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Canal Boating Holidays - Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Guide

Narrowboat Holiday Hire - Canal Barge Holidays
Norfolk Broads Cruiser Boat Hire

Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Location and basic information

The beginning of the Oxford Canal (Southern Section) is at Napton, running south to Oxford - Categories contents are listed from the beginning of the canal, canal branch or canal arm.

The Oxford Canal southern section and Oxford Canal northern section are separated by a the Grand Union Canal between Braunston Turn and Napton Junction, a distance of almost five miles.

The southern section of the Oxford Canal is just over 49 miles / 38 locks from Napton Junction to the River Thames at the Sheepwash Channel, Isis Lock.

The canal passes through rolling open farmland, largely following the contours in the style of James Brindley.

In the Cherwell Valley the Oxford Canal passes through the centre of historic Banbury and eventually Inspector Morse's Oxford and its northern environs.

Navigation Notes:

Lift bridges between Haynes Lift Bridge 170 and Chisnell Lift Bridge 193 are usually left open.

The River Cherwell crosses the canal navigation above Anyho Weir Lock / below Nell Bridge Lock. Check the level indicator board before proceeding.

Oxford Limited Visitor Moorings!

If you are planning on joining the River Thames at Oxford, please make sure your boat is licensed for passage on the river.

There is a very sharp turn at Isis Lock on/off the Sheepwash Channel to/from the River Thames!

Boaters Facilities on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section) - Napton to Oxford

Official Moorings

Banbury - Tom Rolt Bridge through town of Banbury

Oxford - South of Bridge 240 and above Isis Lock (Very limited)

Water Points

Bridge 113

Napton Top Lock

Bridge 136

Bridge 153 (Sanitary Station)

Bridge 221 Thrupp Yard Sanitary Station

Bridge 224

Above Duke's Cut Lock 44A


Bridge 153 (Sanitary Station)

Bridge 206

Bridge 221 Thrupp Yard Sanitary Station


Bridge 221 Thrupp Yard Sanitary Station

Refuse Disposal

Bridge 113

Bridge 136

Bridge 153 (Sanitary Station)

Bridge 221 Thrupp Yard Sanitary Station

Recycling Centres

Elsan / Sewage Point

Bridge 113

Bridge 221 Thrupp Yard Sanitary Station


Laundry Facilities


Banbury - Whatever you need!

Bridge 224 - Shop

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Main Cities, Towns and Villages along the Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Napton on The Hill - MAP - The canal bypasses the village, skirting round the bottom of the hill. Nice view of a restored windmill from bridges 111 to 113.

Fenny Compton - MAP

Cropredy - MAP - Annual Folk Festival, now Europe's largest, held in the second week of August


Narrowboat Holiday Hire on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Black Prince Narrowboats, Napton-on-the Hill

Calcutt Boats - Napton (Junction - Oxford Canal [Southern] and Grand Union Canal)

Napton Narrowboats, Napton - From this Napton Narrowboats base in beautiful Warwickshire is at the junction of the South Oxford and Grand Union Canals, Napton Narrowboats offer an excellent choice of routes. Look at Napton Narrowboats Fleet Online now. Their superb fleet of extremely quiet and comfortable boats are well known for their innovative design and quality fittings and furnishings.

Oxfordshire Narrowboats, Canal Wharf, Lower Heyford - This family run Oxfordshire Narrowboats company have been leaders in their field for over 20 years. With professionally finished, easy to handle boats with airy interiors featuring oak and beech, and in the personal service which makes this fleet so popular with experienced boaters and first timers. The combination of this fleet of immaculately maintained top-quality narrowboats and wonderful cruising opportunities make this the perfect choice. Lower Heyford offers cruising opportunities to explore the Cotswolds, Oxford, Banbury and the stunning South Oxford Canal. You can enjoy the numerous walking opportunities around these waterways and marvel at the excellent wildlife, plus you will find plenty of canalside pubs and villages. Stunning scenery, the narrow locks and lift bridges are all added activities which make the recipe to a memorable holiday. Look at Oxfordshire Narrowboats Lower Heyford Fleet now.

