Friday, 15 April 2016

To Stratford

Tuesday 12th April 2016
Wootton Wawen to Bancroft Basin Stratford
7.25 miles, 18 locks

The plan today was to travel to the bottom of the Wilmcote flight of locks and head down to Stratford tomorrow, however, all things are flexible in this life.  The day was fine and fairly warm as we set off across the aqueduct at Wootton Wawen.  There is something rather wonderful about driving along the road beneath this aqueduct and seeing a boat floating across high above you.

Next comes the Edstone Aqueduct which crosses

the railway and does give splendid views across the countryside

Our main set of locks today were the 11 at Wilmcote and as we approached we were delighted to see a voluntary lock keeper getting the lock ready for us.  There were two on duty, but this one, Eddie, stayed with us all the way, so we made really good progress.

I love this first view of Stratford in the distance

We did so well and it was so warm we decided to continue on to Stratford.  This gate is a bit of a barrier as it is really hard to move.  In fact, when it came to closing it I was so long, that Chris left the boat and came to give me a much needed hand.  Where are all the gongoozlers when you need them?

At the penultimate lock we met a group from Auckland who were delighted we came along when we did so they could see how it was done.

As you near the final bridge before the basin you do get this rather splendid view of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

We had been told there was plenty of space in Bancroft Basin and this proved to be the case.  We chose to moor leaving a good amount of space between us and the other few boats in the basin.

It had been a busy day for our 'crew' so we had a lovely peaceful evening with them both!  Kiera had curled up by the fire, so Monty 'borrowed' her bed!

Wednesday 13th April
A day off in Stratford

And what a wonderful day it was - very warm and sunny.  A perfect spring day.

We noticed this yesterday evening - something I would love to do, however we were here for two of the nights in the week that it does not run!

We have been to Stratford many times before, so we decided to have a leisurely day which started with a walk along the Avon on one bank and back along the other.

I do love this view of the Holy Trinity Church from across the River Avon

We thought the dogs should see the sights, so here they are outside the Holy Trinity Church where Shakespeare is buried - or maybe that should be most of Shakespeare as they now think his head might be elsewhere.

We also took them to the RSC!
A game of ball was their reward for being good tourists

and Kiera could not resist the lure of a swim - much to Monty's disgust as he does not 'do' water.  He tells her off every time she goes into the stuff!

 The trip boat in the basin is called the Jennifer May - for those who know me, they will spot that it is very nearly me - just missing one 'r'.

Chris and I ended the day with a meal at Loxleys Restaurant and what a treat it was.  Not the cheapest night out, but the food was superb.  It was Wednesday fish night with a free bottle of wine if you both had two courses.  We started with scallops.  Chris had stone bass and I had sole for our main course and both were excellent.  Those who know Chris will understand how good it was when they hear that he cleared his plate!  We even had dessert - a rare treat.  A perfect end to a wonderful day.

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