Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Short Trip to Dundas - Tuesday 23rd April 2013

This morning Phoenix and I took our early morning walk at about 7.00am and headed out into the country park and back along the river into Bradford on Avon town. We came across some lovely old houses adjacent to the river and a wonderful little bridge. We also walked through Barton Grange Farm which was a grange of the Abbess of Shaftsbury and given to her in 1001by King Ethelred. Since 1530 it has been in private ownership and was a working farm until 1971. On our way back to the boat we stopped off at the bakers just down from the wharf and bought some delicious croissants for breakfast.
Bradford on Avon
The boys decided that they wanted to explore Bradford so we opted to move on a little further down the valley to Dundas Aqueduct and they would catch us up when they had seen their friends.
Just after we had exited the first lock we saw a Kingfisher catch a fish and take it up onto a branch and eat it. usually they fly off in front of the boat but this one just stayed there and we could have touched him as we glided past. By the time I had got the camera out we were passed him but I did manage this shot.
K 1
We motored on passed lines of moored boats to Avoncliff Aqueduct with it sharp right and left turns as it take us across the river. Unfortunately the walls are too high for you to see the river as you cross.
a 1
The valley is tree lined and in certain areas you are not permitted to moor because of the danger of trees falling and we did see evidence of this with large tree trunks still to be removed from the water. However there are some lovely views as you progress down the valley.
As we reached the Dundas Aqueduct there is a sharp left had turn which can catch you out if you are not expecting it. Moored just ahead on the 48 hour moorings was the Ice cream boat aptly named The Dawdling Dairy and we were able to pull in behind him and moor up. A delightful spot in the sunshine with views down the valley and across the aqueduct.
The guy and his wife who run the boat were lovely people and we had a long chat to them about their experiences and adventures on the canal system. We of course could not resist a Cornish 99 for our dessert after lunch.
With the glorious weather we decided to wash the side of the boat as it had got really dirty passing through the locks on Sunday and after lunch I took Phoenix a walk down below the aqueduct and then up to the top of Conkwell Woods. It was a steep climb in thick woodland but unfortunately the trees obscured the view from the top.
ph 1
The way up to the top of Conkwell Woods
d 2
The plaque mounted in the centre of the aqueduct says it was to the memory of John Thomas to whose skill, perseverance and integrity brought the K & A to a prosperous completion.
d 3
The Plaque
d 4 An evening view of the aqueduct from the A36
D 1
Dundas Wharf
Below the aqueduct the Monkton Combe School have their rowing club and they were just opening up as I passed. They invited me in to see their workshop and some of the original wooden boats which were made there. Although it is only a small school they have had 10-12 pupils go on to become Olympians.
At the Dundas Wharf an arm goes off to the west which ends at the Brassknocker Basin and this was once the Somersetshire Coal Canal but is now used to moor boats, hire out canoes, boats and bikes as well as a cafe. The canal was opened in 1801 the 10 miles to Paulton with branches to Radstock. It closed in 1898 with the first quarter mile being restored in 1986-88.
s 2
With such glorious sunny weather the towpath here was busy during the day with walkers, joggers, cyclists and gongoozlers and we had a great afternoon chatting to lots of people.

No comments:

Post a Comment