Not making waves!

Braunston to Llangollen

July 16 – August 02, 2014.

Having only 2 weeks until I meet a friend and his daughter, Peter and Myah, at Ellesmere on the Llangollen Canal, I thought I’d better make a start.  I made it to Newbold-on-Avon which is on the fringe of Rugby and 11.25 miles and 3 locks (Hillmorton Locks) from Braunston. It’s also, more-or-less, halfway to Hawkesbury Junction the end of the Oxford Canal where it joins the Coventry Canal.

Hillmorton Locks 4 & 5 on the Oxford Canal

Hillmorton Locks 4 & 5 on the Oxford Canal

Hillmorton Locks 2 & 3 on The Oxford Canal

Hillmorton Locks 2 & 3 on The Oxford Canal

Pillbox on the North Xford Canal

Pillbox on the North Oxford Canal

My second day out and my aim was to make it at least onto the Coventry Canal, approximately 11.5 miles and just 1 lock – the stop lock a Hawkesbury Junction. Setting off from Newbold the canal took me through Newbold Tunnel which at only 250 yards in length is a relaxing cruise underground compared with the Braunston Tunnel for example. Passing by Brinklow and Ansty Villages and under the M6 and M69 motorways it took me approximately 4.5 hours to reach Hawkesbury junction and pass through the stop lock to join the Coventry Canal.

Newbold Tunnel 250 yards in length

Newbold Tunnel 250 yards in length

The Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction. The Engine House used to pump water from a well into the canal.

The Coventry Canal at Hawkesbury Junction. The Engine House used to pump water from a well into the canal.

After a short break for lunch I continued up the Coventry Canal travelling a further 7.5 miles passing by Bedworth, Marston Junction- the entry to the Ashby Canal and through Nuneaton to finally tie up for the day just beyond Wood Bridge (27) about 3 miles from Atherstone.

Marston Junction

Marston Junction

An interesting mooring on the Coventry Canal

An interesting mooring on the Coventry Canal

This is my first time on the Coventry Canal, and it’ll my first time on the canals I’ll now travel on to Llangollen. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Coventry Canal, both by the countryside and condition of the canal and the locks which is good. So far, apart from the 3 Hillmorton locks and the Hawkesbury stop lock, my journey has been lock free. Today, my third, is to be different. Through Hartshill the canal winds through the countryside and past what were once quarries and slag heaps but you’d hardly guess as they’ve all been landscaped and blend into the landscape. Continuing on, approaching Atherstone where the Atherstone locks have to be negotiated – 11 in total spread over approximately 2 miles. Once through the Atherstone locks it’s a lock free cruise for approximately 8 miles before the 2 locks at Glascote are reached just before Fazeley Junction. Continuing on from Fazeley Junction the canal becomes the Birmingham & Fazeley with bridges having names rather than numbers. There are no locks on this section between Fazeley Junction and Fradley Junction. Once the canal reaches Whittington Brook it becomes the Coventry Canal, and the bridges are again numbered until it reaches it’s terminus at Fradley Junction. I didn’t make it that far and moored for the night at a village called Hopwas about 2.5 miles from Fazeley Junction on the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Surprising how attractive the Coventry Canal is.

Surprising how attractive the Coventry Canal is.

Atherstone Top Lock. The first lock of thirteen on the Coventry Canal

Atherstone Top Lock. The first lock of thirteen on the Coventry Canal

The only pillbox I've spotted on the Coventry Canal. It guards the Tame Aqueduct.

The only pillbox I’ve spotted on the Coventry Canal. It guards the Tame Aqueduct.

Fazeley Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Fazeley Junction where the Coventry Canal meets the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Setting off the next morning from Hopwas, it was Saturday and raining, however, the rain was forecast to stop for several hours approximately an hour after I set off so that was okay as I would dry off in the sun. The rain did stop but for only a short period from when it alternated between heavy and torrential. It was a wet day. Soaked through I made it onto the Trent & Mersey Canal at Fradley Junction and my first locks for the day.

