Sunday, 14 May 2017

Barton (how plans change)

When we arrived in Stratford on Avon four weeks ago we thought we would pop out onto the River Avon for a couple of days and then slowly make our way back up the Stratford canal to Warwick and Leamington Spa.  That was a month ago and we are still on the river; we are even thinking of staying on the river for another week or even a few.

On Friday, we had moored on an island so we had to move again on Saturday to somewhere we could get access to roads in order to get the car back from Luddington.  Having looked at Google Earth it seemed that Barton looked a good place so we cruised down to Pilgrim’s lock at Barton.

Another peaceful mooring – Saturday afternoon by Pilgrim's lock at Barton

On the way, we heard our first cuckoo of the year and saw a couple of kingfishers flying low over the water as they do.  They fly parallel to, and along the water unlike most other birds that tend to swoop up and down and fly form one bank to the other.

Leaving our mooring on the island on Saturday morning

After mooring up at Barton we walked four and a half miles back to the car at Luddington.  I double checked that we were walking the correct side of the river so that I didn’t make the same mistake I had earlier in the week.  I had forgotten that there are very few river crossings and that, unlike canal locks, river locks do not afford access to both river banks as there is a weir one side of the lock.  You can see what I mean in the picture below.

Leaving WA Cadbury lock – our only lock of the day

We followed the Avon Valley footpath until we got to Welford on Avon where we used the road bridge to get to the right side of the river for Luddington.  We followed an old railway line for most of the rest of the walk.

In Welford, we found a Victorian post box but, on checking it out, found that it had already been waymarked (waymarking Victorian post boxes is one of my stranger hobbies).

Victorian post box in wall outside Welford on Avon church

One of the pretty streets in Welford on Avon

When we picked up the car we drove back via Bidford on Avon as that is probably the next place we will visit on the boat and we needed to check what parking was like for both the boat and the car.  We then set off to find the boat and a good place to park the car for the rest of the weekend.  The place I had looked at on Google Earth was ideal, on a junction of two country roads where one car could just get on the verge.

Karen is going to have to walk across a field and down an unmade road to get to the car for work on Monday morning – fortunately, she finds it fun having different and interesting routes to work.

Part of Karen’s walk to the car on Monday morning

Although we had planned on potting out the summer plants on Saturday, it never happened, so maybe today we will get around to it.

We are beginning to think that we may go right down the River Avon to its junction with the River Severn at Tewkesbury.  Then we would go up to Worcester on the Severn and join the Worcester & Birmingham canal where we would head north to Birmingham.  Just before Birmingham we would turn off onto the North Stratford canal and head back down towards Stratford or Leamington again.

I’ll have to do a bit of planning this week to make sure it’s all possible for Karen to still get to work from the points we would be mooring during the week days.  It’s quite an enticing idea as, until we get to the outskirts of Droitwich, the journey will be on rivers and canals that are new to us.

The route we may be takingnext

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