We have been very surprised at how quiet the Grand Union is but I guess that could all change tomorrow as most of the schools break up today – no doubt Stratford will be heaving! I heard on the TV this morning that today is known, in the travel trade, as Frantic Friday!
We are now in no rush – we have a week to get to Tewkesbury so can afford to dawdle or even take a day off!!
We stopped for water at Turners Green and then cruised on to Kingswood Junction where we turned onto the Lapworth Link. The link is only 200 yards long but the orignal plan was for the connection to be 1¾ miles long, with a quarter mile tunnel under the main street of Lapworth. This was evidently too difficult or expensive as in the event the short simple branch was made without recourse to tunnelling. I found this bit of information quite interesting as why go 1¾ miles when you could do a shorter one.
Our first lock was full but after that they were all empty, but we soon got a good rhythm going. We were following a single hander so we were shutting the bottom gate for him. We only came across two boats coming towards us and at both times they entered a nicely prepared lock!
We decided to stop at the Fleur de Lys and Richard suggested eating there. I thought about it – for about 10 seconds – and said “good idea”! We ate there last year and the food was good. About 5pm the rain started but nothing of any significance and it kept up like that for a few hours. We took an umbrella to the pub but didn’t need it. We decided to eat inside as there was quite a cool breeze but that was a mistake as the bar, where the dog is allowed, is also where the locals obviously meet on a Friday night. The volume got louder and louder as more and more drinks were consumed! We enjoyed the food but didn’t stay for a pudding as the noise was too much! The Fleur de Lys website says that it ‘packed full of quaint charm and quirky corners beneath its C16th wooden beams. The Fleur is a cosy haven in the winter and an extensive paradise in the summer’. I would go along with that as long as your table isn’t too near the bar!