Birmingham to Kings Norton - 8 miles and 0 locks
We only spent a couple of days in Birmingham so I left James and Dudley at the boat and went shopping for the most of the afternoon. We also had a visit from Rebekah and her Patterpoo Polo, it was lovely to catch up again. It wasn't long before we were on the move again, this time leaving Birmingham by a different route through Gas Street Basin and continuing along the Worcester and Birmingham Canal. We left at morning commuter time and were amazed at the amount of bikes racing along the towpath not caring about the pedestrians or each other. We had a brief stop at Selly Oak to visit Sainsbury's then past Bournville where we came across a car which had taken a wrong turn and ended in the canal. We just managed to squeeze past it but as it was so shallow at the edge the three guys waiting for the recovery truck took a rope and helped pull us through. At King's Norton Junction we turned left onto the Stratford-on-Avon Canal and stopped shortly after for the night.
|Passing the ICC|
|Very tight to get past|
|But we managed|
|Kings Norton Junction|
|The Guillotine Lock|
|Moored up just past the boatyard|
King's Norton to Lapworth - 9.5 miles and 4 locks
We've done this part of the Stratford Canal before but it was a few years ago, it's surprising how much you remember though. We did the first four locks of the Lapworth flight before stopping for the night.
Lapworth to Rowington - 3 miles and 15 locks
We continued down the remaining 15 locks of the Lapworth flight with the help of a volunteer down the second half, he was really helpful and stayed with us for for the remainder of the flight. At Kingswood Junction we left the Stratford-on-Avon Canal and joined the Grand Union, we turned right to head south. We stopped at a fantastic mooring near Rowington where it felt like we had our own private garden. Dudley enjoyed running around and as we stayed a few days James got lots of work done. On one of my walks with Dudley I came across the little church at Rowington.
|There was a lot of water coming down the flight|
|Kingswood Junction where we turned right for Warwick|
|Our lovely mooring for a few days|
We were late leaving as it rained most of the morning so we set off in the afternoon to get to the top of Hatton and would tackle the locks tomorrow.
|Shrewley Tunnel with its separate horse tunnel|
Hatton Flight 2 miles and 21 locks
This section of the Grand Union was originally the Warwick and Birmingham Canal which opened in December 1799, but when the Grand Union Canal Company took over this and several other canals in 1929 they were renamed the Grand Union Canal. The Hatton locks were narrow locks, however in 1932 work started to create wide locks to avoid congestion and two narrow boats could go through at the same time, it took two years and over 1,000 men to construct the new wide locks alongside the narrow ones. The narrow locks were closed and are now used as overflows, so you can clearly see them throughout the flight.
|Moored at the bottom of Hatton flight|
Saltisford Arm 0.5 miles
The Saltisford Arm is run by the Saltisford Canal Trust and is a great place to stop at to visit Warwick. The first nights mooring is free and then £5.50 per night, you can have electric hook up as well and you only pay for what you use. We met up with Jo and Keith on Hadar whilst there and they kindly invited us for a welcome coffee. We were leaving Lois Jane for a few days to head off to visit Jess and Lee in Poole.
|LJ tucked away near the end for a few days on her own|
TOTALS 347.5 miles and 342 locks