On tour at home and abroad with the Sumpners

The view below is Toad Rock, Tunbridge Wells

Bladon Chains for the Oxford Canal – 29-31 August

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Just a quickie as this was  a(nother) repeat visit to this busy camp-site near Blenheim Palace and the lovely Cotswold town of Woodstock, with its beautiful honey stone buildings and independent shops.  Once again, the purpose of our stay was a day boat on the Oxford Canal, our third and last such day this year. It was a good trip up and we were soon settled, in the daylight , and ready to relax. Which we did!

We were up early to make sarnies and meet our friends Kate & Paul and Kate’s dad (Chris) at the boat location in Thrupp. It took us about 10 minutes to get from the camp-site and we spotted the work of some yarn-bombers on the way. Very attractive. Such a pleasant and harmless form of graffiti, I always think.


The work of yarn-bombers.

The work of yarn-bombers.


The Hansford party were coming up from Portchester. Luckily, as it was an early morning start, they  had a good trip up and we were soon ensconced on the boat, hand over and briefing completed and on our way. Coffee was soon on and we ate and drank our way up the canal, past the Rock of Gibraltar pub and on through several locks to our turn round point. We were looking for sloe bushes but didn’t find many accessible ones. There were a great deal of wild hops around  and we gathered some for decorative purposes.  It was a lovely day with no rain and pretty warm, considering we were approaching the end of summer. It was much nicer than the photos make it look, anyway!


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After we had handed the boat back, we had a quick pop into Woodstock so that the Hansfords could see  how pretty it was. Sadly, it was late afternoon and the shops were all just closing but there were still a few picture opportunities – including a view of the back gate of Blenheim Palace!


The tradesmen’s entrance?


The grounds – Blenheim


Woodstock view


Beautiful stone

Next it was on to the historic pub known as “The Perch” at Binsey, just outside Oxford, where we had dinner booked. We had visited there quite a few years before, but from the Thames itself. We had a very pleasant meal and then said our fond farewells – us back to the van and the Hansfords back to Portchy.

We watched a spot of television and then plumped for an early night after all that fresh air and the early start. There was no reason to dally in the morning and we were off and away and home by about 1 o’clock. Just in time to mow the lawn – probably not for the last time this year.  Happy days.




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