Canal Holiday: Avon Ring

5 June 2006, Day 3: Hockley Heath to Preston Bagot

After a lockless afternoon yesterday, today the Avon Ring has lots of locks in store for us as the canal descends towards the Avon valley.

Passing through bridge 26 on the Stratford Canal - worked for us by the boat going the other way.

Mary at the tiller as we approach Lapworth top lock

Sheila, Jane and Lucy wait for the boat at Lapworth top lock - after all those locks going up yesterday, the Avon Ring is now downhill all the way to Tewkesbury.

The Lapworth flight of locks is delightful. Here we are making progress - through lock 8.

Two ducks. One of them hopped on board at the previous lock and took the boat down to this lock where it met up with its mate, who had been hitching a ride up on another boat. She seemed cross and wanted to know where he had been!

Alan, Jane and Lucy as we reach lock 14 and the end of the straight run of 7 locks.

Looking back up the hill.

Jane about to wind the paddle down ready for today's ice-cream break.

The crew safely refuelled, Lucy steers Elsa into lock 21 as a boat comes up through lock 20 from the Grand Union Canal.

Looking back from the bridge seen in the previous photo to lock 19.

The sign points down the other cut to the Grand Union Canal, but we are going straight on down the Stratford Canal. Thus this year's holiday on the Avon Ring comes within 200 metres of last year's holiday on the Warwickshire Ring.

We had an excellent (if large!) lunch in the large garden of the Navigation pub at Kingswood, by means of which we also did a little towpath ring on foot, including the canal linking the Grand Union Canal and Stratford Canal.

After lunch we continued our way along the delightful Stratford Canal. Here Sheila waits for the lock to fill, with a barrel-roofed cottage (though with modern extensions) behind her.

Cattle taking a drink and cooling their feet on this hot afternoon.

Alan waits for Elsa to come into the lock.

Sheila and Merry cross Yarningdale Aqueduct. The aqueduct is only a baby but is built to the same pattern as the two much larger ones we will see tomorrow, with the towpath at the same level as the base of the canal trough, giving the walker a duck's-eye view.

A patient crew waits for the lock to empty.

Jane and Lucy watching something intently.

We moored at Preston Bagot where we ate on board.

Total today on the Avon Ring: 7 miles and 33 locks


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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson