Friday, 19 May 2017

Arriving at the End of the Staffs and Worcs Canal

Wednesday turned out to be a great day to stay put where we were. It rained most of the night and continued on throughout the day. Several hire boats had headed off in the morning, making the most of their hire period with no boats replacing them. We spent most of the day inside the boat and there were only two boats that passed us throughout the day. Rachael and I were getting a bit of cabin fever so we donned our rain coats and umbrella and headed to The Vine Inn for lunch.

It was around 7pm that the rain had cleared enough for me to take a walk so I headed up to St Mary's Church on the hill overlooking Kinver. Two or three kilometres from the boat, up the hill to the church for a shot over Kinver and beyond.

I continued on with my walk back down the hill, on through town and then up towards Kinver Edge, another 2 - 3 kilometres walking to reach the Kinver Rock Houses, a National Trust site. The Rock Houses have normal house facades but the bulk of the house is built into the rock.  I couldn't go in as they are only open from Thursday to Sunday.

Kinver is a nice little village with nowhere near the population needed to support the half a dozen nice restaurants in town in addition to two fish and chip shops. The main street had several interesting buildings seeming to my untrained eye to be mainly of Georgian and Tudor design.

We are spending a lot of time dodging rain but the weather on Thursday started off with bright sunshine. A long day ahead lead to an earlier start than usual as we headed towards Woverly to have a wander around on the recommendation of a 'pleasant little village' from several other boaters. It was exactly that but no photo opportunities that 'grabbed' me apart from the Gosander and her ducklings, only because you don't see too many Gosanders around.

We headed back to the boat and had lunch while we were on the move, we still had shopping in Kidderminster to go and then we planned to move on through the last two locks and head to a rural mooring. Arriving at the first set of moorings, there were 6 - 7 boats already tied up but plenty of room for a couple of more boats, we tied Serafina up right in front of the Sainsbury's Supermarket, locked up and headed in to town. Rachael had already planned her shopping, all the shops were in the Weaver's Wharf shopping complex, a short walk from our mooring. A couple of hours in Weaver's Wharf, another hour back at Sainsbury's and we slipped off our mooring. Surprisingly we left behind only a couple of boats, the other boats had already departed. Only 400 metres to the Kidderminster Lock with St Mary's All Saints Church, a 15th and 16th century church, in the background.

We cruised through Kidderminster passing completely vacant moorings in front Weaver's Wharf, enough room for conservatively 15 boats. It seems Kidderminster is not a terribly popular overnight stop. Out of town we queued in a group of five boats at both of the last two locks for the day. In light rain we tied up just off the lock landing of Falling Sands Lock on yet another rural mooring.

Rain overnight and light rain on our Friday morning departure for our short cruise to Stourport. The rain cleared after about ten minutes, arriving after an hour at Stourport in nice sunshine. One lock today, York Street Lock, dropped Serafina down into Stourport Upper Basin where we stopped for diesel (71p) and a pump out then water at the CRT Services. We moored in the 24 hour moorings next to the CRT Services for the night.

 A fair over the back of the docks, far enough away from us to not be too noisy.

The wide-beam route out of the docks and down on to the River Severn, narrowboats take an alternative narrow beam route.

The soccerball count has grown to eight.

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