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 2 & 3 on The Oxford 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
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.
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.
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.
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
Trent & Mersey Canal Shadehouse Lock (19)
Another view of Shadehouse Lock (19)
Rugeley Coal Fired Power Station from the Trent & Mersey Canal
Aqueduct over the River Trent on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal
Tixall Lock on the Staffs & Worcs. Canal
Going up in Tixall Lock
View from Deptmore Lock on the Staffs. & Worcs. 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
Autherley Junction on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal for the Shropshire Union Canal
Autherley Stop Lock on the Shropshire Union Canal
Moored at Brewood on the Shropshire Union Canal
High Bridge 39 Grub Street Cutting on the Shropshire Union Canal
Narrow cutting on 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!
Happy fishermen near Tyrley on the Shropshire Union Canal
Gongoozlers on the Shropshire Union Canal
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 Shropshire Union Canal – Welcome to the Llangollen Canal
Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge 19 on the Llangollen Canal
Moored on the Whitchurch Arm of the Llangollen Canal
Hassell’s No.1 Lift Bridge 33 on the Llangollen Canal
Llangollen Shropshire Union Railways & Canal Company Warehouse at Ellesmere Wharf
Beech House and Ellesmere CRT Yard
Llangollen Canal Chirk Aqueduct leading into Chirk Tunnel
Llangollen Canal a view from Chirk Aqueduct
Llangollen Canal Chirk Tunnel
Llangollen Canal moored at Chirk
Llangollen Canal Vale of Llangollen Plas Isaf Bridge 37W
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 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
Spotted on the Shropshire Union Historic Fellows, Morton & Clayton Narrowboat Viceroy
Coventry Canal Landscape Scene
Birmingham & Fazeley Canal Hopwas
CRT’s Hartshill Yard on the Coventry Canal
Another Coventry Canal Landscape Scene
This is the planned route for my next journey from Braunston to Llangollen:
Oxford Canal from Braunston to Hawkesbury Junction
Coventry Canal from Hawkesbury Junction to Fradley Junction
- Fazeley Junction
- Fradley Junction
Trent & Mersey Canal from Fradley Junction to Great Haywood Junction
Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal from Great Haywood Junction to Autherley Junction
Shropshire Union Canal from Autherley Junction to Hurleston Junction
Llangollen Canal from Hurleston Junction to Ellesmere
Llangollen Canal from Ellesmere to Llangollen