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.

Bye bye Northamptonshire

Bye bye Northamptonshire

It was my home for 3 or so years. The time has come to move-on.

Here’s some visual highlights from my time on the Grand Union from Milton Keynes upward.

Bonny Journey .2

Seeing as now I am work-less. I’ve decided it’s time to explore some more of the UK waterways.

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Day #10: Montgomery to Penyffordd

Day #10: Montgomery to Penyffordd

Where my journey finished.

I would’ve liked to have done more, but the MOT ran out on my car two days ago. That took priority over visiting the other places like Swansea and Cardiff I would have liked to dropped in.

Still there we are…

Photo’s from the trip https://photos.app.goo.gl/mSjTezCFFyNjw2tw6

Haunted house Montgomery

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:)

https://goo.gl/maps/YS3NaRR5JZDj5BFaA

As promised. Here’s a video of the haunted house. Check the blue ‘orbs’ at around 2:14. I make a couple of errors whilst describing this video. I’d had a bit of a long day.

It’s fairly interesting anyway. See what you think.

Montgomery to Penyffordd

Last stop in Wales to pick up the car and back home.

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Day #9: Builth Wells to Montgomery

Day #9: Builth Wells to Montgomery

And the Montgomery canal. Which I travelled along for a period.

No boats on it…

Montgomery Canal - Newtown Wales
Montgomery Canal – Newtown Wales

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.

Aberbechan lock - Montgomery canal
Aberbechan lock – Montgomery canal

It’s maintained by the Canal and River Trust pretty much as soon as it starts filling up with water.

Weather

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.

Cloud over Llandidrod Valley
Cloud over Llandidrod Valley

This was taken about 10am.

Things got hotter from then on in…

Severn valley

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 church
Newtown church

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.

Newtown

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.

Bridge at Abermule
Bridge at Abermule

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.

Welcome to Edderton House
Welcome to Edderton House

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.

Montgomery

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.

Montgomery - Town Square
Montgomery – Town Square
Montgomery - Merchant storehouse and living quarters
Montgomery – Traders house
Arthur Street - Montgomery
Arthur Street – Montgomery
Daisies - Montgomery
Daisies – Montgomery