Cropredy to Kirtlington in search of tea and cake

Fortunately the Fairport Cropredy Festival wasn’t going on as we moored up in Cropredy on Tuesday night – plenty of space available. I’d love to go to the festival one day but I reckon mooring would be a nightmare.

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We made the short trip to Bunbury where there were also plenty of mooring options. We tied up,  I changed into my best ‘menopausal purple’ clothes and headed off to shop at Tesco.

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We’d intended to go into Banbury later in the afternoon but the heavens opened and we decided to stay put.

Downpour

Examining the canal maps, the South Oxford canal after Bunbury would appear to be hard work with 12 or so lift bridges to operate. Luckily all but one of these was in the up position making life ever so much easier.

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At Kings Sutton Lock we were joined by a local resident. She was totally at home around the lock and comfortably sat on the lock arm while I opened the gate. She must give this treatment to every boat that works this lock so look out for her – she’s lovely!

All the way along this stretch of canal and beyond, the Cherwell keeps you company. At Aynho Weir Lock it actually flows across the canal and you need to be aware of river conditions. We were lucky as, even after all the rain, the river was on ‘orange’ rather than ‘red’ meaning that it was possible to pass with caution into the diamond shaped lock.

Moorings at Aynho were pretty busy so we carried on and found a wonderful mooring a mile or so outside. It was a sunny evening and an idyllic place to stop.

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It was misty but warm the next morning and the highlight of the day was going through Somerton Deep Lock. Earlier in our trip I chatted to a lady who had lived in this lock cottage who’d moved because it was a little remote for her. It looks perfect to me!

At Heyford Common Lock we were joined by a cow. She was having a drink and was completely unconcerned about being passed by a large boat – she just carried on paddling and drinking.

Yesterday evening, in glorious sunshine, we arrived outside Jane’s Enchanted Tea Garden. Can’t wait until tomorrow when we go for tea and cake and hopefully, if she has time, a catch up with Jane.

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