Oxford – East Street
On Saturday morning we left our mooring near Aristotle bridge, moved down to Isis lock and dropped down on to the river Thames. Once clear of the lock, the route to the river ‘proper’ is a tricky one but we pushed around the 180 degree bend, slid through the narrow channel created by the now redundant railway swing bridge and under the mainline railway bridge before turning left on to the main channel. As Osney Bridge came into view a few minutes later, we could see that there were spaces available on the East Street moorings so we pulled in and tied up. Hardly the longest of cruises but it would give us a few more days in Oxford. The Environment Agency (EA) are responsible for the Thames and they also manage the popular mooring areas including East Street where the first 24 hours are free and then the next two nights cost £5 each. The payments can be done online so we paid our £10 using paypal and settled down until Tuesday.
We used our three days to wander around the city centre as we have done on a number of occasions before. It’s a lovely place even though it is very busy with tourists who are exploring the historic university town. It would be near to impossible to write a comprehensive travel guide to Oxford so I am not even going to attempt it here.
The boat moored behind us had been let on airbnb to half a dozen young people, a nice little earner for the boatowner at £120 a night. Accommodation probably is expensive in the city but visitors should take a look at the Youth Hostel Association (YHA). Their building in Oxford is a modern one and is next to the railway station and whilst their cheapest rooms are small dormitories, they also have family rooms and en-suite doubles.
Boats came and went during our stay on East Street but one local inhabitant, a heron, could be seen every day patiently waiting on the weir under the bridge for a tasty meal.