Monday, 17 April 2017

Luddington (somewhere new for a change)

We had forgotten that rowers are out on the river early on weekend mornings so were woken by trainer’s cycling along the riverside with loud hailers.  It’s good they go out first thing really as once the mechanised boats get out and about it would be quite precarious for them.

On Sunday morning we had a look round Stratford’s craft market and then popped into the Avon Navigation Trust’s office to get a licence to travel on the river.  We’re not sure how long we’re going to be on the river so forked out £60 for two weeks.

When we got back to the boat, Nigel and Julie were waiting for us.  They were setting off but wanted to say goodbye and apologise once again for getting “squiffy” (their words) when they came round to us on Saturday night.

The trouble with rivers when Karen is working is that mooring spots are few and far between and quite often out in the countryside nowhere near a road.  Looking at the map it seemed that Luddington looked a likely village to moor with a nearby lane to park on so we decided to set off downstream to see what it looked like.

Setting off on Sunday morning from our mooring opposite the RSC theatre

Soon after casting off we passed the church where Jo and I had a picnic last week and, unrelated, William Shakespeare is buried.

Cruising past the church at Stratford

Not much further on we came to our first lock of the day, named after a major benefactor when the Avon Navigation was restored to navigation in the 1960s and 1970s.

Colin P Witter lock

Information/dedication sign

The locks on the River Avon are all wide locks and tend to be unmanned apart from summer weekends.  Each lock is named after a main benefactor or volunteer and were restored with the help of groups such as boy scouts and prison inmates etc.

Waiting for Karen to open the gates

Once through Colin P Whitter lock we were out in the open countryside.  Unlike many rivers, the banks weren’t too high so we had good views for most of our journey.

Disused Stratford to Gloucester railway line

Our second lock was Weir Brake lock and fortunately for us a river cruiser was just leaving as we arrived so we drove straight in.

Weir Brake lock

Dedication/information plaque at the lock

Buddy waiting on the lock bridge

Buddy doesn’t like the lock gate walkways as they are metal gratings which can’t be easy for him to walk on.

Buddy and Karen avoiding the metal gratings on the lock gates

We arrived at Luddington and moored just above the lock.  There is room for two or three narrowboats at the moorings and we had the place to ourselves.

Our view from our mooring to the weir and Luddington lock

After mooring up Karen did a bit more repotting and then we went for a walk round the village.  To get to the village we had to walk through the churchyard from the river.  It’s a really nice place but has no shop or pub. Several houses are new and the sort of houses you would see on an architectural design TV programme.

Most of the houses in Luddington have views across the river and to the hills byond
The moorings are at the bottom of the garden of a house which has just been sold for over £1m – it’s rather a grotty looking place as it has a lot of 1980s style extensions.  Looking at the estate agent’s details it has been sold with planning permission to demolish it and build a house of 8,000+ square feet plus a separate swimming pool and gymnasium complex - not a small house by any means.

Our mooring at Luddington for Sundaynight

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