Like Buddy, I cannot always remember where we are moored when I wake up, so it’s often a pleasant surprise when I take him out first thing. We set off for the outskirts of Stratford on Friday morning and had the little matter of 12 locks to descend. We got into a good rhythm and stopped for lunch about ½ mile from the centre of Stratford.
It was the first day where the sun really felt Spring-like and we were fortunate and excited to see our first butterflies of the year: a beautiful yellow male Brimstone and a Small Tortoiseshell. The first sightings of the year always send shivers down my spine.
Buddy took to sunbathing at every lock.
After lunch we walked into the centre and decided that we would bring the boat down the final four locks and moor in the basin. This lock had a most unusual balance beam made of iron because the road bridge runs so close to the lock gates.
This is the final stretch before the basin in the centre – the RSC theatre can be seen the other side of this bridge.
Most of the bridges in Stratford were so low that we had to take the bikes off the roof.
This is coming into the basin. There was only one private narrow boat in there so we had plenty of mooring spots to choose from. The other boats are traders offering canal and river trips or selling baguettes and ice creams.
We went for a quick walk around town and found a really nice pub called the Black Swan which, traditionally, is also called the Dirty Duck. I think this is the third Black Swan we have visited with this double name. Anyway, we were happy as they allowed dogs in the bar and we had some well deserved pints after the 16 locks we went through today.