Canoe Days Out

Gloucestershire - River Thames - St John's to Shifford Lock

This page was submitted by Keith Day (E-mail this submitter)
How to get there - We camped at the Trout Inn at St John's Bridge. St John's is 1 mile east of Lechlade and has the advantage of the pub and campsite being riverside.

For those with SatNav the postcode is GL7 3HA.

Get a map with driving directions to start or end (enter the postcode of your starting point at A)

Suggested Launch Site - Launch from the camping field slipway straight into the Thames below St John's Lock. If you have not camped at the Trout Inn an alternative start point is the National Trust car-park half a mile downstream.

General Description - You will be sharing this part of the Thames with the Motor Cruisers although the larger ones can not get this far upstream. Radcot Old Bridge is the oldest on the Thames dating from around 1200 but now only spans the right hand backwater which is the way I suggest you go to avoid the cruisers struggling to navigate the new bridge (1787) over what is now the main channel. (Unfortunately this will also bypass the Swan Hotel but you can always go back a few yards if your need for refreshment is great.)

A total of 12.8 miles and 4 locks will bring you to Shifford Lock where there is overnight camping (Phone 01865 820248) but no road access. If you will not be camping you will need to end your trip 3 miles earlier at the Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge or travel a further 2.5 mile to the Maybush Inn and the Rose Revived Inn at Newbridge.

This trip was done as part of a four day trip from Cricklade to sandford Lock (south of Oxford) with overnight camping. Day1 of this trip is here and day 3 here.

Comments on this trip

Jim Scott
01 Mar 2020
Hi is this info about the pubs and campsite still relevant in 2020 please

06 May 2014
It's a beautiful stretch of the river,but I'd advise avoiding the Trout at Tadpole Bridge. They really dislike canoeists and kayakers, and are quite rude and unfriendly.

Philip Tauwhare
19 Sep 2013
30 Jun 2013 Paddled the section from Lechlade to Newbridge really peaceful and quiet. We went through most of the locks, portaged Grafton Lock and went through the new canoe channel at Radcot lock great fun and beautifully landscaped. Good lunch at Tadpole pub, then last 6 miles to New Bridge to stay at the Rose Revived nice friendly pub with good dinner and breakfast.

11 Oct 2009
It's very easy to access the river from St John's Lock - just up river from the Trout. I have never had problems tieing up there for food/beer

03 Nov 2008
(in Oct 2008) The Trout Inn at Tadpole Bridge does not allow canoes to launch (although they are happy for you to land and spend your money there). We ended up launching from the opposite bank which is precarious. I will not be spending my money in this pub until they change their policy.


The Swan Inn, Radcot
The Trout Inn, Tadpole Bridge
Thames Conditions

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The last trip loaded was Great Haywood to Great Haywood (Circular Route) on the River Trent / Trent & Mersey Canal by Peter Robinson