Monday, 4 April 2016

Braunston (centre of abandoned villages)

On Saturday morning we all walked the seven miles back to Hillmorton to pick up the car.  On the way we crossed the Northamptonshire/Warwickshire border on a strangely shaped new footbridge.

Northamptonshire/Warwickshire border marked by a stream

It was a beautiful day across most of the country but we only saw a couple of butterflies on our walk.  This spot had a couple of Small Tortoiseshells and Brimstones.

Bridleway into Hillmorton from the south

We drove to Braunston as we knew a good spot to leave the car and then walked back up the canal to the boat at Willoughby. 

Countryside around Willoughby

We decided to stay in for the rest of Saturday and then set off for Braunston first thing on Sunday.

Leaving our Willoughby mooring on Sunday morning

Karen says she loves the sight of seeing nothing in front of her but fields and water.

Between Willoughby and Braunston

There was a lot of boat traffic and the red/green boat had come round this corner out of control.  They had hit the blue boat on the left – the lady steerer is still staring back at them as if she cannot believe what had happened.  I had stopped by this point and they narrowly missed me – although I couldn’t work out why they thought it easier to control by bending over the tiller like that.  Trouble was they were just going too fast especially on a corner and with other boats around.

The blue boat on the left had just been hit and they narrowly missed me on the corner

Braunston is always busy whatever the time of year. 

Us arriving in Braunston from the north

We filled up with water at the junction and then headed west along the Grand Union canal.  This meant we missed the main drag in Braunston past all the moored boats and massive marina.

Just coming up to the water point on the left
Braunston junction - we came down from the left and now heading out of Braunston
Signpost at the junction.  We came from Coventry and are now headed in the Birmingham/Oxford direction.
We moored up at our usual site on the way out of Braunston and then took a walk into town.

Looking back from our mooring to Braunston.  The dome next to the church is a sailless windmill, now a private house.
This is walking across the fields into the village.

Smart houses in the village

We then walked out the other side of the village to one of our favourite pubs, the Admiral Nelson, for a Sunday lunchtime pint.

They hold a music festival here every July so we have now got this year’s date in the diary.  We walked back to the boat along the towpath and passed a pile of stanking planks – there are even some under the green corrugated sheet by the fence at the back.

Must be the smallest 'narrowboat' we've seen and appropriately named too
The Grand Union is one of the canals that has milestones (metal ones) and every so often there are ¼, ½ and ¾ markers.  There are not many of these left but there is one in Braunston.

Just before we got back to our junction we passed Maffi in his boat Milly M – we said hello but didn’t stop for a chat as he was busy in his engine bay with tools in hand but there are other days this week.

That’s us moored just after this turnover bridge – one of the better examples of this type of bridge on this canal.

Turnover bridge enabling horses to cross from one side to the other without unhitching from the boat
We’ll be staying here all week probably and I’m going to have to be careful with Buddy as the ducks are very tame and don’t get out of the way.  It’ll be lead on for Buddy otherwise he’ll end up with a duck in his mouth.

There’s plenty of walks around here to keep us occupied plus a few abandoned villages to explore.

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