Sovereign Narrowboats, Banbury - Tel: 01295 275657

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Cruiser Holiday Hire on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Day Boat Hire

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Charter Boats That Cruise The Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Hotel Boats That Cruise The Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

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Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Trip Boats

Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Restaurant Boats

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Oxford Canal (Southern Section)side Pubs and Restaurants

Bridge 111 -  The Bridge at Napton, Napton-on-The Hill - Tel:01926 812466

Bridge 113 - The Folly, Folly Lane, Napton - Tel: 01926 815185

Bridge 136 - The Wharf Inn, Fenny Compton Wharf - Tel: 01295 770332

Banbury Pubs and Restaurants:

Ye Olde Auctioneer, Parson Street, Banbury - Tel: 01295 251820

Ye Olde Reindeer Inn, Parson Street, Banbury - Tel: 01295 264031

Bridge 190 - The Great Western, Anyho Wharf - Tel: 01869 338288

Bridge 205 /206 - The Bell, Market Square, Lower Heyford - Tel: 01869 347176

Bridge 216 - The Rock of Gibraltar, canalside by bridge - visitor moorings - Tel: 01869 331373

Bridge 221 - The Boat Inn, canalside pub near bridge - Tel 01865 374279

Bridge 223 - The Jolly Boatman, Banbury Road, Thrupp - Tel: 01865 377800

Bridge 224 - The Wise Alderman, Banbury Road, Kidlington - Tel: 01865 372281


Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Canalside Holiday Cottages / B&B / Accommodation

Oxford Canal - Canalside Farm B&B - Hill Farm, Priors Hardwick, Nr Southam, Warwickshire, CV47 7SP - Website

Marinas on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Wigrams Turn Marina, Shuckburgh Road, Southam - Tel: 01926 817175

Fenny Marina, Fenny Compton - Tel: 01295 770461

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Places to visit and things to do or see on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Bridge 145 - The Bygones Museum, charges apply, at Butlin Farm in Claydon - MAP - was founded in 1972. This privately-owned museum includes a collection of steam-powered stationary engines. Tel:01295 690258

Banbury Museum and Visitor Information Centre, Castle Quay, Banbury - Tel: 01295 259855 - Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Road, Banbury, Oxon OX16 2PQ - Banbury Museum's entrance is inside the Castle Quay Shopping Centre. Admission Free - (Other Free Entry Places in Oxfordshire) - Banbury Museum has events and activities throughout the year and monthly talks by the Friends of Banbury Museum. With a section reflecting the history of the town's association with the Oxford Canal. Open Monday through Saturday 09.30 to 17.00 and Sunday and Bank Holidays 10.30 to 16.30. Web: - Map - The museum includes Tooley's historic boatyard which is viewed from the Oxford Canal waterside. The boatyard is a working business operated by Tooley's Boatyard Ltd. Guided tours are are available on Saturdays from Easter at 15.00 but chargeable. Details from 01295 272917.

Oxford - Oxford has numerous major tourist attractions - some charges apply, many belonging to the university and colleges. As well as several famous institutions, the town centre is home to Carfax Tower and the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, both of which offer views over the spires of the city. Free Entry Places in Oxford - Many tourists shop at the historic Covered Market. In the summer punting on the Thames/Isis and the Cherwell is popular. Other attractions: Ashmolean Museum, Bodleian Library, Christ Church Cathedral (Oxford), The Headington Shark (A sculpture situated at 2 New High Street, Headington, Oxford, depicting a shark embedded head-first in the roof of the house!), Modern Art Oxford, Museum of the History of Science, Oxford Botanic Garden, Pitt Rivers Museum, Sheldonian Theatre. Inspector Morse's Oxford

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Chandlers on the Oxford Canal (Southern Section)

Kingsground Narrowboats, Enslow Mill Wharf, Enslow, Kidlington - Tel: 01869 233444

Oxford Canal (Southern Section) Boatyards

Kingsground Narrowboats, Enslow Mill Wharf, Enslow, Kidlington - Tel: 01869 233444


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Boating Holidays Maps

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Canal & Rivers Boating UK

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Europe - France

Alsace - Lorraine
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South of France

Canal & Rivers Boating Europe - Other



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