Thursday, 4 April 2013

20 Hours by Boat 42 Minutes by Train - Thursday 4th April 2013

No ice on the canal this morning but still a sharp frost which soon disappeared so we set sail at 8am.  We made good speed through the 5 Claydon locks although they were all against us. At the last lock we met Ian with his 2 Jack Russells on their way back after a morning walk and said our farewells. We motored on to Copredy which was almost deserted and then followed a hire boat down the remaining locks to Banbury.
4Apr CopredyLock
Copredy Lock with cowslips blooming on the off side.
It is strange but we have heard a lot of Green Woodpeckers but have not seen any Heron or Kingfishers, they all must think that our garden pool is an easy take away.
The Oxford canal after Claydon is very different from the first stretch as it has lost its narrow and winding character making progress much quicker and we reached Banbury by 12.30. even though all but one of the 12 locks were against us.
It was important that we reached Banbury early as I had forgotten to bring my Bus Pass with me and that meant that I would have to return home to collect it. What a stupid thing to forget.
After lunch I walked Phoenix to the station and arrived just in time to catch the 13.43 train to Solihull. Fifty Five minutes later we were at home collecting the pass and a couple of other useful items including the post. We walked back to the station to catch the 15.24 train and were back on the boat by 16.15. What a fantastic service, 42 minutes by train 20 hours by boat.
En route to Solihull we followed first the Oxford Canal then the Grand Union and could see where we had travelled during the last 4 days. As we approached Leamington Spa we went through the railway cutting where we had seen a few weeks early the Starlings coming into roost at dusk.
They provided some great aerial configurations as a couple of Kestrals dived into them causing them to split up and come back together before eventually coming down to roost along the railway cutting. 
Feeling a little lazy we decided to get Fish and Chips from the local chippy in Broad Street and I must say they were very nice and reasonably priced.
After the cool wind in the morning, getting colder as we moored up, even a small snow flurry, the evening turned out much brighter with the sun coming out. I must say though we have really appreciated the C/H running off the engine as we travel as it has been great to slink into a lovely warm boat after being out in the cold for several hours, are we soft or what?


  1. Are you old enough for a bus pass Bob? Bizarre that its only 42 mins by train! Looking forward to the coffee cake already, not long now!

  2. Lovely picture of the starlings. I have never been lucky enough to see that..

  3. Hi Sue
    We have been down to the Somerset Levels to see the Starlings and there were lost more birds but the show at Leamington was spectacular and lasted for half an hour. Unfortunately I only had my phone to take the pictures, wished I had had a good camera.