On Monday morning we had a bit of a route planning session. We know the next main place we want to get to is Cheshire but there are many routes we can take. With the proviso that we want to avoid going over old ground and we also want to avoid going back through Birmingham again, we decided on our general route.
- · Travel north up the Stratford canal to Kings Norton in south Birmingham
- · South down the Worcester and Birmingham canal to Droitwich
- · West along the Droitwich canal to the River Severn
- · North up the River Severn to Stourport
- · North up the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal to west Wolverhampton
- · North up the Shropshire Union canal to Cheshire
If we stick to that route then it’s 150 miles through 200 locks! We nearly planned an even longer route as our guide book for the Worcester area is from 2003 and therefore does not show that the Droitwich canal was fully reopened in 2010. Fortunately something in the back of my mind made me look it up on the web to confirm that it is open.
We left Stratford basin mid morning with a promise of rain for most of the day.
We went up four locks to an out-of-town retail park, did a big grocery shop and then headed off again. We went up another 12 locks and moored for the night at Wilmcote, a pretty little village that we will stay in for a couple of days. Karen is going on a university visit with Jo on Tuesday & Wednesday so we needed to be near a station and I wanted to be out in the country whilst she is away. Wilmcote is one of the few places we have seen moored boats on the Stratford canal.
As it turned out we didn't get any rain all day. It was good to be on the move again; we always love the feeling we get when travelling all day. A guy was following us and as he was on his own, Karen was setting the locks for him as we left each one. We had a chat every so often and it turned out he was heading for Droitwich but wanted to do it in four days as opposed to our more leisurely ten days or so.
Well, thats 16 of the 200 locks done!