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* How to Kayak

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* History of kayaking

William and I paddle Oxford

So, William and I decided to do a quick Saturday tour of Oxford by kayak.

We parked at Leckford Road – in hindsight, this is not really advisable, since the area has very little parking, but friends of ours, Mary and Keith, live close by and Mary advised us where to find some precious free parking – what a blessing!

I dropped William with the kayaks at the canal, then drove a block away to Leckford Road, where I parked the van - across the road from ‘The Grog Shop’.

Oxford pub paddle


Oxford pub paddle

Oxford pub paddle

Oxford pub paddle

We took two big man kayaks (leisure or river master kayaks), and headed straight into the water. I had printed some maps from Google which gave us an idea of how the river lays, but the maps didn’t show how deep the river flows. We headed down the canal, picked the boats up at a lock and paddled down the river Thames, or Isis as it is called in Oxford. We paddled for less than a mile when the river came to a dead end. I got out to investigate further and saw that the river does run on but too shallow for us to continue at this point.

We headed back in the direction we had just come from, and after a quick discussion with William, who, like me, was starting to feel a bit peckish, we decided to divert back onto the canal, where the chance of finding a pub serving food might be greater.

So we set off again, heading north on the canal. After about a mile we met a couple with a GPS (always handy) who informed us that the Anchor Inn is just next to the canal. We found it easily and stopped there for half a pint each – Guinness always goes down very well. Sadly, the bartender informed us that they stopped serving food 10 minutes ago! At this point we were wishing we had started our paddle earlier! Luckily a nice lady across the street suggested a brilliant take away, just a block away. William went off to find it and returned a short while later with some samosas, which tasted great, but made me fart for the next two days! While William was off foraging for food, the same nice lady gave me some more suggestions on where to paddle next.

We left the Anchor Inn and set off down the canal again. We came to a lock, which we shared with a narrow boat. It was a bit of a squeeze, but thanks to the guy on the narrow boat, we made it through to the other side without having to get out of our kayaks.

We paddled up the Thames, which at this point pans out and gets really wide. On the river banks, quite a few people were on the look out for food – making their way to the Perch Inn; a pub almost in the middle of nowhere. We also encountered a few party boats – narrow boats with balloons and very happy people on board. By the time we arrived at the Perch Inn it was already 4pm, so, although it looked inviting, we decided not to get out of the kayaks, but to start paddling back home, because we didn’t want to get caught in the dark on the way back.

We had a great little paddle through Oxford. On the way back home we spotted Keith on his bike. He kindly invited us back to his house, where we finished off the day with another half pint.

Great stuff.

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Interesting Kayak related Articles

Interesting Kayak related Articles

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