Wednesday 15th July 2015
To Great Bedwyn
1.75 miles, 4 locks
What I forgot to mention yesterday was how close the railway is to the canal. They cast a shadow in the boat as they thunder past. Thankfully they do not run through the night.
We did not have far to go today, so a leisurely start was agreed, so Chris, Monty and I headed off on a walk to the village of Wilton. First you have to pass Wilton Wide - the water certainly goes for a long way
Now why would you put a solar panel in the middle of a body of water?
No idea! (Answers on a postcard ........?!)
Our best guess is that the panel gives power for some sort of remote telemetry (water quality, temperature, pH, etc. ....)
The first part of the walk was Monty heaven
Then it was into the village and road walking for us all past a selection of rather nice houses. It is a lovely village, but for us Wootton Rivers was more appealing.
The pub is The Swan and there is a telephone box that isn't what it first appears
Would we or wouldn't we walk up to the Mill? Well we saw it in the distance and then had to do a 'Magnus Magnusson' - we had started, so we would finish and make it we did. It was not open, but the walk was worth it
Views from all sides of the mill. There are picnic benches there and lots of information - I would definitely recommend a visit if you are in the vicinity.
The views would be wonderful on a good day - it was just too murky for us today
The walk back took us across a field
Monty nearly got lost amongst the crop.
Once we were back we went up to the Crofton Pumping Station - first we had to go under the railway
The reason for the trip was to get a sandwich from the Café as we would be off as soon as we got back to the boat and it would be a trip of locks too far apart to walk, but with not enough time to make lunch. They were pricey, but very good.
We found details of the Floating Cinema that is going from Brentford to Bristol and back this summer. Unfortunately we will never be in the right place at the right time.
Back to the boat and we found the water had gone down a good 6 inches and we were firmly aground leaning at an alarming angle. The people on the boat behind us (they were sitting out on the tow path huddled up in woolies and thick coats on this fine summer day!) all got us and leant a hand and we made it.
It was a quick and uneventful trip with very little boats around except, of course, when you get to a bridge!
We filled up with water at Great Bedwyn, but would there be a mooring for us both. No - just enough room for us and about 10/12ths of Cleddau, so we breasted up.
We headed off to have a look at Great Bedwyn. Not a chocolate box town this one, but it does have a General Store and a Post Office, so that is a lot to be thankful for. This is the rather lovely Post Office which used to be the local Stone Mason's
The church (St Mary's) looks interesting, but we did not get there. The picture top right is the Old School Surgery. There are very few thatched houses, but the one below is having new thatch fitted.
A lot of walking today and Monty is suitably tired, but it was not over. No, we had an 'Oundle moment' (last year Chris was cooking lasagne when he discovered we had no lasagne sheets, so off I went to get some - a round trip of some 40 minutes). Today it was chilli and we had no red kidney beans, so Monty and I headed back to the village stores, which did not disappoint and was a much shorter journey than the trip in Oundle. It was worth the trip.