I am Linda and along with my husband Richard and our dog Muffin we enjoy our summers on the UK's canal system

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Bancroft Basin (Stratford Canal) – Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th April

We left our mooring at 10am and heading to the Edstone Aqueduct.  Maggie and Richard were amazed at how the canal goes went over a road, railway and river in such a small trough.  It didn’t seem long before we started the real descent into Stratford at Wilmcote.  Maggie decided it was time that she learnt how to operate the locks – it had been lovely having her to talk to while I steered the locks but really was time for her to earn her keep!  However she did find the paddles much too stiff to do but could manage to push the gates.  We encountered a volunteer lockie on the Wilmcote flight and we were soon flying down the locks (not literally!) with four people on the ground.
 
Edstone Aqueduct
The Jolly Tars
Maggie having her first locking lesson
Looking back in Wilmcote locks
We pulled over at Valley Boat Services where we topped up with diesel and water and emptied toilets.  It was then only 4 locks down into Bancroft Basin.  Boy some of those bridges are low!  Fortunately I had the foresight to take the chimney off before knocking it off!  We emerged into the basin and found it almost empty – only three boats moored there.  We chose the end pontoon with a lovely view of the town.  Richard II cooked a paella and then we walked to the Bear at the Swan where the men enjoyed a couple of pints of Old Hookey – of course Maggie and I were abstemious!!! 

 
A cheeky swan
Wednesday dawned bright and sunny with the solar panels were charging at 11 amps and Richard was a happy bunny!  We decided to give the open top bus tour a try and really enjoyed it.  We hopped off at Anne Hathaway’s cottage to have a coffee then continued back into Stratford where we hopped off again to buy Muffin a new harness as he had chewed through another one yesterday.  Next to the retail park was a Tesco so we stocked up on beer and wine (I think someone has been on board and raided us as the stocks have depleted rather rapidly).  We walked back to the boat and had a very late lunch.  M and R decided to do the bus tour again and stop at Mary Arden’s house – they returned about 6pm.  Meanwhile Richard and I vegged out!  We then left Bancroft Basin and went down onto the river and moored up.
  
Muffin sightseeing
Anne Hathaway's cottage
Tuesday

Below Preston Bagot Bottom Lock to Bancroft Basin
8.3 miles
17 locks

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