Thursday, 23 August 2012

Back onto the ditches!

We left our mooring in Stratford Basin on Wednesday mid morning, after letting the morning rush leave first, some were heading back up the Stratford Canal and some onto the River.  We helped a lovely couple down the lock onto the river as they were a bit apprehensive about what to do with ropes and double gates, but they got it and set off happily.

We had a steady climb up the locks, sometimes catching a glimpse of the boat in front.  We stopped at the services which is now also Hire Base for Valley Cruisers, we had to moor at an angle as they had a boat on the service point, but this worked really well in our favour as the bow was really close to the walk way so we took the opportunity to put the anchor and chain back into the bow locker.

We stopped at Wilmcote for lunch, as we had now completed the majority of the locks.  After lunch we continued onto Wootton Wawen, passing over Edstone Aqueduct.  Now this aqueduct is 200 yards in length, compared with the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at 336 yards, it varies in height between eight to eleven metres compared with Pontcysyllte at thirty eight metres high, so, a baby compared to the Ponty, so why can I quite happily travel over the Ponty, jumping on and off the boat taking photos, happy to steer across and yesterday I felt awful going over the smaller Edstone Aqueduct, I really couldn't wait to get over and I really didn't feel safe, and its not the first time we have been over and I think I was fine last time.  It was a bit windy and it was blowing the boat into the side as it was a side wind, but its been windy in Wales so who knows!

This morning we set off our planed destination was Rowington on the Grand Union only 8 miles to do today, oh and 18 locks!  These locks are not too bad, the gates can be heavy but as locks go they are quite nice ones and most are in lovely settings.  We made it with no problems passing a few boats on their way to Stratford one at Kingswood Junction who was hoping to make Stratford today, I thought it might be a bit ambitious as there was only two of them but they were having a great time.

We have started to see more Moorhen nests and chicks again (2nd or 3rd clutch)

Cast Iron Split Bridges, the gap in the middle allowed the towing line 
between the horse and boat to be dropped through without disconnecting

Not much room though

Edstone Aqueduct

Looking back

Wooton Wawen Aqueduct (had no problem with this one)

and again first thing this morning (John took this!)

something different in the tree (why?)

Lovely barrel roof cottage

This sign is on one of the cast iron bridges

Kingswood Junction we turned right onto the Grand Union

When we moored up John sat fishing for ages, complaining he wasn't even getting a bite
 then he caught this perch which I think made up for it....

Wednesday 7 miles 17 locks
Thursday 8 miles 18 locks


  1. I think the thing about the Edstone aqueduct is that the towpath is down on a level with the bottom of the trough, rather than a water level like it is on the Ponty. It means that even though Edstone is not that high off the ground, you get much more of a feeling of being up in the air.

  2. I bet Ali wasn't up early enough to take that morning shot John!


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