Saturday 30 July 2011

Out and about on the River Soar

The weather forecast was good so we couldn’t resist a short trip out. We planned to meet Ally and Marc in Loughborough for a bbq on Tuesday night. Their neighbour Mark was also there and we all had a lovely evening, sitting out until quite late. We left them the following morning, stopping overnight at Mount Sorrell, just above the lock. We had made arrangements to meet up with friends Claire and Alan on Thursday night at the Hope & Anchor, Syston. It was great to catch up as we hadn’t seen each other for ages. The following morning we winded just before Thurmaston lock to head back, planning to meet Ally and Marc again in Loughborough. Friday was another very late night as we all went for a drink in the Albion, where we also met Paul & Jo, nb Repent at Leisure, Gary & Jane, nb Autumn Glory Two and two other couples from the Soar boat club. Had a relaxing morning on Saturday before heading back, cruising with Ally and Marc as far as Zouch. As we headed on the last stretch before Kegworth we also met and chatted to two of our neighbours out on their boats, turned the next bend and then met Beacon no 3, still with no name. We pulled along side and had another long chat. We are now back on our mooring planning a bbq tomorrow with Claire and Jason.

003 Leaving Kegworth and the Otter behind for a few days


Approaching Mount Sorrell


Looking back at Mount Sorrell lock


Canal side artwork at Thurmaston lock


The River Wreake


The weir at Cossington lock


The weir at Sileby lock. Sileby Mill in the background


Leaving Barrow on Soar


An old mill converted to apartments at Loughborough


The Albion, a real ale pub, Loughborough


Leaving Loughborough with Ally and Marc


Beacon Boat no 3

Friday 15 July 2011

Shardlow –Trent lock – Kegworth

Sadly this will be our last blog for awhile, as we arrive back to our moorings at Kegworth. We left Shardlow in bright sunshine, sharing locks with Kath and Rob on nb Spirit of Freedom. We parted company at Trent Lock as they were making their way to Nottingham and we were mooring at Trent Lock to meet our neighbours Mick and Becky on nb Blue Moon. We had a lovely time with lots of catching up to do and stories to exchange, a few bottles of wine later we went to the newly re-furbished and re-named Trent Lock for our evening meal, it is now the same chain as our local the Otter. Luckily we didn’t have to have an early start for the short journey back to Kegworth.

012 Sunshine on the River Trent


Waiting for Sawley Lock


Flood level at Sawley Lock


Saying goodbye to Kath and Rob, nb Spirit of Freedom


The Trent Lock, which used to be known as the Navigation


Moored at Trent Lock


Mick and Becky, nb Blue Moon


Approaching Ratcliffe Lock


The girls still chatting, whilst the men do the locks


Approaching Kegworth, nearly home until our next trip out


We have had a fantastic four months cruising the Northern waterways, hope our followers enjoyed it with us. Less locks and less miles than last year, but it still feels we have been out as long. Hoping to have a few more short trips out this year.

APPROX MILEAGE:  660 miles

TOTAL LOCKS:       521 locks

Wednesday 13 July 2011

Stenson to Shardlow

Just approaching Swarkestone this morning and came across nb Oakfield at the water point. We follow their blog so knew we would probably pass each other at some point. We also met last year on the Gloucester to Sharpness canal, so we pulled over for a chat. As another boat was heading for the lock, we said our goodbyes to catch up and share the lock. We shared the next three locks with nb Spirit of Freedom, both of us mooring for the night just above Derwent Lock.

003 18th Century Arleston Farm House, near Swarkestone


Sharing Swarkestone lock


The Stand, a 17th Century Pavilion, thought to be used as a grandstand for bull baiting


Weston Cliffs


14th Century Church, near Weston on Trent


There was just enough room to squeeze past this fallen tree


Countryside approaching Shardlow


Tonight’s moorings

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Branston to Stenson

Set off today under grey clouds and a cool breeze, it did brighten and we did get some sunshine as we cruised along. Passing through Burton on Trent, where there were boats already moored in preparation for the IWA. As we were approaching Willington there were more signs of the boats gathering as we passed more than a dozen and even more filling the moorings at Willington. We have now completed all our single locks and are now on the broad locks, the first being Stenson. We found a lovely secluded mooring for one boat just after the lock.

001 Branston Lock


Dallow Lane Lock


Road bridge over the River Dove, reputedly built by the monks of Burton Abbey


Opposite view of the River Dove from the same aqueduct


Stenson Lock, always plenty of gongoozlers


Moorings for the night

Monday 11 July 2011

Fradley – Alrewas – Branston

Had a really early start this morning, the sun was already shining and we missed the rush through the locks at Fradley. We stopped off at Alrewas to go to the butchers, then on our way again through to Branston.

007 Approaching Shade House lock at 7.00 am, it was lovely and peaceful


Shade House


Approaching Middle lock


Approaching Junction lock, resisting the temptation to turn right on to the Coventry canal


Tonight’s moorings

Sunday 10 July 2011

Armitage to Fradley

Mum and Dad had decided to have a short cruise with us to Fradley and collect their car later. As it was the weekend and it had been quite busy we moored above Shade House lock at Fradley rather than run the risk of not getting moorings below. Our friend Dave came to visit in the afternoon and after dinner kindly took mum and dad back for their car.

019 Armitage Shanks factory dating back to 1817


Approaching Wood End Lock


Wood End Lock


Mum helping out

Saturday 9 July 2011

Wolseley to Armitage

Change of plan as we waited an extra day at Wolseley, which was no hardship as we had thunderstorms most of the day, so it was nice to stay put. Mum and dad were meeting us for a meal at the Plum Pudding on Saturday. We stopped off in Rugeley to do a shop at Morrisons and arrived at the Plum Pudding for lunchtime, just before mum and dad’s arrival. As usual we were not disappointed with the food and had a lovely evening.

003 Cruising along side the River Trent


Trent aqueduct approaching Rugeley


Filling with water just before the narrows at Armitage


The narrows, former site of Armitage tunnel


The Plum Pudding