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Banbury & Adderbury

The moorings above the lock in Cropredy are only for 24 hours so on Saturday morning we got up early, worked our way through the lock and landed on the service wharf. After doing the necessary, we started the relatively short trip to Banbury. There are only a handful of locks to do and by eleven o’clock we were tied up next to Spiceball park. The weather had behaved itself but as we walked into town half an hour later, we were caught in a heavy shower, umbrellas protected us until we were able to take shelter under the Tom Rolt bridge.

Our mooring in Castle Quay, Banbury.

We had two days on the mooring before moving into Castle Quay for another two. The weather changed later on Saturday so we have been able to get plenty of walking done as we explored Banbury from side to side and top to bottom.

St Mary’s Church, Banbury.

This fine lady rides her cock horse at Banbury Cross.

This fine lady adorns a wall in Butchers Row, Banbury.

On Wednesday we had to move again, our allotted mooring time was up and we needed to fill the water tank again. By half past eight we had filled the tank and taken advantage of the filling up time to have showers and complete a cycle of the washing machine. Next on the agenda was a shopping stop at Morrisons before we untied for the third time in three hours and set off.

Despite the fact that we haven’t travelled much in the last few days, today’s trip was only as far as Twyford Wharf, an hour away from Banbury. On our previous trips down this way, there are numerous places that we just haven’t had the time to stop and visit but of course the rules are completely different now. Twyford Wharf sits on the road between Kings Sutton and Adderbury, both of which we want to explore. We decided to go to the latter today and made the half hour walk up the hill and over the M40. It has to be said that for the first half a mile or so there is no footpath, which isn’t ideal but it was still worth the effort. Sue laughed after we had crossed the main road in Adderbury when she saw that tucked away around the corner was the Red Lion and that we were on the wrong side! We both wondered if I was losing my touch, normally I can sniff these things out regardless of corners and blind bends. Normality was restored a moment later when we reached The Coach & Horses on our side of the road. The sun had been high in the sky as we walked to the village, only occasionally had we had some respite from the shade of an odd cloud or two so it seemed sensible to pop inside for a break and maybe a refreshment or two. Once inside we were met by the landlord who greeted us like we were long lost friends. We then noticed the food menu and decided to eat too. Follow the link above and take a look at the menu, yes those prices are real and up to date. The meals were really good, fresh veg accompanying the dish. The place was really busy, the phone kept ringing as customers phoned their orders in – they do a roaring takeaway trade and it’s not difficult to understand why. We enjoyed our meals – two main courses for £7.50!!!

We thought that we should be on our way and walk off some of our lunch before returning to our mooring so we carried on down into the village and visited the church. The main street is lined with houses and cottages built from the local yellow hued stone, some have thatched roofs which complete the charming scene.

A typical house in this part of Adderbury.

The church is a beauty too, built from the same stone except heavily weathered due to the years it has been standing there. After wandering inside for a look, we walked all around the outside and saw that the surrounding graveyard contained mainly stones which were as weathered as the church itself.

It was still hot as we set off back to the wharf and although we did call in to the third pub in the village, The Bell Inn we gave the Red Lion a miss on the way back.

The view from our mooring at Twyford.

Tomorrow we’ll see what delights the village of Kings Sutton has to offer.

A bit of boat cleaning to round the day off.