South East canalside camping: Oxford Canal

Camp at the historic meeting point of two of the south-east’s finest canals

Wigrams Turn Marina

 

If you like the sound of a campsite in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by fields and not one but two canals, than Wigrams could be the place for you. This secluded campsite is located at the end of a private lane beside the junction of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals, so it’s ideally placed for waterway enthusiasts. The site takes full advantage of its waterside location, and even the house has connections with the nearby canal: it was originally built as a toll house.

The Oxford Canal was completed in 1790 to connect Oxford with the Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction. For part of its journey it joins up with the Grand Union Canal, splitting at Napton Junction – also known as Wigrams Turn – and it’s here that you’ll find the campsite. From this point on, the Oxford Canal continues southwards toward the university city via Banbury, while the Grand Union heads north to Warwick and then onwards to Birmingham.

The area just south of here is particularly pretty, featuring a succession of distinctive bridges and locks, reflecting the gentle nature of this undulating contour canal. There are also wharves and marinas, plus a flight of nine locks, and the village of Napton has a charming windmill. Further afield are the towns of Stockton and Southam, which was the location of the first battle in the English Civil War.

The campsite at Wigrams is directly opposite Wigrams Turn Marina. It’s a fairly basic offering, with the onus on friendliness and its fantastic location. There are spaces for tents and caravans, a recently refurbished shower block, washing up area and flexible check-in and check-out times. If you’re not a natural camper, there’s also bed-and-breakfast at the house. But the main reason to come here is for all the canalside activities, including walks and angling, plus a couple of nearby pubs – The Folly and The Bridge – which overlook the canal, and offer the ideal combination of food, drink and welcoming company.

Plan your stay at Wigrams Campsite, and find out more about the Oxford Canal on the Canal & River Trust website.