Easter on the Thames

Friday 2nd to Monday 5th April
Benson to Oxford and onward upriver towards Lechlade – and back.
Contact: Bill Millar (send a PM to contact privately)


Re: Easter on the Thames

The full distance from Benson to Lechlade (limit of navigation on the river) is 52 miles with 19 locks. This would take about 15 hours each way, so is probably beyond what we can do in a weekend, particularly if participants want any time to spend exploring the city of Oxford. However we can get part of the way. Herewith an outline plan:
Thursday 1st or Friday morning 2nd April:
Assemble and launch at Benson. Good marina facilities. Cost not yet ascertained – probably dependent on number of participants. Car and trailer parking nearby. Thursday supper could be in nearby pub.
Friday: Motor up river to Oxford. 21 miles with 7 locks taking about 6 hours.
Overnight at Oxford.
Saturday: Time to see Oxford for those who wish. Alternatively continue up river. Mooring with pubs nearby at Eynsham (6 miles), Ferryman Inn (9 miles), Shifford (14 miles) or Radcot (24 miles).
Overnight at mooring near one of these pubs.
Sunday: Return down river, probably past Oxford and on to Abingdon (up to 23 miles) for overnight mooring.
Monday: Continue down river to Benson (12 miles) in good time to haul out and drive home.
Note that an Environment Agency licence for the Thames will be required. This can be purchased in advance or on the river at one of the first locks. Licence costs are: 1-day £!5.50; 15-days £56.50; 31 days £66.50.
One limiting factor is the low bridge at Oxford. Osney bridge under normal river conditions has clearance of 2.28 metres (7ft 6 ins), so leave the mast at home!
Water and toilet emptying facilities at 3 locks en route. Petrol supplies at Oxford. Shopping at Abingdon and Oxford.

Re: Easter on the Thames

Hi Bill
Is the Thames Barrier definately off then? We're planning on trying out the canal thing so will probly be there. How long do you reckon it would take us to go from windsor to Benson? We really do fancy the idea of going through London.

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; In practice, there is.

Re: Easter on the Thames

HI Bjorn,

Yes, sorry - the London trip is off for this year as far my organisation is concerned. Windsor to Benson is about 47 (statute) miles with 15 locks. There is a speed limit on the river of 5mph and if you allow an average of 15 mins per lock then the whole trip would take about 13-14 hours. That would be in normal working hours when lock-keepers are on duty. If travelling out of hours the locks are on manual and may take twice as long.

Re: Easter on the Thames

Due to warnings of flood conditions on the Thames - gdangerous and strong stream warnings and the probability of not being able top pass under Osney Bridge - the Rally has been transferred to St Ives on the Great Ouse and surrounding Fens.

See "Easter on the Fens" for more info.