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Fishing In Oxfordshire

You could be forgiven for thinking that Blenheim Palace is to angling what chalk is to cheese. What, after all, has an historic Royal building got to do with fish? If you try your hand at fishing in Oxfordshire, though, you'll quickly find that your bafflement is unfounded.

Blenheim Palace holds a splendid trout fishery in its majestic grounds. Created by the infamous 'Capability' Brown, Blenheim's beautiful Bladon Lake is set in the Palace's ravishing, rolling parkland. Bladon spans twenty acres and has an entire mile of fishable bank.

Generously stocked with fine, full-tailed rainbows weighing as much as 8 lbs, along with a few browns, the lake is open all the year round (except on Christmas Day). This glorious trout fishery is split into four beats known as The Gardens, The Lince, Bladon and Rough Piece, all of which can be fished under one ticket (the Gardens, however, can only be fished after 5 pm).

Fishing in Oxfordshire is more generally a good deal less grandiose, though no less beautiful, than casting a line in a palace garden. Orchid Lakes, for example, offers a fine example of what the county has to offer. Nestled in the heart of the Thames Valley near the enchanting little village of Dorchester-on-Thames, Orchid Lakes has acquired a well-deserved reputation for providing the region's premier carp fishing.

With three gravel pits surrounded by large, mature poplars, oak and gorgeous weeping willows, the lakes are superbly maintained and sport large, purpose built swims in prominent areas. Orchid Lake itself probably carries the best chance of bagging a 30 lb carp than any other day ticket venue in the country there are around 30 carp exceeding 30 lbs in the waters, four of which are known to be over 37 lbs and one of which last weighed in at a jaw-dropping 41 lbs.

A delightful setting for pleasure fishers young and old can be found at Pimlico Farm Country Cottages in Bicester. This little venue demonstrates that fishing in Oxfordshire can provide a lovely countryside break for the entire family. Utterly charming and immersed in natural rural beauty, the farm's quiet, secluded waters are only 50 meters away from the holiday cottages and the fishing lodge.

The three adjoining lakes are generously stocked with mirror and common carp to 30lbs, as well as plenty of roach and tench ideal for the pole. You can get a day ticket at the fishing lodge and the fishery is open from dawn to dusk.

Whilst Oxfordshire fisheries are innumerable, we can't leave without mention of the fantastic angling opportunities available on the magnificent River Thames, winding its majestic way across the county. In its upper reaches, you'll find plenty of first class specimen barbels, whilst in Oxford you're more than likely to bag some monster chub. And don't forget the lovely tributaries Cherwell, Evenlode, Ock, Ray, Thame and Windrush all offer superb fishing opportunities.




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