July - Chester to Saltisford Arm - 98 miles and 104 locks
After leaving the floating market in Chester we made our way back along the Shropshire Union and via the Wolverhampton 21 into Birmingham and then out again along the Worcester and Birmingham to Kings Norton Junction and onto the Stratford down Lapworth to Kingswood Junction and then onto the Grand Union, down Hatton flight and into the Saltisford Arm. The day we did Hatton we started off very early in the morning, is was an incredibly hot day and normally we wouldn't have tackled the flight but we had a train booked to go to Poole to visit Jess and we were leaving the boat in the care of the Saltisford Canal Trust in their private arm.
We had a lovely time down with Jess and Dudley enjoyed his paddle at the seaside. It was all too soon to continue our journey down to Blisworth to attend their hugely successful Canal Festival.
August - Saltisford to Blisworth - 36 miles and 38 locks
So it was on through Warwick, Leamington Spa, up Stockton lock flight, followed by the three at Calcutt. We had a stop in Brauston to redeem my prize of a free meal at The Boat House, where the lovely Manager also included the bottle of wine we had. Then it was onwards continuing our journey up the Brauston locks, through Braunston Tunnel and then down the Buckby Lock flight. We stopped for a week at Bugbrooke, such a lovely village and lots of nice walks for Dudley. James was catching up with pen making as, if last year was anything to go by, we were going to have a busy time in Blisworth.
Blisworth - And what a busy time we had, there didn't seem the amount of people there as last year, but our pens were proving very popular and were selling out fast. By the time the weekend was over our stock was very depleted - not that I'm complaining!!
August - Blisworth to Stourport - 129 miles and 110 locks
Our next event was a couple of weeks away at Stourport, we decided to take a slightly different route and went down to Stratford-upon-Avon and then out onto The Avon. At Evesham Jess joined us for a couple of days, she left her car in Worcester and got the train to us in Evesham. We had a lovely trip with her and the weather was mostly kind. At Tewkesbury, the end of the we dropped down Avon Lock and out onto the Severn, then it was up river to Worcester. Where we said goodbye to Jess and continued our journey to Stourport.
September - Stourport to Birmingham - 38 miles and 62 locks
Our next event was the floating market in Birmingham, we decided to go back out onto the Severn to Worcester again and then follow the Worcester and Birmingham Canal all the way up.
Birmingham to Tixall - 38 miles and 34 locks
We left Birmingham by the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal down the Farmers and Aston flights, through Minworth and down Curdworth locks to Fazeley, where we met up with some friends and enjoyed a curry in one of our favourite Indian Restaurants, Kudos. We continued our journey through Fradley, Rugeley and Great Hayward, turning left at the junction onto the Staffordshire and Worcester and stopping at the gorgeous Tixall Wide.
TOTAL 672 miles and 614 locks