Dadlington Lockdown

Dadlington Lockdown

I’ve been here a while now. In Ashby terms, I’ve just got here.

Boaters don’t tend to move a whole lot on the Ashby.

Remember this picture I took on moving from my first stop.

Stoke Golding Oct

Not one boat has moved since I left one month ago. It looks exactly the same.

Since I got here in early October, 80% of the boats I come across haven’t moved at all. Been in the same place. Completely.

Feel a bit alienated by moving around. Everybody else just stays in one place.

Still there we are. They are probably good people and have special privileges.

Lockdown

We are, however, on lockdown still. Which means that I’ve stuck to my position here in the wilds with nothing but rolling fields, birds and cow noises to keep me company.

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Stoke Golding -> Dadlington in-the-fields

Stoke Golding -> Dadlington in-the-fields

Very much in the fields. This is rural Leicestershire, as it says on the County signs….

Towpaths

Mud, glorious mud.....
Glorious….

Are turning into a mud fest. October was the wettest on record in certain parts of the country https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-54561601.

I’m not the greatest fan of muddy towpaths.

Luckily, nowadays, I don’t have to put on any work gear, as there is no longer any work…. otherwise I would be moaning more vehemently about these long skidmarks of mud along my journey toward where the car is parked.

A couple of days I’ve had to don wellies to get through, but generally I can just skirt around the edges.

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Duck corner – Stoke Golding – Ashby Canal

Duck corner – Stoke Golding – Ashby Canal

As they call it.

This is the place of many ducks, which should come as no shock to those familiar with the Ashby canal, which seems to be a ‘duck utopia’.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a gun, or I might be tempted to pop a couple off.

Duck corner picnic spot Dadlington
A world of ducks…

I’m sure they wouldn’t miss one or two of each other.

They were running around in the field today in the rain when I went down the shops. They had muddy flippers and were getting bogged down…

I believe they get a lot of bread and this may be a good space for fishing, (when I get round to it).

Bonnie Lady with Stoke Golding in the background.
Bonnie Lady with the village in the Background

This spot is about 1 mile from where I was previously.

I prefer it as there are no overhanging trees/hedges as before.

Overhanging trees (hedges):-

  • Block the solar panels
  • Drop leaves on the boat (ruins paintwork)
  • Stop the stove from functioning properly (downdraft/lack of wind)

Apart from that, they’re all fine and dandy. They do make the boat a bit cold and dank. If you like cold and dank, then the woods are for you.

Personally, I’m glad I moved on.

Here’s a view from Bridge 22, where I was moored previously.

Bridge 22 Ashby Canal
Bridge 22, Ashby Canal. I was down the bottom on the right.

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Hinckley to Stoke Golding

Hinckley to Stoke Golding

Or thereabouts. Out in the Leicestershire countryside…

Got my weekly shop done with the aid of the panniers I bought for my tour-de-wales whilst I moored the boat close to this bridge.

A47 Bridge in Hinckley

Didn’t really get much of a look around Hinckley. I knew it was going to be a case of moving quick and getting out of the rain.

Which I did.

Contrasts from the Grand Union

First big differences:

  • Less boat traffic: Far less. By 10am moored at my last location, maybe you’ve had 6-10 boats gone past. By 10 here, it’s more like 1-3.
    So, less boat traffic.
  • Lack of noise: Wherever you go in Northamptonshire, apart from Stoke Bruerne and Braunston, you’re going to get the sound of the railway or the sound of the motorway, or both.
    Here’s there’s nothing, just the sound of the birds cheeping.

You could say it’s like a country idyll.

There are a couple of farm shops.

Mooring

It’s got it all! Sunshine… Phone signal…. Parking….

The only thing it doesn’t have is a waterpoint within walking, or even cycling distance.

So not quite all.

Mooring in Stoke Golding

It’s getting there.

There are many ducks.

Yesterday I cycled and picked my car up from Northamptonshire.

Took me and hour and 50 minutes. 26 miles. Not bad.

Anstey to Hinckley

Anstey to Hinckley

The rain stopped shortly after lunch. Rather than sit around and drink more beer, I took the opportunity to move up a bit further toward some of the spots in the Ashby Canal.

Hawkesbury Junction

The first of two junctions I need to pass through in order to get onto the Ashby.

Hawkesbury is on the outskirts of Coventry, and has a pub, a lock and a turning basin. Watching the boats pass amongst these features appears to be a bit of a spectator sport, as I remember from last time.

Today, there is distinctly less traffic. The pub is virtually empty on a Sunday afternoon.

Hawkesbury Junction
Hawkesbury Junction

A COVID emptiness….

Red boards on the Avon

A guy helped by doing the lock for me. There was only one…

He said he was a volunteer on the Avon. A river system which I was planning to visit last week.

He said it was a good job I didn’t, as the river is on ‘red-boards’, or flood conditions.

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Onley to Anstey

Onley to Anstey

Well. I’ve got all the time in the world now. Doesn’t make that much difference though. I like to keep the boat at a fairly steady speed even if I don’t have a whole lot to do when I get there.

Lack of moorings between Rugby and Hawkesbury Junction

Last time I made this journey, I was a boating noob. Now I’ve got a few years under my belt, one of the first things I notice was as above.

It’s like a mooring desert….

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Bonny not Journey

Bonny not Journey

Storm force winds and wind and rain for the next seven days have put paid to the 0.2 version of this journey.

It’s not going to happen. Certainly not in a round-a-bout the UK waterways way.

Metoffice & BBC weather

After hearing the longer term radio forecast in the evening, I started to get the idea that the weather might not be that good… I re-checked the Metoffice whilst taking my evening walk. 7-day forecast. It was indeed rain and dark clouds. ‘Storm’ conditions according to the radio.

Not what I signed up for.

Maybe another time….

Now, I’m heading back toward the Oxford canal, and back up the Grand Union, as per my original plan.

Nelson's Wharf - Stockton
Nelson’s Wharf – Stockton
Better out than in

I’m just going to go to a new section of canal, so, more about the journey there.

No holiday.