The swing bridge at the terminus of the Coventry Canal at Fradley Junction

The swing bridge at the terminus of the Coventry Canal at Fradley Junction

Fradley Junction

Fradley Junction

Trent & Mersey Shadehouse Lock (19)

Trent & Mersey Canal Shadehouse Lock (19)

Another view of Shadehouse Lock (19)

Another view of Shadehouse Lock (19)

Rugeley Coal Fired Power Station from the Trent & Mersey

Rugeley Coal Fired Power Station from the Trent & Mersey Canal

Aqueduct over the River Trent on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal

Aqueduct over the River Trent on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Tixall Lock on the Staffs & Worcs. Canal

Tixall Lock on the Staffs & Worcs. Canal

Going up in Tixall Lock

Going up in Tixall Lock

View from Deptmore Lock On the Stass. & Worcs. Canal

View from Deptmore Lock on the Staffs. & Worcs. Canal

Taking water on at Penkridge Lock on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

Taking water on at Penkridge Lock on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal

The M6 motorway running parallel to The Staffordshite & Worcestershire Canal between Otherton Lock and Rodbaston Lock

The M6 motorway running parallel to The Staffordshite & Worcestershire Canal between Otherton Lock and Rodbaston Lock

Autherley Junction on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal for the Shropshire Union Canal

Autherley Junction on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal for the Shropshire Union Canal

Autherley Stop Lock on the Shropshire Union Canal

Autherley Stop Lock on the Shropshire Union Canal

Moored at Brewood on he Shropshire Union Canal

Moored at Brewood on the Shropshire Union Canal

High Bridge 39 Grub Street Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal

High Bridge 39 Grub Street Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal

Narrow cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal

Narrow cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal

High Bridge 57 Woodseaves Cutting the Shropshire Union Canal

High Bridge 57 Woodseaves Cutting the Shropshire Union Canal

No stopping between Tyrley Locks 4 & 5 on the Shropshire Union Canal!

No stopping between Tyrley Locks 4 & 5 on the Shropshire Union Canal!

Happy fishermen on the Shropshire Union Canal

Happy fishermen near Tyrley on the Shropshire Union Canal

Happy Fishermen at Tyrley on the Shropshire Union Canal

Gongoozlers on the Shropshire Union Canal

Butty Saturn moored at Audlem Wharf for the Historic Narrow Boats Gathering July 26-27

Shropie Fly Boat Saturn moored at Audlem Wharf on the Shropshire Union Canal for the Historic Narrow Boats Gathering July 26-27

Hurleston Junction on the Sropshire Union Canal - Welcome to the Llangollen Canal

Hurleston Junction on the Shropshire Union Canal – Welcome to the Llangollen Canal

Lift Bridge on the Llangollen Canal

Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge 19 on the Llangollen Canal

Moored on the Whitchurch Arm of the Llangollen Canal

Moored on the Whitchurch Arm of the Llangollen Canal

Hassell's No.1 Lift Bridge 33 on the Llangollen Canal

Hassell’s No.1 Lift Bridge 33 on the Llangollen Canal

Llangollen Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company Warehouse at Ellesmere Wharf

Llangollen Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company Warehouse at Ellesmere Wharf

Ellesmere CRT Yard

Beech House and Ellesmere CRT Yard

Llangollen Canal Chirk Aqueduct leading into Chirk Tunnel

Llangollen Canal Chirk Aqueduct leading into Chirk Tunnel

Llangollen Canal view from Chirk Aqueduct

Llangollen Canal a view from Chirk Aqueduct

Llangollen Canal moored at Chirk

Llangollen Canal Chirk Tunnel

Llangollen Canal moored at Chirk

Llangollen Canal moored at Chirk

Llangollen Canal Vale of Llangollen Plas Isaf Bridge 37W

Llangollen Canal Vale of Llangollen Plas Isaf Bridge 37W

A view of the River Dee from the bridge over the Dee in Llangollen Town

A view of the River Dee from the bridge in Llangollen town

Llangollen Canal Ty Craig Bridge on the canal between Llangollen and Horseshoe Falls

Llangollen Canal Ty Craig Bridge on the canal between Llangollen and Horseshoe Falls

Llangollen Canal view of River Dee

Llangollen Canal view of River Dee

Llangollen Canal view of River Dee

Llangollen Canal Horseshoe Falls

The return journey: August 04 – 15, 2014

Llangollen Canal Historic Shropie Fly Boat Saturn moored below Grindley Brook Locks

Llangollen Canal Historic Shropie Fly Boat Saturn moored below Grindley Brook Locks

Spotted on the Shropshire Union Historic Fellows, Clayton & Morton Narrowboat Viceroy

Spotted on the Shropshire Union Historic Fellows, Morton & Clayton Narrowboat Viceroy

Coventry Canal Landscape Scene

Coventry Canal Landscape Scene

Birmingham & Fazeley Canal Hopwas

Birmingham & Fazeley Canal Hopwas

CRT's Hartshill Yard on the Coventry Canal

CRT’s Hartshill Yard on the Coventry Canal

Another Coventry Canal Landscape Scene

Another Coventry Canal Landscape Scene