Tuesday, 20 June 2017

From the Oxford to the Coventry and on to the Trent and Mersey Canal

Rugby's not new to us, it seems we are passing through on a regular basis from cruising season to cruising season. We arrived in Rugby at lunch time so we made the short trek to the pub just up the canal, Bell and Barge Inn, with a Harvester Restaurant. We had shopping to do so it was a two night stay for us as we made our way in to the town centre by bus.

On Wednesday we were off early along a well cruised path making it to Hawkesbury Junction before lunch having only stopped for water at Rose Narrowboats, the last of two loads of washing finishing as we were filling the water tank. At Hawkesbury we turned right on to the Coventry Canal, it was not long before we were passing Charity Dock, which hasn't changed in the four years we have been cruising.




It was a great day for cruising so we continued on to Nuneaton we were made a stop for the 15 minute trek into town to catch the large market. Lots to see and but there, we had around an hour before it was all starting to close up. A lite dinner and we were back on the boat for an evening cruise, passing some nice communal garden plots along the way to our rural mooring just near Bridge 27.


Thursday we cruised for five minutes to Springwood Haven Marina to fill with diesel at 0.74p domestic, Serafina took 110 litres.

Rachael got busy on the camera taking some wildlife pictures in-between working the boat down the Atherstone Flight of 11 locks and the two Glascote Locks at Tamworth.



We continued on through Fazeley Junction turning right and heading for Fradley Junction only to catch up with a boat cruising at tick-over and not in a mind to be passed. It was a good time to finish our day near Tanborn House Bridge.

After turning on to the Trent and Mersey Canal at Fradley we cruised on through Rugeley were we made a short stop to find the railway station in preparation for dropping our friend off in the next few weeks as we show her a small part of the canal system. Cruising out of Rugeley we crossed the River Trent, one of the rivers feeding the Trent and Mersey Canal.


We were ready to buy some eggs along the way but none left!


We cruised on to one of our favourite moorings just below Haywood Lock at Great Haywood. I also like Tixal Wides just near here, Great Haywood is such a lovely area.


We are starting to see a few of these new signs erected by the Canal and River Trust with a little of the history of the area.


Saturday was finally a nice short cruise, this cow wasn't too happy to hear us coming and couldn't get out quick enough.



We were enjoying our cruise right up until the traffic jam at Aston Lock where we were behind three other boats going up the lock, slowing us significantly. We managed to get the last mooring at Stone before having to do another lock to find a mooring. Just in time for lunch at the Poste of Stone Inn and a welcome drink on a rather hot day.

Sunday we were up early as another hot day was predicted. We weren't keen to do both the Stone Locks and the Stoke Locks in the middle of the day. Cruising out of Stone I took a couple of shots of the old warehouses.



It was a little chaotic when we came across these canoeists all over the canal but slowed down while they got themselves sorted.


We have passed this old boat yard, now residence several times but this time I took the time to get a few pictures.




All was going well until we met an older lady waiting at the bottom of Stoke Locks for some help, she was single handing a boat all the way to Manchester to have it blacked. Why she wasn't taking it just down from her mooring we didn't get around to finding out. So, it was myself and another boater working three boats up the Stoke Locks, that wasn't fun! She continued on with lots of locks to go to get to Manchester, we on the other hand moored at Stoke just after the top lock.

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