King's Lock is just downstream from the northernmost point on the River Thames. Unlike many of the other locks, it is in open country on the southern bank of the river, north of Oxford in Oxfordshire. It is 4.37 km (2.72 mi) downstream from Eynsham Lock 1.81 km (1.12 mi) upstream from Godstow Lock.
Originally this was a flash lock, or staunch lock, built with a single gate. In 1928 it was replaced with one of the last pound locks built on the Thames, and it is also the first of the manually operated locks upstream.
Around the lock
There's a small visitor information centre and picnic benches perfect for watching barges and other vessels pass through the lock whilst enjoying refreshments in nice weather.
There is a large island at the lock, behind which lies the start of the Wolvercote Mill Stream leading to Dukes Cut (the Mill Stream rejoins the Thames below Godstow Lock). The weir is on the other side of the island.
Beyond the lock
The river runs through completely open country, with comparatively few bends until Eynsham Lock. Upstream, the River Evenlode joins from the northern side, followed by the Cassington Cut. Wharf Stream also joins on the same side just before Eynsham Lock.
The paths by the lock are tarmaced and whatever footwear feels comfortable should suffice. If you plan on walking beyond the lock, suitable hiking shoes are advisable.
How to get there