Spirit of Oxford Cruise
- Run away to the countryside and relax on a cruise
- See the landmarks of the historical town of Oxford from the water
- Listen to your friendly skipper's commentary and anecdotes
- Relax and take in the beautiful scenery 'off the beaten track'
Escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and join this Spirit of Oxford Cruise from Folly Bridge in Oxford city center and up the river. Just sit down and listen to your skipper’s insightful information and funny anecdotes about the river and the history of that particular area. Feel free to ask him anything! On this tour you will:
- discover quiet residential suburbs and splendid areas throughout the English countryside, passing Binsey and the stunning Port Meadow
- understand why the untouched landscape was a source of inspiration for many of Oxford’s favourite novelists such as Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, Evelyn Waugh and Gerard Manly Hopkins
- dive into a natural landscape far from the touristic areas and into some of Oxford’s most beautiful and genuine scenery
- see Port Meadow, a large area of land, has remained almost unchanged since prehistoric times and offers a wide variety of plants and birds in their natural habitat
- see Godstow which was the favourite destination of Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll, who is famous for such novels as 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'
- spot the site of Trout Island there: it was an inspiration for another of Oxford's literary icons, C.S. Lewis, and his stories of the land of Narnia
- see famous landmarks such as Christchurch Meadows and College, the University Regatta Course, the College Boat Houses and Folly Island
This cruise usually takes place in an elegant Edwardian style River Launches. These vessels, with their beautiful lines and teak interiors, evoke the pleasures of a bygone era when life moved at a slower pace. The boats use the latest zero emission fully electric propulsion to ensure that your outing has the smallest possible environmental impact.
- River cruise
- Pick-up and drop-off
- Children under 16: reduced
The cruise departs from the moorings at The Folly Restaurant, 1 Folly Bridge, Oxford, OX1 4JU. Departures are at 12.30pm and 6pm (peak season). The cruise lasts approximately 2.5 hours.
How to get there?
The closest available parking is at the Oxpens Car Park (OX1 1RQ). From this car park you can walk to the moorings at The Folly (OX1 4JU). The walk takes approximately 10 minutes, part of it along the river if you wish. However, as with all city centre car parks, it is quite expensive so you might want to avoid it if you are on a budget.
The most convenient service to Folly Bridge is Red Bridge (south of Oxford accessed from A34 and A423). Once you have parked, pay at the machine by the bus stop (currently £2 for up to 24 hours). You do not need to display a ticket on your car as a number plate recognition system is used. From either of these car parks take a nunber 300 bus (adult return fare currently £2.70) to Oxford Crown Court / Oxford Police Station in St Aldates. These bus stops are 3 minutes’ walk from Folly Bridge.
- Commentary is provided in English only
- Due to the popularity of this cruise and limited capacity, it is strongly recommended to book in advance
- Unfortunately, it is not possible to accomodate wheelchairs
- This cruise operates from April 1 to October 30
- Departures are at 12.30pm and 6.00pm from May to August
- Departures are at 12.30pm in April, September and October
- The cruise lasts approximately 2.5 hours
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