GUIDE TO THE RIVER THAMES
The Double Weir, Oxford, River Thames.
54 miles north west of Central London, in South Oxford, on a backwater just south of Donnington Bridge Road (SP 5217 0428).
A small double radial (hence the name) that creates a small, clean, green wave. The wave crests making it slightly retentive when the level of the weir pool is not too high. In short play boats various moves are possible including front and back surfing, flat spins, low blunts and wave wheels.
The Double is perfect for introducing people to moving water- it's where Chris Wheeler first experienced moving water, swimming 6 times one Sunday afternoon!
Water levels required
Medium Winter levels, when Hurley is on 2 or 3 gates. Any higher and it washes out.
Gauge and levels information
Directions and parking
Head for the southern side of the Oxford Ring Road. At the roundabout situated between the A34 and A423, follow the signs northwards for the City Centre, onto the Abingdon Road. After 400 yds, turn right at the second set of traffic lights, into Weir Lane, which becomes Donnington Bridge Road after 100 yds. The weir is situated on the right- also after 100 yds. It is possible to park up on the right, off road, close to the weir, however, parking is limited. An alternative is to continue along Donnington Bridge Road for a further 300 yds, taking you over both the backwater and main river. Take the first left after you descend after crossing the river and left again and park in the car park. From here, you can walk back to the weir by carrying your boat over Donnington Bridge and continuing for 200-300 yards. Alternatively, you can access the main river from the Riverside Centre's slipway then paddle upstream for 400 yds, turning left into the old Long Bridges open air pool, heading left then right over the small 'Lasher' weir' and then heading on downstream for a further 300 yds. It's important that you do head right and over The Lasher- because if you go straight on and you will end up approaching the lethal 'Treble' radials. Beware- when the river is high there may be little water flowing over the Lasher.
Looking upstream from the weir pool, and from left to right, there are 2 walled in radial gates, with the right hand wall protruding about 6m/ 20ft further down stream than the left hand wall. At the right level, with both gates open, a nice little breaking green wave forms. The right hand wall creates a very clean eddy line- good for tail squirts. Talking of squirts, it is possible to mystery move here in a squirt boat, but this has its hazards- this is shopping trolley territory.
Important- do NOT mistake The Double for The Treble- the set of 3 radials situated to the right of The Double looking upstream. Here, the weir pool has been scoured out, creating a lethal tow back.
Hide all valuables if you use the car park behind the Riverside Centre- theft here is rife.
CONTRIBUTED BY: Chris Wheeler and Rob Yates.