Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Warwick to Long Buckby

Warwick to Radford 7 miles and 4 locks
We got back to LJ at around 5pm last Monday and left the Salisford Arm Tuesday morning, stopping off in Leamington Spa to visit Lidl which is right next to the canal, and also Pets at Home which was a short stroll away. So with cupboards stocked for both us and Dudley we continued on our way. Passing through Leamington Spa itself we approached a footbridge, both James and I notice the five kids on it, with two carrying black bin bags. As they lifted their bags over the railings James starting videoing and I pointed my camera at them, the older of the group disappeared, one put his bag, put it on the floor, smiled at us and put his thumbs up. The other one carrying the bag proceeded to drop in onto the front bow as we passed underneath and then was shouting at us to F Off. Judging by the amount of black bags on the towpath just after we weren't the first it had happened to and unfortunately I don't think we'll be the last either. We continued up another couple of locks before stopping for the night.

The nasty little brats in Leamington Spa

Radford to Long Itchington 4 miles and 8 locks
We left the next morning and continued through the countryside, the banks seem to have missed out on trimming here and places we stopped at a couple of years ago were so overgrown they were almost unrecognisable. We went through the Bascote Locks, which comprise two normal locks and then a staricase of two. We continued on our merry way stopping at Long Itchington where blog reader on Pintail was moored opposite, sorry didn't get your name but hello, and I'm nearly up to date with the blog :)

Long Itchington to Flecknoe 6 miles and 13 locks
We made good timing up the Stockton locks as there were two Willow Wren boats following us with 18 kids on board, so at some locks a couple of them came to help us through. These locks are the same as the Hatton flight with the hydraulic paddle gear and the old narrow locks alongside. This would have been the Warwick and Napton Canal before it became the Grand Union. We then had a good level section before the three locks at Calcutt and the last of the hydraulic paddle gear. We reached Napton Junction and turned left. I think prior to the Grand Union being set up this section was actually the Oxford Canal, but is now the Grand Union and links the North and South Oxford Canal.

Flecknoe to Brauston 3 miles and 0 locks
After a couple of days at Flecknoe sitting out some horrible rainy and windy days we set off for Brauston, it was still cold and rainy but time to move on. On the approach to Brauston by Puddle Banks we were surprised to see the walk way down under the aqueduct all newly fenced off with 'No Entry' signs on them, what a shame as we have always used that route to walk to Wolfhampcote and the old church.  At Braunston Turn we turned right and managed to get moored up just past The Boathouse.  We had a visit from Richard, who has bought a few pens from us which we have posted to him so it was good to meet in person.  On Monday we took a stroll up to the village shop and were amazed at how empty the moorings were, I've never seen it so quiet in Braunston. It soon filled up throughout the day and when I took Dudley for an evening stroll it was completely full again.

Moored in Braunston
Monday morning and very deserted, that's LJ in the distance
Having coffee out Midland Chandlers, great view of Braunston Turn

Braunston to Long Buckby 4.5 miles and 5 locks
Yesterday - yes yesterday - shock horror I am up to date at last, we set off early and up through the five Braunston locks, it was back to normal paddle gear, but boy are the gates heavy! We then went through the long Braunston tunnel meeting three boats in total and made it out the other side. At Norton Junction we continued on and stopped at the top of the Buckby Locks. In the evening we popped over to the New Inn and met up with Dave and Allison, nb Freespirit along with Daughter No 1 Sarah. We all headed back to LJ and finished the evening with coffee and cake.  This morning I took Dudley for a walk along the Leicester Branch whilst James got on with some work dodging the rain showers.

Braunston top lock

Moored near Norton Junction at Long Buckby

TOTALS  372 miles and 372 locks

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