There was a plan to go up through the 21 locks of Hatton Flight today.. however: A really slow and leaky tap at the water point (reported to CRT), and rain (forecast as a sunny day) has put a stop to that.. so we will do these tomorrow and then stop at Kingswood Junction for a few days whilst whilst we recover!
After the winter moorings for 2018-2019 were published, last years spot in Banbury has moved up a band, so were not stopping there this year as it would cost over £1200 for 3.5 months on a stretch of concrete with no rings, bollards, water, electricity or services of any kind.. so that’s not happening this year! Last year it made sense, as we had the car, but this year, there is no need to stay put. As long as were a reasonable driving distance from Redhill and West Ewell, and I can get to Slough for several weeks over winter and Anna can get to the Annex retreat this month and in December, we should be OK to keep on the move.
We have also been able to check through the winter stoppages for 2018/2019, and have a plan for our travelling through to April of next year.. We did think to go through up to Wales and do the LLangollen canal, but stoppages, and distances to drive south over Christmas would make it a very miserable December.. so were going to run the Warwickshire ring over winter, and stay in the mid-country, where the driving back south should not be too much of a problem. Yes.. technically you can do this in 2 weeks.. but that’s 14 days continuous travelling – all day long.. or.. if you only move at weekends (and include the Ashby canal).. 9 weeks.. or 2.5 months.. which would put us back near to the Boat House in Braunston for December.. open fire.. beer on tap.. friendly staff (if the kitchens not flooded again! – like last year when we phoned a pizza in and ate it in the pub.. with the landlord nicking a slice! 😀 ) – don’t mind if I do..
- Grand Union (Warwick) > Birmingham
- Birmingham & Fazeley Canal > Drayton Manor ( Theme Park! – Don’t tell Celeste! If its open.. its a suprise..)
- Through Curdworth locks before the’re shutdown for the whole of January for maintenance..
- Coventry Canal > Bedworth
- Ashby Canal (up and back)
- As long were out by January, as the 3 month long stoppage to do the bridge repairs starting then would trap us in until the end of March..
- Coventry Canal > Coventry
- Oxford Canal > Braunston
- Past Rugby Radio bridge shutdown in November for maintenance, should be completed by the time we get there..
- Grand Union (Leicester) > Crick & Yelvertoft.. hmm.. been here before just over a year ago! – lets wave as we go past them.. a one finger wave that is!
- Through Watford Locks, shutdown through the whole of November for maintenance, should be completed by the time we get there..
- Grand Union (Leicester) > Leicester & the River Soar
- River Soar > Trent & Mersey Canal
- From there through into summer with :
- Stoke.. Time to stop at the World of Wedgewood again and the pottery where we made and designed our own cups and dog bowls..
- Anderton Lift Bridge (you cant have a narrowboat and not go up and down the lift bridge at least once!)..
- Middlewich (hopefully if the breach is sealed and the canal re-watered), and then –
- Wales for the Pontcystlite Aqueduct.. don’t look down!
- Finally back south via the Shroppie for June/July 2019.. I know a few good spots there already.. the only stretch of canal I know of where they put wooden “pub” benches and seats on the towpath along a few mile stretch.. would be a good place to stop for a week or two! 🙂