The picturesque Oxford Canal meanders slowly through the countryside, free from large-scale development. Most of the settlements along its length are pretty villages such as Thrupp, Cropredy and Aynho - all popular mooring spots for narrowboats.
The canal takes you from the beautiful university city of Oxford to the three spires of Coventry. The southern part of the canal remains largely unaltered, its winding course untouched by mid-19th century straightening programmes. This section is dotted with simple black-and-white lift bridges.
The Oxford Canal Walk is a long-distance route, following the towpath for 77 miles from Oxford to Hawkesbury. The gentle engineering of the canal, with few lock flights, means that the walking is always easy, and the scenery is stunning.
The canal is home to a rich variety of wildlife. In Oxford, you may even be lucky enough to spot an endangered water vole – special measures have been put in place to protect an important colony here.
You can get a real sense of connection to the canal’s history at Tooley’s Boatyard, in Banbury, which has been used by boats since 1778.