Tuesday, 18 July 2017

A question regarding the route from Kingswood Junction to Cambrian Wharf

Sitting here doing the planning for our next trip which starts early August has been pretty straightforward.  We will be going from Droitwich Spa Marina to Lapworth, then onto the Grand Union to join the South Oxford (new to us) down to the Thames (Oxford to Reading is also new water to us).  Along the Thames to Brentford (with a diversion down the Wey and back) before re-joining the GU to head for home.  All dates seem to work (we have two events that are fixed, one of which we need to come home for) and we have a rough idea of where we want to stop.

That all works until we get to Kingswood Junction, Lapworth.  The route from here to Cambrian Wharf is completely new to us with what looks like a lot of built up areas around Solihull.  I know a lot of you will have travelled this way, so any advice on things to look out for and, in particular, safe moorings would be very much appreciated.

Any other hints and tips for the South Oxford and Thames would also be appreciated.

We have been having a good time at home with more fun things to come before we are able to break free and run away again!

Safe travels to you all. Thank you in advance.


nb Chuffed said...

The quickest way to Cambrian Wharf would be up the worcester and Birmingham from Kings Norton. If you are going the Grand Union way I know that Catherine de Barnes is safe. I think there might be an offside mooring by the facilities at the top of Camp Hill locks but it's not pretty. In between are areas that look as if they would be ok but I don't know. Check out the BCN website - they have a list of safe moorings and I'm sure others will know a lot more than me!
Enjoy the trip. We are leaving the boat at Alvechurch for a few weeks now. Debby

Jennie said...

Thanks Debby - I have made a note of Catherine de Barnes and I will check out the BCN site. The only reason for doing this route is because we have not done it before! We may even decide to give Birmingham a miss and go straight home via Lapworth and Kings Norton. We will be going past Alvechurch in early August. Jennie

Adam said...

Catherine de Barnes is regarded as the safe place to stay the night on that route. After that, it's much greener than you might think until you get into Birmingham. As Debby says, there is an offside mooring by the service block at Camp Hill, but you can't guarantee it'll be vacant, and it's not that pleasant anyway.
At Ashted Locks, one of the locks has the Ashted Tunnel immediately before it. The tunnel is very tight, and your handrails are at risk if you don't keep well over to the towpath; I'd suggest setting the lock first, then having someone on the towpath with the centre line to keep the boat off the wall. There are moorings above the locks, which friends have used with no trouble at all. It's in the Science Park and the University, so should be safe enough. But Farmer's Bridge Locks are so quick you might just want to go straight up.
Our favourite mooring in the city centre is at the end of the Oozels St loop. The towpath goes no-where, so there's little foot traffic, and security guards patrol all the time as part of the Brindley Square scheme. Just don't moor where the wall has big slits in it, because there's air conditioning outlets there.
We haven't done this route in its entirity since our shared boat days, but we are planning it (in reverse) for September. The blog for the day we did CdB to Brub is here: http://nbdebdale.blogspot.co.uk/2008/09/september-cruise-day-four.html

Jennie said...

Thank you so much Adam for so much useful information and the link to your blog. All very useful, especially the warning about Ashted Tunnel - all duly noted in Nicholson's! Where are you heading in September? Might we cross paths as we head back along the GU in late Sep/early October? Thank you again - this blogging lark is really helpful in so many ways. Jennie

nb Chuffed said...

Just had a thought Jennie, if you were intending to comeback down the Worcs and Birmingham, you could go the other way round - that's what we did. It's a long cruise out to Solihull but in the evening we weren't too bothered. But it is a long way. We are off again 2nd week in August, not sure of the route yet but may see you.

Jennie said...

I am sure you are right Debby and in many ways it would make a lot of sense, however, the entire trip is now planned with moorings booked for when we have to go home and it all hangs on us ending up going up Knowle! Safe travels. Jennie

Marilyn McDonald said...

Hi Jennie and Chris,
The convoy moored just around the corner in Oozells Loop, by the bike boat, Seaworld and Bannatyne's gym. Quite peaceful, few boats going past.
We moored at Tardebigge just below the top lock and then at Alvechurch, then straight into Birmingham. Didn't go up Lapworth.
If you have read some of the posts on my blog from a week or so ago, you'll have read that the remaining convoy members had a hell of a time coming out of Brum. So the route they took is not something David and I would do - we don't have the patience or the stamina!
Cheers, M&D xox

Jennie said...

Hi Marilyn & David, Thanks for the info re-mooring in Birmingham. If there is space we will moor in Cambrian Wharf as there is grass nearby for our four legged friend. I did read about John, Mick and Julia's nightmare journey - it certainly was an ambitious aim to get to Wiggin Hill. That would definitely be too much for us! We could come through to the Worcs/Birmingham canal and head to Birmingham that way, however the main reason for coming home via Brum is to go up the Knowle locks and through Solihull as that is new water to us. We have enlisted support! We have friends whose son lives in Solihull, so they will meet us and be there for all the locks. We could, of course, have managed alone, but it is so much easier and more fun to have a crowd (can four be a crowd?). They will stay on board that night and we will all go our for dinner - probably a richly deserved one!

We have just returned from a couple of days in Pembroke where we went to help Sue and Ken (nb Cleddau) celebrate their 70th birthdays - this is party part 1 for family and close friends. Part 2 is in September for friends - our bonus is we get to go to both! We had a fantastic time and are now going to gear ourselves up for the off on Friday. Safe travels. Jennie and Chris x