Thursday 1 May (May Day)

We left Lower Heyford early and despite passing a few fellow boaters and one marina,  we didn’t pass many other signs of civilisation as it is open countryside all the way, with the exception of the railway line which runs pretty much all the way beside the canal from Oxford to Banbury.  The villages along the way are all about a mile or so back from the canal.

Aynho Weir Lock is another hexagonal lock which marked the start of another half mile stretch of the River Cherwell today.   An amazing brick walkway had been built over the weir.


After about seven miles, the morning’s steady drizzle turned to a downpour.   I already had my waterproofs on, and as it was my turn to steer, we carried on.   Once wet, you can’t get any wetter and if you don’t like rain you shouldn’t be boating, or as one fellow boater laughingly said  today – “one should emigrate”.

Storm passed me out a cup of coffee just as we  were passing under the M40 motorway and  I stopped the boat and sheltered underneath it while I drank it, as by that time the rain was bouncing off the roof and showed no signs of slowing.    We moored up just after King’s Sutton Lock  as planned.   We lit the fire to dry off and I spent the rest of the afternoon baking/cooking; a chocolate cake, a loaf of bread, a meat pie, a pan of leek & potato soup, and a pan of ratouille – these should keep us going for a day or two.

(Nine miles, 6 locks).