Brinklow (planning day)

On Wednesday morning we set off for Brinklow which would be in a nice area if it wasn’t so close to the noisy M6/M69 junction.  A family of swans arrived as we were casting off – eight cygnets, the largest of the year so far to reach this size.

We passed the last piece of evidence of the canal straightening that I’ve been going on about over the last few days.

Looking back from this point you can see the straightened section of canal running from an embankment in the far distance into the cutting now covered with trees.

At Stretton Under Fosse we had to open a tiny swing footbridge.

These residents had some of the best sunflowers we have seen this year.

We have to go home for a week tomorrow as we are having some family time culminating in moving Jo up to her halls at Edinburgh.  After then we will have no more commitments until Christmas so we decided to have a bit of a planning session after we had moored up for the day.   

We have still to visit Leicester even though we have nearly got there several times.  We both also fancied going back down to Oxford as well, especially if we end up being in the North again for winter.  With these objectives in mind we planned our route for the next few weeks to get to Oxford – the day markers are based on us travelling four hours a day.  Not a bad average as some days we do no travelling and some we do six hours or so.  In total this is 207 miles and 139 locks.

We will carry on up to the end of the Oxford canal where it meets the Coventry canal.  Heading north up the Coventry it becomes the Birmingham & Fazeley canal until we hit the Trent & Mersey canal (yet again!) at Fradley.  From Fradley we will head North East to join the River Trent near Nottingham where there is a four-way junction with the Erewash canal and the River Soar.  We will follow the River Soar south to Loughborough.  We will then be in new territory until we hit Crick which is south of Leicester.

Neither of us have been to Loughborough before but Catherine now works there so we should be able to catch up with her for an evening or two.  After Loughborough we will be carrying on upriver to Leicester to join the Grand Union (Leicester section) – Cheryl and Stuart live in Leicester so hopefully we will catch up with them again as we haven’t seen them since they visited us a couple times over last winter.    

After Leicester we will explore a couple of arms: one goes into Market Harborough and the other into Welford.  Soon after then we will get to Foxton which is the site of an old inclined plane where boats were transported in caissons up and down in place of locks (the sort of place that Stuart and I would revel in visiting).  Heading down the Watford Gap staircase locks we will soon hit Braunston again and then find the top of the southern Oxford canal to get down to the city.

Later in the afternoon we went for a walk – Karen spotted yet another boat that follows my style of aerial fitting through the open window.

There are some lovely residential moorings at Brinklow which would be so peaceful if not for being so close to the M6.

If there's no blog tomorrow we'll be back in a week and then with no more commitments for a while we'll be 'on the road' again.

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