The River Avon

Having entered Tewkesbury we headed up the river Avon towards Stratford. 

The river is a beautiful river with wonderful scenery all around you. We first stopped at Pershore, a little town with quite a few shops then after heading north again, stopped at Evesham and joined up with my son who was on the way back from the Glastonbury music festival. We had a lovely time in this lovely town where the river moorings were good near to the waterside park. This allowed us great access to the town. There were rising moorings lower down but these were a bit poor for access, but a real must for when the river was in flood.

Heading upstream we passed many beautiful places, and saw all sorts of wild life including four – yes,  four kingfishers all working the river bank. This was a real sight for sore eyes. Our next night was at Bidford on Avon. We wanted to see where in the early eighties we hired our first narrow boat froRiver Avon in Valiant No7m. We had hired a 70 ft boat called Teal, which was from Bidford Boat Hire, this was the boat that gave us the bug for narrow boats. 

While nearly at Bidford at the lock prior to it called Marlcliff, we came across another narrowboat which was from Bidford Boats. The poor chap was out for the day and was in a bit of pickle. Who should turn up was the son of the then owner, now deceased called Mrs Bidwell. We had a real chat and agreed to escort the struggling narrow boat to Bidford on Avon. He arrived safe and sound. 

Sadly the boat company only now does day hire, but it is still trading. Bidford on Avon had really grown up. Trees now were full height from the small saplings we saw all those years ago. How time flies..

Onward to Stratford on Avon, where we arrived to an IWA greeting of ANT (Avon Navigational Trust) saying would we like to join the water festival that was about to happen that weekend. This was the first weekend in July. We agreed straight swat and got a lovely mooring right across from the town church.Stratford River Festival

The river festival is not to be missed as this is most likely one of the best outside events that Stratford has. There must have been at least 10,000 visitors to the festival over the weekend period. If you are interested in going, here is the link for the festival. It normally is held the first weekend in July every year, but check the web link for full details. We also with our mooring got prime slot to view the brilliant firework display on the Saturday night. We sat on our boat drinking as we watched.  

After going round all the stalls and seeing all the displays etc. we wandered into Stratford to see the sights. Unfortunately we were on a schedule to go and pick up our grand children for a long trip to Billing Aquadrome, so our time in Stratford was short. However we will certainly be back for a much longer look.

So now it was off up the Stratford canal and onto Braunston to meet our two girls.


The Summer Trip

We have been cruising all summer, so our summer trip has been a long enjoyable adventure. I am sorry i have not added my intended diary entries, but things were so good that i seemed not to have enough time. However here is the catch up story.

After going to Crick Boat show, we set off to go to Birmingham. We went via the Grand Union canal into the centre of Birmingham and were really surprised as to how the center has been turned round and now is a real pleasure for visitors by boat, car, bike or walking. Well done Birmingham City Council. However the out skirts of Birmingham still have a lot of rubbish in and nearby. However this is also on the streets too. However do not be put off as we had a lovely time. After seeming the City center we headed off to Dudley via the James Brindley OLD LINE. 

What an adventure the OLD LINE is. I goes under motorways over Thomas Telford NEW LINE and wanders off to Dudley where we were turn back in time at the Dudley Black Country Living Museum. Black Country Living Museum This a real living experience which has been created from buildings that have been moved from parts of the black country, to preserve them. There is also working shops like the cake shop and a big favorite the fish and chip shop. Yes you can moor at the museum or very nearby. The site is very large and still growing, so ensure you have a least a day at the museum to take everything in. It will not be boriung for kids either, there are street games workshops, fun fares and tram rides to see. For the adults there is a fully working Pub which is not to be missed, with real Ale being served. The bar room has a saw dust floor. Dudley Tunnel

Also here is the Dudley tunnel where we went for a trip into the old Lime Stone quarry canals. This is an excellent experience which should not be missed. I will not go on about this as you can see the website for more information.

We then set off again and went back to Birmingham via the NEW LINE. After staying a couple more nights we set off down the Birmingham and Worcester canal. This was a lovely trip, taking you out of Birmingham via leafy Edgebaston. However this canal takes you down the Tardybrigg flight of locks, this is the longest set of locks in the UK. After a day of locking it was a trip to the Queens head Pub for some much needed food.

After the Tardybrigg we decided to head towards the Droitwich canal. This is a recovered canal which goes right through the center of Droitwich. This is a lovey old town which is well worth a visit. The town grown up on producing salt, now finished, has many beautiful buildings and other features. There are also public moorings too. The Droitwich then continues onto the river Severn. 

We traveled down the River Seven to Worcester and moored on the river. When we arrived there was Dragon Boat racing which was really great to watch.
We of course visited Worcester and its beautiful cathedral. This really was a beautiful City.

The weather now was absolutely fantastic and a real pleasure to cruise, however we did get a couple of days when it rained. We then set off to go to Tewkesbury and onto the river Avon.

Tewkesbury is a lovely place. Full of history and still has a lot of wood framed houses and shops. We spent some time here finding out about the local history. If you are near here i do suggest a visit.

Setting off up the Avon after paying our £50 license dues at the entrance lock we headed for Stratford on Avon. 

The river Avon which is run by the Avon Navigation Trust from Tewkesbury is independent to the Canal and River Trust so ypu have to pay to enter the waters. However it is really worth it. The £50 is for seven days and is ample to navigate up the river to Stratford, where the CRT canal joins. The story continues..with my post on these waters.