Didcot - dullest town ever!?
While Didcot Power Station is an impressive sight from the window of your high-speed train, the town of Didcot is duller than a dull day in Dullsville.
Its claim to fame is that it is located on the railway junction to Oxford. Didcot Parkway Station is an excuse for a collossal carpark for several thousand cars. Smug commuters from the delightful surrounding villages converge on the station every morning and evening. When you arrive at Didcot the objective is to leave as quickly as possible :-)
Apart from one or two timbered houses from the original village, and a pleasant row of railworkers cottages, Didcot is a sprawl of supermarkets and housing estates.
No doubt the the new Shopping Centre will help destroy the town's main shopping street even further.
The one plus point for the town is it has six or seven Charity Shops (occasional cheap bargain) and an excellent bicycle shop.
Get out of Didcot as soon as you can. Head for Wallingford, Abingdon, or any of the beautiful surrounding villages ;-)
Oh, I almost forgot. Didcot Railway Centre may be worth a visit if you like steam trains. Not my cup-of-tea, but kids (or trainspotters) may enjoy the rides.Related to:
there are ALOT of beggars in...
there are ALOT of beggars in Oxford. they WILL ask you for money, but please don't feel obliged. Take care if walking alone late at night, but the town is *pretty* safe (if you don't mind some drunken students!)
For those thinking of driving...
For those thinking of driving into the Oxford city centre, think again. The council has come up with a traffic scheme so completely barmy that it confuses even those of us who have lived here all our lives. My advice to avoid the problems caused by being denied access or getting stuck down a one way street in oxford is to use the public transport provided which is (on the whole) reliable and economical. The 'park and ride' buses are ideal for leaving your vehicle just outside the city and travelling into the centre by bus- more on that elsewhere.
Children and pets should not...
Children and pets should not be allowed to play or swim in the locks, it's just too dangerous. Ensure non-swimmers have their life jackets on at all times. Keep away from the rear end of all boats, hidden below the water is the propellor and it can inflict nasty injuries to say the least. If anyone should fall into the water, cut the engine's power immediately to stop the prop. from rotating and pull them back onboard from the front of the boat.
Keep a watchful eye on your...
Keep a watchful eye on your pets when a swan is nearby. My dog was attacked by an overly protective swan whilst he was on board the boat and minding his own business. Swans are a very powerful bird and not to be messed with. From that point onwards I made my dog go below when I saw swans about.
Most birds on the canals will peck the side of your boat for food and the swans are very cheeky...they poke their noses through your open windows looking for bread!
Once positioned inside a lock,...
Once positioned inside a lock, keep your boat away from the front & rear lock gates. There is a cill on which you could get stuck or even damage your propellor. Many a boat has been water logged or even sunk inside the locks because they were too near the front gate and cill where the water rushes in through the 'paddles'.
For more insight on locks, see my forthcoming Oxford travelogue.
Don't swim in the Cherwell or...
Don't swim in the Cherwell or the canals and try not to fall in and wash your hands after you trail a listless hand in the water. They carry a rather nasty flu-like germ called Weils disease (actually carried in rats' urine). If you develop flu-like symptoms after falling in, go see a doctor.
The best advice I could ever...
The best advice I could ever give about Oxford is DO NOT stay at the Oxford Backpakers Hostel! Unless of course you like hairballs the size of grapefruits in the showers, dirty rooms and only 1 working sink in the womens washroom for all the 40 women staying there to share! While the people working at the hostel were very nice, it isn't worth it for the filth of the place.
Single £150.00 Standard double/twin £165.00 Deluxe double/twin £205.00 Superior deluxe...more
Wroxton Street Mary, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX15 6QB, United Kingdom
Good for: Solo
Red Brick House, Chipping Norton, OX7 6PY, United Kingdom
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Couples
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