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A punting / canoing trip in Oxford, from Folly Bridge, up the main river, and then left just above Osney Railway Bridges towards Hinksey.  About the same distance as to the boat rollers up the Cherwell.
Countryside within the boundaries of Oxford. Kingfishers and meadowland.  Pylons and the noise of traffic …  No boats at all.

UNPOWERED BOATS ONLY!

 

Oxford waters map

 

1922: C S Lewis, Tuesday 6th June -

We all repaired to Magdalen Bridge and took Jenkin's canoe;  we went up the Thames, past Folly Bridge and the gas works, into a narrow stream, and finally to Ferry Hinksey.
Here we had a good tea (halfpenny a head) in the garden of the pub, which runs down to the water … nothing said all afternoon that's worth recording, but a very pleasant and cheery time.  Cool on the water and the river full of beauty - natural and human …

[ "Bulstake" is also elsewhere spelt "Bullstake" - I just had to pick one version  and decided for the one that made most sense.
I have also heard it known as Potts Stream.
]
 
For Folly Bridge to Osney Railway Bridges see those sections.

 

Osney Rail Bridges
Boney's Footbridge seen from under Osney Rail Bridges

Unpowered boats only - enter the Bullstake Stream under the footbridge straight ahead in above picture.

Bullstake Stream Thames Footbridge

On the right are the modern, not unattractive, buildings of an industrial estate,
on the left countryside, meadows and woodland.
 
The current is probably slightly higher than on the main channel and you are still going upstream.  It is said that in flood conditions the current can reverse in this stream.
 
And then we loose the industrial estate and come into meadowland.

Bullstake Stream Road Bridge

Bullstake Stream Road Bridge
Bullstake Stream Road Bridge.

 

Bullstake Hinksey branch
Bullstake Streams junction (hidden)

Junction of streams

At a right hand bend there is a tiny overgrown way straight on which  leads after 200 yards into the main part of the Hinksey Stream, near a public house with a church and bridge to the left.  The village is North Hinksey Village.  The way through really is there in the middle of the above photo.
 
This is the way that C S Lewis went in 1922 -

… we went up the Thames, past Folly Bridge and the gas works, into a narrow stream, and finally to Ferry Hinksey …

However I had little luck following him.  I got past the tree growing in the middle, but the next tree down defeated me.  A canoeist I spoke to said there was no difficulty following this route.
 
However, we proceed round the bend to the right -

Bullstake Stream Footbridge

Bullstake Stream Footbridge

 
Bullstake Stream Footbridge
Oatlands Road Recreation Ground

Children's Playground to the right.
 
And then we enter between houses into New Botley.

Bullstake Stream A420 Bridge

Bullstake A420 Bridge

The A420 bridge has two arches: the right hand arch was blocked by debris; and the left hand arch swift and shallow. My punt grounded once or twice.
I think this is the A420 in New Botley, previously known as Seven Bridges Road.

 
Bullstake Stream Junction

Bullstake Stream Junction
Stream junction close to MFI and Halfords.

The stream to the right is Bulstake Stream, and to the left, Botley Stream.
Taking the right hand Bulstake Stream leads fairly shortly to a bridge blocked by a small weir.  It would be quite easy to drag most small boats up there - it leads to Four Rivers after 500 yards via another weir and another branch into Osney Weir Pool that I was unable to follow up from Osney Weir Pool as it was too shallow.

Binsey Lane Bridge (and weir)

Bullstake Stream Weir Bridge

Botley Stream

Turn and go back down.
Taking the other fork at the junction -
Allotments on left.

Golf driving range (Oxford Golf Centre)

on right. I think it is probably safe, but don’t stare that way too much!  If you can see it coming and its not moving it will hit you in the eye!
 
I found I could go no further after .41 mile above the junction.  Once again only 200 yards short of the Hinksey Stream. It might be worth trying to persevere? I went aground on debris and the bushes were overgrown.  I didn't try very hard.
 
[Is there a canoist out there who would like to explore, photograph, and add to this site, to get a complete picture of the Oxford Waterways? ]

Bullstake punt limit!

I had to punt down backwards (from the Oxford end, being an unrepentant Cambridge Punter!) until I reckoned the stream was wide enough to turn.  And then it was just 2 inches wider than the 25 feet of my punt! With a relatively swift current I was a little perturbed as to what would have happened if my judgement had been an inch or two out!
The round trip including the two branches of the stream came to 4.92 miles.
 
From Thyrsis, a Monody, Matthew Arnold -

How changed is here each spot man makes or fills!
In the two Hinkseys nothing keeps the same;
The village street its haunted mansion lacks,
And from the sign is gone Sibylla's name,
And from the roofs the twisted chimney-stacks -
Are ye too changed, ye hills?
See, 'tis no foot of unfamiliar men
To-night from Oxford up your pathway strays!
Here came I often, often, in old days -
Thyrsis and I; we still had Thyrsis then.

