Friday, 11 July 2014

Abingdon to Wallingford – Friday 11th July

This morning we left our nice mooring in Abingdon and as we turned to go down stream a hot air balloon floated overhead. Perfect conditions as there was hardly any breeze.The exit from the town is very picturesque with the lovely old buildings and tree lined wharf.

1 Abingdon

At the end of the wharf is a cast iron bridge which was the original entrance to the Wilts and Berks Canal and the new entrance is to be opposite the opening for Culham Cut a short way passed the Marina at the far end of the out of town reach.

2 Canal

Travelling down river with June at the helm and the lovely bridge at Clifton. The fisheries boat with its weird contraption hanging over the sides. I guess it may be something to do with stunning the fish.

3 down river

Further down river we passed this stunning house on a sharp bend and then Shillingford Bridge and hotel. Just before Benson Lock is the hire base for Le Boat hire fleet.

4 down river

As we approached Benson Lock there was a boat waiting to go in but the Lock keeper called us in first and then squeezed the other boat in behind and between us canted over at an angle to avoid the cill. All worked well and we were soon off on the final leg to Wallingford.

5 Tight Squeeze

We moored up on the park side of the river next to the swimming pool. The £5 a night charge includes use of the showers and facilities at the pool. After a quick walk into the town to check out the Friday Market and Waitrose we returned to the boat and spotted this canoe with a dog aboard. It was the dogs first time and ended up in the water as little later on but as they came back he seemed to have got the right idea for staying on the boat.


Later in the afternoon I took Jimmy on a short walk to explore parts of the town I had not looked at last year. First we had a look at St Peter’s Church with its unusual spire. In fact it is no longer used as a church and in fact you can hire it for functions. Walking around the church yard we spotted these cottages with an unusual chimney format.

1 Church

Walking towards Kinecroft we came across these charming cottages with a delightful independent pub (The Coach and Horses) at the end fronting on to the Croft. originally the street carried on across the open space and there was a Brewery there with the cottages being the home of the brewers and draymen. In September a Bunk Fest, Wallingford’s Music, Dance, and Beer festival is held here.

2 Kine Coft

Poking my nose down one of the opening in the street I came across Roland Haycraft a traditional Furniture maker and Antique Restorer. He has been there for the last 35 years and was in the process of making a coffee table from American Maple in his tiny workshop. Unfortunately it looks as though the craft will die out with him as people no longer want to pay for craftsmanship.

4 Roland Haycroft

The street on the left leads of the High Street to the Market Place and near to Kinescroft is the old Hunts Mill now used as offices.

3 Streets

Late evening the Hotel Boat Isabella turned up and as there were no moorings left, asked if they could breast up with us. Grahame and Sue have had the 57ft x 10ft widebeam for the last 7 years and offer river cruising on the Thames from Limehouse to Lechlade. Unfortunately this is their last year as they are retiring from the Hotel Boat Business.

5 mooring

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