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Trail talk: The Thames Path- Osney Bridge, Oxford to Abingdon

Osney Bridge, Oxford to Abingdon, 10 miles

Having slept well, bags were packed for later transfer, then it was into the dining room for a decent Eggs Benedict and snaffle some supplies for a simple lunch later. Our transport arrived on time for our return to Osney Bridge and we were back on the Thames Path at 9.15.

There isn’t too much to write about this ten mile section. We were hugging Oxford for the first five miles but it was usually unseen from our easy going towpath. So close to the city, it is unsurprising that there was a fair amount of pedestrian traffic on the path. Dog walkers and joggers, cyclists and students, boat owners and just a handful of Thames Path walkers. It grew hot, then hotter still. We paused at each of the locks, lolling on the grass in the shade of willows. Leaving Oxford behind us the trail became quiet and we saw few people. Enjoying the solitude, we were bracketed by the river on one side and on the other, meadows were interspersed with cropfields.

Each Lock Keepers cottage has different sized gardens and grounds. Maintaining beautifully kept gardens, borders and lock surrounds is a matter of intense pride
Oxford college boathouses line the Thames
The underside of the bridge carrying the traffic on the Oxford Ring Road is home to a dozen or more nesting House Martins and good mural graffiti
A simple lunch
My retirement home, I wish!

Tonight’s halt is at the grade II listed Crown and Thistle in Abingdon. It dates from around 1605 and had an extensive and expensive refurb in 2018. We have a large room in the top of the building complete with four poster bed. It is a fantastic location and we wandered around the town a little until the heat and a desperate need for a shower drove us back to our room. While there is plenty of choice on where to eat in Abingdon I saw no need to look further afield as the Crown and Thistle offers a good menu. Later, we sat in the pubs courtyard on a fine and still warm summer evening where I enjoyed a couple of rehydrating pints of A Night at the Hopera, from the Loose Cannon brewery, then it was through to our evening meal. Meals were vastly over-priced but we found mid-menu options before retiring to our room where I cracked open a bottle of Shiraz from the local Spar that cost the same as a glass of the same wine, three floors below us.

The centre of Abingdon is dominated by the County Hall, built 1678-82

The Thames Path
The Thames Path: Kemble to Cricklade
The Thames Path: Cricklade to Lechlade
The Thames Path: Lechlade to Tadpole Bridge
The Thames Path: Tadpole Bridge to Bablock Hythe
The Thames Path: Bablock Hythe to Osney Bridge, Oxford
A day off in Oxford
The Thames Path- Abingdon to Shillingford/Warborough
The Thames Path- Shillingford/Warborough to Goring

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