Sunday, 16 October 2016

Autumn Cruise 2016 - Week 1

Welcome back to Ella's blog and welcome to all those people who will be receiving the blog for the first time.

We have spent the last few weeks deliberating over where we should head for on this cruise.  At this time of the year it is always dictated by the winter works carried out by the Canal and River Trust, they use the period between October and March to carry out repairs and essential maintenance on the canals and locks.  It soon became apparent that the route from Overwater to Stratford will be open in the period leading up to Christmas, so we decided to make Stratford-Upon-Avon our destination once again!!

Monday 10th October - Overwater to Audlem Lock 3

Woke to a wonderful sunrise over the lake with the geese taking off in the distance.

We reversed out of our pontoon, turned right on to the Shropshire Union and headed for the Audlem flight of 15 locks.

Lovely flight of locks, the by-waters were very gentle and it was a real delight to work our way up them.

The leaves on the trees are just beginning to turn to a slight coppery colour.

We headed for the long pound between locks 3 and 2 where there are some visitor moorings with beautiful open views all around and moored up for our first night.

Tuesday 11th October - Audlem Lock 3 to Market Drayton

A beautiful morning with a perfect reflection on the canal. 

Dave walking Toby over the cross over bridge, such attractive bridges.

If you look very closely you can see the back of a cow as it walks across the bridge, a second before it was looking at the boat - most odd!

We moored up on the embankment just past Market Drayton as the dark clouds gathered and a rainbow appeared.  I was very lucky to get the heron sitting at the top of the tree, I always think they are perched precariously!!

Wednesday 12th October - Market Drayton to Goldstone Wharf

As we were in Market Drayton we decided to walk into the town in the morning as it was market day.

Then we set off for Tyrley Locks and said hello to Mr and Mrs TreeTrunk having a cuddle on the canal bank.

Love the cottages at the top of Tyrley Locks, always makes a delightful picture.

As the seasons begin to change, it is marked by the trees shedding their leaves, and I love to see the leaves drifting gently down to float on the surface of the canal.

This bird was flying along the canal in front of the boat and then landing in the trees close by.  I was fortunate to capture it as we passed beneath it, any ideas what it is?  A bird of prey, but which one?

The height of the bridges in Grub Street Cutting shows the depth of the cutting and I always marvel at the man hours of toil it must have taken to hew this out of the rock.

As we approach our mooring for the night at Goldstone Wharf the view is obscured by smoke from narrowboat woodburners, another sign of the change of the seasons.

Thursday 13th October - Goldstone Wharf to Norbury Junction

Another beautiful morning - how lucky are we?  

As we cruised past some moored boats, a kingfisher was boat hopping and even had a short lift on the bow of our own boat!!

The Anchor Inn at High Offley, we moored here during our summer cruise but today we just wave as we pass.

Deep in a cutting, there are some very old boats and tucked away under a ramshackle awning is an old car, could it be a vintage Rolls Royce?
Why is it there?  Fascinating!!

At the end of this cutting we cruised to our overnight mooring at Norbury Junction.  We had a lovely walk with Toby along the canal and back through the woods before the light faded and we closed up for the night.

Friday 14th October - Norbury Junction to Brewood

Harvest time - tractor busy ploughing and the gulls busy eating, hopefully worms and not seeds!!

Beautiful aqueduct over the A5, we cruise quietly over the roar of lorries, cars, vans etc rushing towards unknown destinations.

We arrived at Brewood and chose to moor quite a distance out of the village as the canal goes into a bit of a cutting and can be quite dark and cold. We chose a spot opposite fields and watched the farmer cutting the silage and a machine gathering it up into bales, all very efficient and the whole field was done in under 30 minutes.  Most impressive!

Saturday 15th October - Brewood to Compton

The trees and bushes are laden with berries this year.  Is this a sign of a hard winter to come?

We continued to the end of the Shropshire Union Canal and made our way through the stop lock of 6 inches on to the Staffordshire and Worcester Canal.
This is Oxley Marine where we filled up with diesel during our summer cruise.

We cruised through Compton Lock and through Wightwick Mill Lock before turning the boat in the winding hole before Wightwick Lock.

We then cruised back to Compton and moored up for the night opposite these new developments - canalside luxury 2-bedroomed apartments.

We met up with Anne and Steve for a delicious meal in their local pub, a wonderful evening and many thanks to them for coming to collect us from the boat.

On Sunday we begin our cruise up the Birmingham Canal Navigations, we return to Aldersley Junction and turn right, but owing to the fact that it has been a long day cruising I shall include it in next weeks blog.


  1. Thanks Janet and Dave. We loved that section and had a lovely music night at the Anchor in High Offley. We dont know what type of Kestrel the bird of prey is but its a good picture. there is a great app. called iNaturalist that links to a community of naturalists who identify photos like this. It would be great to have a project on it recording all the biodiversity on the inland water ways. Enjoy your autumn.
    Paul and Julie

    1. Thanks Paul and Julie, good to hear from you. It is a beautiful part of the canal system and the wild life seems very visible at the moment and willing to be photographed.