Oxfordshire Weekend Breaks

It’s not just the historic city of Oxford that’s worth a visit on city breaks: the surrounding countryside, full of charming villages and picturesque pubs, makes for a relaxing weekend break in Oxfordshire.

Recommended Routes For Weekend Breaks


From our Lower Heyford base in Oxfordshire, you can head south towards the Oxford spires to the city of Oxford for your weekend break or head north towards Banbury near Oxford, gently cruising along the scenic waterways and stopping whenever suits you. There are regular winding holes (turning points) along every route that allows you to turn and head back to base whenever you choose and admire the surrounding natural beauty on your return.

Short break to Oxford

Miles: 28 miles return
Locks: 18 locks return
This route, which suits both beginner and experienced boaters, offers 28 miles of easy cruising along the famous South Oxford Canal in Oxfordshire.
Cruise through scenic countryside, past plenty of canal side pubs, until you reach the moorings close to Isis lock for an easy walk into Oxford– the City of Dreaming Spires. Famous for being the home to the prestigious University of Oxford, the city has many museums like the Ashmolean Museum, the Bodleian Library, Oxford Castle, Blenheim Palace, shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes to explore and enjoy afternoon tea. Turn at the moorings for the return journey back to the base at Lower Heyford.

Mini Breaks to Remember in Oxfordshire

An Oxford weekend break starts from our narrowboat hire base in Lower Heyford and from here you can explore the South Oxford Canal plus some stretches of the River Thames (a licence will be required to cruise on the Oxford Thames which can be purchased prior to your holiday).
This type of canal boat holiday is guaranteed to be a memorable way to explore the city of Oxford and the scenic outskirts of London – perfect for romantic weekends and romantic retreats.
For lovers of the outdoors, canal boat holidays in Oxfordshire offer not just stunning scenery, but also the opportunity for some lovely walks and cycling, plus why not try punting in Oxford!

Black Prince family holiday

Family Weekend Breaks in Oxfordshire

A Black Prince Narrowboat Holidays is a fabulous family friendly experience. You can hire a narrowboat in Oxfordshire for the weekend from either Friday afternoon or Saturday and after your induction, you can be on your way, cruising through the Oxfordshire countryside.
Particularly suited to older children and teenagers, canal boat breaks in Oxfordshire offer the opportunity for your kids to get fully involved in managing all the aspects of the boat, from casting off in the morning and working the locks to mooring up for the night.
Black Prince also offer family activity packs that children can use to get fully immersed into their canal boat break. Find out more about hiring a boat from our base in Oxfordshire why short breaks in Oxfordshire on the canal make for a great weekend break away.

Spring, Summer and Autumn breaks in Oxfordshire

You can book a weekend break with Black Prince from mid March to the end of October. This gives you the chance to appreciate the stunning Oxfordshire scenery whatever the season.
Spring and autumn weekend breaks tend to be popular for quieter waterways and lower prices, whilst the summer weekend breaks offer more lively canals and suits school holiday periods. We offer weekend short breaks throughout the main summer season, including July and August.

Oxford spires

Dog-friendly Weekend Breaks

Yes, your family pet can make up part of the crew!  Black Prince welcomes up to two dogs on their dog friendly boats, with the first pet travelling free of charge.
You just need to remember to bring all your normal dog items with you, such as the dog bed, lead, poop bags, toys etc.
You can read more about our pet-friendly boating holidays here.

Last-Minute Weekend Breaks in Oxfordshire

We sometimes have last-minute availability for weekend breaks at our canal boat hire base in Oxfordshire.
It’s probably best to call our team directly on 01527 575115 if you would like to book five days before travel so that we can ensure you are booked in and receive all the relevant information that you’ll need before travelling on your last minute holidyas.
Starting days for weekend breaks in Oxfordshire are Saturdays from 2.30pm, due back on Tuesday at 9.30am.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I go for a weekend break in Oxfordshire?

Departing from our hire base at Lower Heyford in Oxfordshire you can head south to the city of Oxford or north to the historic market town of Banbury. A narrowboat holiday means that you won’t travel many miles over a short weekend break as your maximum speed is 4 mph, but you’ll certainly see ever-changing views.

Do all your bases offer weekend breaks?

Yes, you can cruise over the weekend from any one of our nine canal boat hire bases across England, Scotland and Wales. Please note that the Oxfordshire hire base has Saturday departure days only.

Can I travel for just two nights on a weekend?

No, I’m afraid our minimum hire duration is 3 nights.