Finally the big day is here: a massive 27 locks await my pleasure on the way from Curdworth into the middle of Birmingham. It was a warm, sunny day and a lot of effort – I ached for several days afterwards – but it was rather satisfying. The route goes down the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal, up the Aston and Farmers Bridge lock flights into the centre of the city.
The first of three long days begins in this video as I head south from Fazeley towards Birmingham and the many, many locks I will have to go through to ascend to its giddy height. In this video, I move to Curdworth which is just outside the Birmingham suburbs.
A busy day in this one: 8 miles, some locks, a water refill, a loo emptying and a near-miss round a sharp bend. But all’s well that ended well. Except for the results of an irresponsible dog owner.
After a day moored just outside Nuneaton, I’m moving a little way north up the Coventry Canal, through Polesworth and up to Atherstone. I’ll try to get to a spot between locks 9 and 10 as I’ve been told it’s a lovely place to spend a while. Some beautiful scenery on the way and some lovely weather too!
After a pleasant few days at Hawkesbury Junction, the time has come to move on but – oh no, there’s a traffic jam at the water point. Then it’s a swift turn onto the Coventry canal and onwards past Bedworth and through Nuneaton in one go as I have been warned not to stop there overnight for fear of vandalism and hooligans running wild. I didn’t stop to find out if this is actually true.
In this video I move from just outside Brinklow up to the end of the Oxford Canal at Hawkesbury Junction, whereupon I shall turn onto the Coventry Canal and go north in the direction of Tamworth. On the way, I see some horses, some ducks, some motorways and some houses. It’s gripping stuff.
Having come through Hillmorton Locks on the eastern outskirts of Rugby, I now make my way west – right through the middle of town. This also involves a stop near a large supermarket to stock up on tea and cakes then its onwards to Brinklow Marina where a viewer is paying me to film and edit a video of their newly-purchased boat for their family and friends. Finally I move on just a little way to find a peaceful place to stop for the night.
In this instalment, I move off from Braunston and head to the east side of Rugby, firstly to do a bit of laundry and get some diesel, then onwards to Hillmorton Locks. There I take a look around and chat to volunteer lock keeper Maurice Farndon about a restoration project that’s underway.
After a lovely couple of days hanging out in the sunshine at Norton Junction it was time to move the canal boat to Braunston ready for a minor engineering fix. This involved going through the hideous Braunston tunne and six wide locks. There was also a nasty moment for me…
After a night’s stop at the bottom of Watford Locks it was time to move on again. Originally I had Braunston in mind but I didn’t need to be there for several days so in part because of that and partly because the weather was chilly, I ended up in a lovely spot at Norton Junction. This video shows that journey.