It’s not been busy further up the canal, and yesterday there were a few boats knocking about around Foxton, but today we’ve seen three, maybe four boats all day! Such a fine day, too.
Near Fleckney this morning
The locks have come steadily today, the first one just around the corner.
Kibworth Top Lock Cottage, being renovated
In Kibworth Top Lock
Behind us now are the easy narrow locks of Foxton and Watford, these are all broad from here, designed for a pair of narrowboats or a wide barge. Wishful thinking, as Watford was always going to be a pinch point without the locks being widened.
The gates and paddles are quite heavy, and there’s a lot of walking around to do.
A few years ago we came up here in the autumn, and the two pounds below were almost empty. Mags ran aground on the mud coming out of Pywells Lock, and I had to run water down from the pounds above so she could scrape along the bottom to the next lock.
Going nowhere, October 2008
Not a problem today, an excess of water in fact!
We made steady, rather than rapid, progress. Unfortunately we were following a boat, always just out of sight but definitely there judging by the wet walls of the empty locks. So I had to fill every lock bar one before we could use it. We met one boat at Crane’s Lock, so used the lock he’d left.
We were tempted to pull over near Wistow, but it was still before lunchtime, so decided to press on to Kilby Bridge as planned.
Fine views across the parkland from the moorings near Wistow.
There used to be a village here, the medieval Wystowe. All that remains is the church and Wistow Hall, nestling in the trees. The village was depopulated in the 17C to make the parkland we see now.
The locks on this section tend to be grouped together, and there are another three in quick succession near Newton Harcourt.
Newton Bridge and Newton Top Lock
The delightfully named Bumblebee Lock was our last for today.
The lack of traffic allows water lilies to flourish
We arrived at Kilby Bridge at around 13:15, filled the water tank again (we’d put all the floor rugs through the washer on the way today, drying them on the roof), then pulled over onto the moorings opposite.
Kilby Bridge Wharf Hardly any boats here, either!
We’ll stay here tomorrow, girding our loins for a non-stop trip through Leicester on Monday. Well, that’s the plan. The fall-back position is to break the journey at Aylestone, we’ll see how we go. With this few boats about I guess we won’t have the benefit of a locking partner.
Locks 12, miles 5