit of a superstar, it was the Flying Scotsman.

The Flying Scotsman

Closer view

The train was gone in a few moments but luckily enough, Sue had her phone to hand and got a couple of shots. We then carried on to Port Meadow and continued our walk to Fiddler’s Island and then on to The Perch at Binsey.

The river from Fiddler’s Island

The Perch at Binsey

The Wedding Marquee

Enjoying a refreshment at The Perch.

A wedding reception was being held in a marquee in the garden of the pub and the guests arrived in a vintage double decker bus.

Once we had refreshed ourselves at the Perch, we decided to visit a nearby farm which was selling fresh strawberries and asparagus. We had just been talking about how lovely it was to be away from the crowded streets and how good it was to walk down a traffic free country lane knowing that the nearby A34 would be its usual Friday afternoon self. No sooner had we said this than three fire engines passed us, blue lights flashing, heading in the direction of the pub. This puzzled us because we had left the small hamlet of Binsey just minutes before and nothing seemed out of place. We decided that perhaps this was some sort of back route avoiding the mayhem of the A34. Once we had bought our farm produce, we retraced our steps and found that the fire engines were parked near the river and were in the process of launching a rigid inflatable boat.

Cow Rescue Service

Firemen console the bull, assuring him that his girlfriend would soon be safe.

It turned out that there had been reports of a cow in the river and the firemen were out to rescue it. They didn’t find it, presumably it had climbed back out again. We took a slightly different way back across the meadow and eventually found ourselves near the railway station, by the time we got back we had walked a total of ten miles during the very eventful day!