Monday, 9 April 2012

Swim 22: Sandford Lock to Radley

This swim found us afloat from Sandford Lock to Radley boat house, downriver a distance of 2.65km. On our left, Nuneham Courteney, erstwhile home of the Earls Harcourt, the first of whom moved the village out of the way in order to better landscape the estate. Now occupied by the Global Retreat Centre, what oneness we felt with the world when we slipped out of the water at the boathouses opposite. This little stretch was a favourite of Charles Dodson (Lewis Carroll), and he got wet here regularly with the young prototype Alice. The boathouses themselves belong to the boys of Radley College. Alumni of that fine establishment include the great historian Christopher Hibbert, the indefatiguable campaigning lawyer, Clive Stafford-Smith, England's test cricket captain, Andrew Strauss, and who could forget Richard Gibson, best known for his exceptional performance in the complex role of Herr Flick in TV's 'Allo 'Allo.

We met at Radley Station car park but you could park in the Bowyer Arms car park next door, if you prefer:

We changed into our wetsuits at the station and then shuttled up to a small layby close to the finish point.  We were fortunate enough to be able to arrange with the boat house to leave a vehicle with our dry clothes in their car park, right next to the exit.  Don't try to park there without permission though.

We then walked up to the start at Sandford Lock

and swum back down to the boat house.  This is a deep water exit, so be sure you can clamber out before committing to the swim.  On getting out, we changed into dry gear at the boathouse and shuttled back to Radley for a resurrecting lunch at the Bowyer Arms. 

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