A sunny morning greeted us at Lower Heyford. A young robin gave us a song from the hedge bottom right outside our windows. If only the weather had been like this over the last week.

Young Robin in the hedge bottom

The views along the Cherwell valley in the spring sunshine were marvellous but it didn’t last past lunchtime. We stopped at Enslow wharf and arranged with Kingsground Boats to moor up Albert there while the Thames levels subside, hopefully. We shall return early next week.

As we dropped down onto the Cherwell at Baker’s Lock the rain started. It stopped shortly and then turned to driving hail as we left the river at Shipton Weir Lock.

Hail at Shipton Weir lock

The lift bridge at the Thrupp turn was very difficult to operate and appears to be out of balance. We later found out that there are suggestions that it will soon be electrified. We did wonder if this was linked to today’s date.

There were plenty of boats moored up all throough Thrupp but we managed to find the last empty visitor mooring; right outside The Boat Inn. We spent some time washing the mud off the boat but even more chatting to the crew of Comfortably Numb, who are waiting to go down the Thames to get on the Kennet & Avon, en route to Bristol.

An evening visit to The Boat was obviously on the menu. It did not disappoint. Maggie had a great sirloin steak and my liver & bacon with bubble & squeak was very tasty. We also liked the freshly baked focaccia and olive oil with balsamic vinegar served as a complimentary appetiser; a nice touch. The beer and cider were also up to scratch. No wonder the pub was busy on a wet Thursday evening.