 
Folly Bridge              Osney Railway Bridges
River Cherwell
 
 
 
 
On up river to Osney Marina




 







Introduction
Estuary
PLA
QEII Br
Barrier
Tower Br
Custom Ho
London Br
; Frost Fairs
Cannon St Rb
The Great Stink
Southwark Br
Millenium Br
Blackfriars Rb
Blackfriars Br
Waterloo Br
Charing Cross Rb
Westminster Br
Lambeth Br
Vauxhall Br
Victoria Rb
Chelsea Br
Albert Br
Battersea Br
Battersea Rb
Wandsworth Br
Fulham Rb
Putney Br
Hammersmith Br
Barnes Rb
Chiswick Br
Kew Rb
Kew Br
RICHMOND
Twickenham Br
Richmond Rb
Richmond Br
TEDDINGTON
Kingston Rb
Kingston Br
Ditton Slip
Hampton Br
MOLESEY
SUNBURY
Walton Br
Desborough Cut
SHEPPERTON
Chertsey Br
CHERTSEY
M3 Br
Laleham Slip
PENTON HOOK
Staines Rb
Staines Br
Runnymede Br
BELL WEIR
Magna Carta Is
OLD WINDSOR
Albert Br
Datchet
Victoria Br
Black Potts Rb
ROMNEY
Eton
Windsor Br
Windsor Rb
Windsor Slip
Elizabeth Br
BOVENEY
Dorney Lake
York Cut
Summerleaze Fb
MonkeyIsland
New Thames Br
BRAY
Bray Slip
Maidenhead Rb
Maidenhead Br
Below Boulters
BOULTERS
Cliveden
Hedsor
COOKHAM
Cookham Slip
Cookham Br
BourneEnd RFb
Quarry Woods
A404 Br
MARLOW
Marlow Br
Bisham
TEMPLE
HURLEY
Medmenham
Culham Ct
Aston Slip
HAMBLEDEN
Temple Is
Fawley Ct
Remenham
Regatta
Phyllis Ct
Henley Slip
Leander
Red Lion
Henley Br
Angel on Br
Landing
Hobbs Boatyard
Hobbs Slipway
MARSH
Hennerton
Bolney
Wargrave
Shiplake Rb
R.Loddon
SHIPLAKE
Sonning Br
SONNING
Dreadnought
K&A Canal
CAVERSHAM
Reading Br
Caversham Br
Reading Slip
Purley
MAPLEDURHAM
Hardwick Ho
Whitchurch Br
WHITCHURCH
Hartswood Reach
Gatehampton Rb
Goring Gap
Goring Br
GORING
Swan
CLEEVE
Moulsford
Moulsford Rb
Papist Way Slip
Winterbrook Br
Wallingford Br
BENSON
Shillingford Br
R.Thame
DAYS
Burcot
Clifton Hampden
Clifton Church
Clifton H Br
Barley Mow
Long Wittenham
CLIFTON
Appleford Rb
Sutton Courtenay
Sutton Br
CULHAM
Culham Cut Fb
Abingdon Slip
Abingdon
Abingdon Br
ABINGDON
Nuneham Rb
Nuneham
Nuneham Park
Radley Boats
SANDFORD
Rose Island
Kennington Rb
Isis Br
Iffley Mill
IFFLEY
Oxford Rowing
Isis
Donnington Br
Riverside Slip
Boathouses
Punting
Lower Cherwell
Upper Cherwell
Islip
Head of River
Salters Steamers
Folly Br
Bacons Folly
Oxford Fb
Osney Fb
Weir stream
Osney Rb
Bullstake Stream
Osney Marina
OSNEY
Osney Br
Four Rivers
OLD RIVER
CANAL
Medley Weir Site
Medley Fb
Bossoms
Perch
Trout
GODSTOW
Godstow Nunnery
Godstow Br
Thames Br
KINGS
River Evenlode
EYNSHAM
Swinford Br
Oxford Cruisers
PINKHILL
Farmoor
Stanton Harcourt
Bablock Slip
Arks Weir Site
NORTHMOOR
Harts Fb
Rose Revived
Newbridge
Maybush
River Windrush
below Shifford
SHIFFORD
Shifford Fb
Tenfoot Fb
Trout Inn
Tadpole Br
RUSHEY
Old Mans Fb
RADCOT
Radcot Cradle Fb
Swan Inn
Radcot New Br
Radcot Old Br
GRAFTON
Eaton Hastings
Kelmscott
Eaton Fb
BUSCOT
Bloomers Hole Fb
Trout Inn
St Johns Br
ST JOHNS
Halfpenny Br
Marina Slip
LIMIT
Inglesham
Hannington Br
Kempsford
Castle Eaton Br
Marston Meysey
A419 Br
Cricklade
SOURCE?
THAMES HEAD
SEVEN SPRINGS