Narrowboat AREandARE

From the 2009 & 2010 tantalising tales, traumas and stunning photographs of Barry (photographer) and Sandra (writer) from New Zealand aboard NB 'Northern Pride', to the stories of their 2013 return journey, purchase of 'AREandARE', progress on sustaining their live aboard continuous cruiser lifestyle, and Barry's quest to gain residency and 'Indefinite Leave to Remain' in UK ...

Wednesday 4 August 2010

A couple of days in Abingdon

Monday morning was a bit of a late start - though not for Helen and Andy who'd already been into town and back before I even emerged from the boat!  Maybe they've had more practice than me - yeah right, lol!  They were heading off to Sonning only a little hung over, and still very chirpy; such a pleasure to see you all again, enjoy the rest of your holiday!

We had a walk into historic Abingdon after lunch, and were enthralled with the town, it has such a relaxed feel, and was recently confirmed as the oldest town in England, having been continuously inhabited since the Iron Age.  The Council certainly seem to provide a wealth of opportunities for locals and visitors to enjoy.


The view from across Abingdon Bridge

We visited Abingdon County Hall Museum, housed in a glorious Grade 1 listed building from the 17th century, and along with a diverse display of artefacts from Neolithic times to the present day, also houses a fascinating time line of England's history and different 'periods' of time since the Iron Age - I wish they'd had something similar when I was at school, I may even have comprehended the history of my country.



Abingdon County Hall Museum







A sign found during conversion of an ancient building








The centre of the town - very well kept with lots of floral displays



A variety of architecture



More views of the Museum





A few gargoyles on The Guildhall, spotted as we walked along Abbey Close

P1300115A Old hospital buildings



   Not sure about the green, but a quaint old building              Our Lady's Convent School

We'd heard there was a launderette in Abingdon, and eventually found it late on Monday after asking at the Information Centre in the Council Offices - it's a bit of a walk from the boat so Barry visited on Tuesday taking a large bag of towels and sheets on his bike, while I caught up with some clothes hand-washing (it's too expensive to do it all in the launderette!). 

After our visit to town on Monday we walked back through the Abbey Gardens, which also house a heated outdoor pool open daily from late May to early September and obviously very popular with local people as they were filled with families and youngsters having fun while we were in the area.  It's refreshing to see children participating in outdoor activities, rather than them staying in and playing on their x-boxes or whatever the latest computerised games are nowadays!



     Unsure as to what this monument is                Peeking through the Abbey ruins

The moorings at Abingdon are fabulous, though space is at a premium with a five day time limit advertised, and many boats stayed the same three nights that we did which must've made it challenging for others to find a slot.  They certainly embrace boaters here.


Northern Pride moored opposite the Abbey Gardens - facing the wrong way!

P1300130A Ruins of the old Abbey

Returning to the boat on Monday evening we were treated to an outstandingly dramatic sky, with one half being dark and daunting whilst the other was bright and cheery - consequently producing an amazing light ...

P1300151-Panorama1A  Abingdon Bridge over The Thames








What a welcoming, friendly sign - well done Abingdon!

We also found a glazier to cut some cratch glass for the front of the boat which was a relief - we've been searching for one since we arrived in late May!  Barry took the cardboard template to them on Tuesday morning and they had it ready within a couple of hours, so once we'd collected it he spent the afternoon fitting it.  It's such an improvement on the cracked glass and rotten wooden frame we had previously.  A very productive couple of days!






Barry prepares the cratch frame for its new glass






On Tuesday evening Barry went for another long walk around Abingdon, discovering more delightful scenes ...

P1300195_-2A St Helen's Church by The Thames

P1300210-Panorama1 'The Old Anchor' at St Helen's Wharf

P1300221_2_3A Night shot of St Helen's Church with the moored boats in the foreground


Looking down 'Vineyard' from the town centre


The view of Old Abbey from under the museum - for the atomic bloke Barry met while taking this shot

P1300114A   Pretty Petunias (I think!)


  1. the photos ad the blog have enticed me to want to go to Abingdon now.... fantastic photography Barry ...xx we must try and catch up with you

    hugs Maggie xx

  2. the photo 'Looking down 'Vineyard' from the town centre' is actually stert street