We have each been thinking separately about our current route to the North West and have both come to the same conclusion. It’s not that long since we took the planned route so we would rather take a longer way round and catch some new sights even if it means longer cruising days. Our new plan is to go up the Grand Union to Kingswood junction then take the North Stratford to Kings Norton. We can then head into the centre of Birmingham before going through Wolverhampton and onto the Shropshire Union. The big decision will be at Nantwich – if we have time before the winter closures in the Wales we will head up the Llangollen canal and also the Montgomery canal. This will be the first time Chalkhill Blue will have been to Wales but Karen and I did hire a boat there many years ago - our first canal trip together..
We set off at nine on Monday morning and hooked up with a couple on a hire boat so we could share the six locks down into Braunston which we did in double quick time. At the fourth lock we went past the Admiral Nelson which is one of our favourite canal side pubs and where we had a quick drink on Sunday evening.
These are the six Braunston locks.
This is Braunston junction with its pretty iron footbridges – straight on is the North Oxford canal up to Coventry and left is the way we went continuing up the Grand Union.
If we were still following our previous plan we would have gone straight on up the Oxford so our decision was made. Looking back at the junction shows how pretty the footbridges are.
The next junction was Napton where the South Oxford goes off to the left and we turned right up the Grand Union towards Warwick.
We stopped for lunch just above Calcutt locks as it started raining. It soon eased off again and we went down the three Calcutt locks on our own as there was no one to share them with.
We moored up for the day about half a mile below the Stockton flight as it started raining again. Karen baked an apple cake and I cut up some logs as it’s that time of year now.