Where we paddle
During the winter our boat is based at Dorchester Sailing Club where we don’t have to worry about high river levels. In the summer we will return to our usual base near The Isis Farmhouse on the south bank of the river Isis (or Thames if you prefer!), just upstream from Iffley lock. Coming by car, you can park somewhere around Iffley village’s Church of St Mary the Virgin. By bus you can get the 16 or 16A to Donnington bridge, and then walk down the towpath from there. By bike, the towpath is well surfaced in both directions and you can lock your bike to the railings outside the pub.
We paddle either upstream or downstream from the lock, as there’s a slipway in both directions. It’s a beautiful and tranquil setting.
The river levels can vary, but are generally well managed by the sequence of locks both up and downstream from Oxford. Upstream from Iffley is Osney Lock, which is as far upriver as we’d typically go, but it can get quite busy with lots of rowers. Downstream from Iffley is a lot quieter, though rowers will venture down the lock sometimes, and in summer Salter’s river trips are very popular. The current river conditions are shown on the Environment Agency website, or on gaugemap as below.