Warwick Canal Ring, Days 9 and 10

Days 9 and 10, Saturday/Sunday Oct 1-2, Rugby to Braunston, (eight hours, 19 miles, three locks) and Braunston to Stockton marina (five hours, 12 mile, three locks)

(I should explain to new readers that what follows, backwards, is an account of a 10-day autumnal cruise around the Warwick Ring canal system in central England in late September 2011. Best, probably, to scroll down and read from Day One through to here. Or, be surprised and do it backwards…)

Hottest October day in Britain since records began, and, while of course utterly delightful as we potter gently, surely more than a touch alarming as evidence gathers of irreversible, and for us humans, sooner or later disastrous climate change.

Our selfish hope today as we potter gently south from Rugby to our absolutely favourite canal village of Braunston, is that the collapse that’s coming holds off long enough for the canals to stay filled up with water and for boats to have space, diesel and leisure to enjoy this magnificent network for a few years yet. Continue reading

Warwick Canal Ring, Day Eight

Day eight. Atherstone to Rugby, 22 miles, one lock, 8¼ hours = 23 lock miles.

Another full-on day. Doing the Warwick Ring in one week is doable – indeed, I know it is having done the Ring on my very first canal boat holiday with a friend and our shared four daughters in 2000. But, slogging our way round the Ring this time, I’m reminded that I must have been somewhat younger and more vigorous then, as this has been an equal measure of fun and hard work.

Moral of this story – pack in the distances and the long locking flights in a first few long days, and enjoy a more leisurely back end of the week confident that you’ll make the boatyard in time for your handover.

That said, my own day has been rather relaxing, having left to Sue most of the steering along the long, pretty but fairly uneventful rolling landscape of the Oxford Canal. Continue reading