Banbury's historic boatyard extends season of narrowboat trips on the Oxford canal until the end of October

Tooley's Boatyard, the 'hidden jewel' in the heart of Banbury, has announced it is extending its season of boat trips until the end of October.

By Roseanne Edwards
Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:05 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 10:06 am
The Dancing Duck, Tooley's purpose build narrowboat on which visitors can enjoy trips on the Oxford Canal until the end of October
The Dancing Duck, Tooley's purpose build narrowboat on which visitors can enjoy trips on the Oxford Canal until the end of October

Each Saturday there will be two 40-minute trips on the Oxford Canal in Tooley's own purpose-built narrowboat The Dancing Duck. Visitors will also have an opportunity to see inside the boatyard and take in some of the rich history. The boatyard has been operating continuously since 1778.

The shop will also be open, selling a wide range of souvenirs and gifts which could make unusual presents for Christmas; ideas include a forge course, a boat handling course or even a special skippered boat trip.

John Madden, Chair of Tooley’s Boatyard Trust, said: “The regular Saturday boat trips have proved so popular that we decided to extend the season through to October to give even more people the chance to experience the Canal and its historic Boatyard .”

On the final day of the season, October 30, the Old Forge will be open and working with one of Tooley's forgemasters demonstrating the traditional skills of iron-forming. Tea and cakes will be available.

All trips can be booked on the website.

Throughout the winter months the boatyard, shop and chandlery will continue to open and can be contacted Tuesday - Saturday between 10am - 1pm. Boat handling courses, boat hire, skippered boat trips, forge courses and boatyard services are available throughout the year. Use the website contact form or phone 01295 272917 for more information or to make a booking.

The boat trips are organised by Tooley’s Boatyard Trust, a charitable organisation run by a group of waterways enthusiasts who are passionate about sharing the dry dock's rich history with fellow boaters and the wider community.

Situated in Canalside in the heart of Banbury Town Centre, halfway between Lock 29 and the actual canal lock No 29, Tooley's is one of the oldest working dry docks in England and is listed as a nationally important Scheduled Monument by Historic England.

Following the summer boat tours, the Trust will be working towards unveiling new visitor attractions in 2022. Revamped exhibitions and new events will create a fantastic customer experience full of rich local history and exciting activities with something for visitors of all ages.

For more information about Tooley’s Boatyard, please visit or call 01295 272917.