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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’m just going to go to a new section of canal, so, more about the journey there.
I dug up the Google review which set me off on this place.
Charming and unique B&B, hosts were lovely and un-intrusive. Pretty sure the room we stayed in was haunted, as during the night kept getting disturbed by a figure standing near to the window and strange wet patch that appeared on the chair despite me and my partner not moving it through the duration of our stay, nor did we use the tea or coffee facilities (which were amply stocked with high quality goods), nor did we place any cups of water or drink near the dresser in question. Overall enthralling visit!! Would stay again:)
And the Montgomery canal. Which I travelled along for a period.
No boats on it…
This empty lock is the upper reaches of the canal about 2 miles outside of Newtown.
As you travel further down, it gradually starts filling with water until you reach the first working lock outside of Aberbechan.
It’s maintained by the Canal and River Trust pretty much as soon as it starts filling up with water.
Was much warmer today. Some places in the UK hit 30 +.
The day started very cloudy in Builth Wells, cold and overcast. Which is fine. Slowly, the sun burnt the cloud down, just leaving some resting in the valleys.
This was taken about 10am.
Things got hotter from then on in…
It was one long ascent to a peak of around 1,100ft just outside Newtown, then a drop with 6 miles into Newtown and the Severn Valley.
Newtown had this nice church, perhaps the best church I’ve seen since being in Wales.
They’re not big on their churches these Welsh. Most tend to be small, understated affairs. This one has done quite well.
Had some lunch in Newtown. Tesco meal deal and ate it in the park.
From here on in cycled down a combination of the Severn Valley Way, and the Montgomery Canal towpath until I reached Montgomery.
Managed to stay in the shade for most of the journey, which was a nice touch.
Accommodation at Edderton House
Their Feng Shui consultant appears to have been Aleister Crowley.
Everything arranged in a way so as to give an ‘off center’ or skewed feel. It’s like you look at things, they don’t feel right, then you think it’s your fault and they look nice really.
They don’t. They look weird and out of place.
One of the reviews on Booking.com said the place was haunted.
It’s an extreme rarity that I’m ever woken by my dreams, but at this place I woke at 2.33am in a dream I was performing with some Black Lives Matter people on stage, and a jay flew squawking into my face. Like crashed into me. Sat bolt upright.
Got cold chills down my spine for hours after. Strange thoughts interrupted my sleep. The channels on the TV stopped working at around 3.30am, and the screen went blue.
Luckily my phone radio streamed through the internet which provided enough distraction to give me a nights sleep.
I’m someone who needs a little noise, or I don’t find it possible to sleep.
I’ve made a video of the house. Hopefully I’ll put it on here, but at the moment, it’s not uploading, so for now it will have to wait.
Went for an overpriced meal in Montgomery.
It’s more like an English town in design, with that familiar mercantile, tobacco trader layout and feel to it, but on a much smaller scale.