PUBLISHED: 13:58 08 May 2009 | UPDATED: 08:42 01 July 2013
The Oxford Canal was built to link the Midlands to the Thames and to London. The northern part was still busy with working boats until relatively recently, but the section south of Napton was bypassed by later canals and became a quiet backwater that was very nearly closed. Its meandering, circuitous course and generally well spaced-out locks may not have made for an efficient freight carrier, but they contribute to it being one of the most attractive and popular waterways for pleasure boaters. The northern terminus is at the historic canal settlement at Hawkesbury Junction while its southern end is in the heart of the university city.