The season’s drawing to an end, and leaving Braunston on the Friday morning, it was definitely autumnal. We didn’t go far, and ended up just a few miles down the water, on that bit of canal which is technically part of the Grand Union, but also the bit that joins the North and South bits of the Oxford Canal. It was pretty quiet, and with pretty views.
We were rather intrigued with this wide-beam shell tied up in the middle of nowhere. With no obvious vehicle access, it appeared to be a sail-away shell that was being fitted out, but rather abandoned. Ah well, who knows what the story was/is.
Saturday morning, we turned onto the South Oxford, and eschewing the delights of The Folly Inn and/or Napton Post Office coffee and croissants carried straight on up the Napton flight of nine locks onto the summit, and moored in the middle of nowhere.
Or nearly the middle of nowhere.
From Bridge 124 you can cross the canal and walk across the fields on a farm track for just over a mile to The Butchers Arms at Priors Hardwick. It’s not really a pub, it’s more a seriously good restaurant, and we’d been vaguely promising ourselves a visit for some years. Maybe it was the trek across the fields sharpening the appetite, but we had the best meal we’d had for a seriously long time. (And, it has to be said, one of the biggest bills too). Well worth the dark country walk – an evening to remember. We may have to return when the bank balance recovers!