Monthly Archive: May 2023

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Curiosities along the South Stratford Canal

Curious about “the wedged boat, the tartare sauce and the mushroom box” ? Read on… South Stratford Canal at Kingswood Junction to Wootton Wawen: 6¼ miles, 17 locks  To transfer from the Grand Union to the South Stratford is akin to transferring from a smooth broad motorway to a narrow rural back road… Cleddau edged through the connecting link    into a basin with space for boats to manoeuvre past each other between the North Stratford and the South Stratford...

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Hallo Avon, hallo Hatton…

Grand Union: From Royal Leamington Spa to Kingswood Junction: 11 miles, 23 locks From the Grand Union Canal Regency Leamington remains out of sight. Though the chimney pots of older properties can be just about glimpsed, there are new builds to be seen behind old walls. Then comes an area of retail parks, with easy access from the towpath for Lidl and Morrisons customers.   About a mile from Leamington is a point of interest for aqueduct spotters: here the...

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The cat’s whiskers

Grand Union: From Calcutt to Royal Leamington Spa: 8¾ miles, 20 locks  It was ten years ago, in 2013, that Cleddau last travelled this stretch of waterway, albeit from the opposite direction… It’s the Grand Union, along which wide beam boats can cruise between London and the outskirts of Birmingham. There are lines of moored and liveaboard boats, some of which have accessorized their moorings with sheds, flags – and in one case, former crew members who’d “been worked to...

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Turning left and heading downhill

From Crick Marina (Leicester Line) to beyond Calcutt (Grand Union): 16 miles, 16 locks, 2 tunnels Getting ready for “Off” takes some effort: haircuts arranged, garden grass cut, clothes sorted for all (or nearly all) seasons, blank screen laptop taken to repair shop – and collected, time shared with friends, bin collection organised, boating paraphernalia assembled, fridge contents sorted and cool-boxed for transport… The Captain, long ago trained to plan aircraft missions to the last detail, checked the roads. The...

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Mishaps and misadventures

The cruise from Crick to Market Harborough had involved 23½ miles, 10 locks, 2 swing bridges and 2 overnight stops… So what was the town like?        On a Saturday morning the place seemed quite lively – the Lions were running charity stalls in the covered area below the Old Grammar School,   there was a craft stall and coffee morning in the vestibule of the Harborough Theatre,  an open fronted fishmonger’s shop was attracting brisk trade ,...