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Are these the best canal/river-side pubs on the Oxford Canal?

PUBLISHED: 11:43 06 June 2016 | UPDATED: 17:21 11 August 2016

Are these the best canal/river-side pubs on the Oxford Canal? PHOTO: The Folly at Oxford

Are these the best canal/river-side pubs on the Oxford Canal? PHOTO: The Folly at Oxford


Ahh the Oxford, so pretty, so peaceful, stunning scenery and more pubs then you can shake a stick at. We’ve selected eight canal/river side pubs based on location, menus and beer list that we feel are some of the best that Oxfordshire has to offer. That being said, we at Canal Boat like to hear from you, so if you can think of a pub that should be on this list that isn’t – then please feel free to let us know!

The Old Bookbinders Alehouse

This family run pub found in the heart of Jericho, the ‘Bookies’ is said to capture all of the quirkiness and charm of a public house straight out of yesteryear. Located just a 10 minute stroll from the Oxford’s towpath – the Bookbinder’s is the perfect destination for a drink on a sunny day.

Owners Michel and his wife Jacky have opted for a quality over quantity approach so the menu is limited but excellent. They provide 6 hand pumps for ale, three of which are guest ales that are regularly changed for the more adventurous customers. The pub has an active social scene with weekly open mic nights and a pub quiz, but is unfortunately closed every Monday.

The Jolly Boatman

With a beer garden sitting directly on the bank of the Oxford, there aren’t many places better placed to enjoy a drink on a summer’s day.

The Jolly Boatman has only reopened recently after a change in ownership and a renovation of the ground floor. They offer a fine selection of cask ales and beers that are changed regularly.

The Boat Inn

Set alongside the idyllic Southern Oxford Canal, The Boat is a traditional family pub, dog friendly, it is perfect for walkers, boaters and hikers alike.

As a member of the bespoke Greene King Head Brewer’s Club, and being Cask Marque accredited, The Boat Inn is home to some of the best Greene King Cask Ales available, including IPA, Old Trip, and Old Golden Hen.

The Rock of Gibraltar

Sitting adjacent to the Cherwell River, The Rock of Gibraltar is a traditional country pub selling some of the finest local beers and ales that Oxfordshire has to offer.

The Rock of Gibraltar The Rock of Gibraltar

It’s hard to say what the biggest selling point of the Rock is, the beautiful location, the fantastic, locally sourced menu or the wonderful beer garden - so we’ll just let you decide for yourselves.

The Rock of Gibraltar The Rock of Gibraltar

The Oxford Arms

From the large wood-burning stove to the church candles on pine tables, this stripped stone 19th century inn literally has it all. The beer and ale quality is matched only by the quality of the food; all locally sourced or grown in the pub’s own kitchen garden!

The Oxford Arms The Oxford Arms

Technically, this is not a canalside establishment as it is approximately a 20 minute walk from the nearest mooring, but we think you’ll forgive us once you’ve tasted the food.

The Oxford Arms The Oxford Arms

The Barley Mow

Nestled away peacefully in the picturesque country village of Clifton Hampden in Abingdon, the Barley Mow is a thatched country tavern that is more than 650 years old.

The pub is packed with original features and visitors have admired and enjoyed this country inn for centuries, and will hopefully continue to do so for many more.

The Great Western Arms

Sitting comfortably between the Oxford Canal and the Great western Railway, The Great western Arms is tucked away just outside Aynho.

A picturesque country pub that takes pride in serving excellent food, combined with its fantastic array of ales from the Hook Norton Brewery, boaters will struggle to find a better place to spend a lazy Sunday.

The Folly

The Folly is slightly more expensive then some of the other pubs in our guide, with a focus more on fine food then beer and ales. That being said, its location is hands down the best this list has to offer with its terrace sitting directly on the side of the River Thames.

Guests can enjoy a relaxed lunch and drink by the river or take in a 30 minute cruise aboard a charming launches taking in some of the highlights of river life in Oxford.

Get yourself excited for a day on the Oxford and take a look at these beautiful pictures that we’ve put together.


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