Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Climbing up through glorious Leicestershire countryside

We woke up to a bit of a list today. It was shallow where we’d moored below Double Rail Lock, and overnight the pound had drained a couple of inches so we were sat on the mud. With no rush to get off we waited for the rush of boats leaving Kilby Bridge, each lockful of water released lifting us off the bottom, but then dumping us back down again as the lock below was filled.
One of those coming down was ex BW Cassiopia, on it’s way from the Braunston Historic Boat Festival last weekend.

NB Cassiopia, coming down Kilby Lock while I was out with Meg.IMG_0441
After an hour we’d had enough, so decided to get going.

Double Rail Lock is so called because it has paired handrails across the bottom gates. It carries a footpath across the fields, so presumably the extra rail was fitted for safety.

Double Rail Lock bottom gates
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The nearer gate seems to have lost one of it’s handrails, maybe the lock should be renamed 1½ Rail Lock?

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We filled and emptied at the services at Kilby Bridge, meanwhile debating whether to stay there for the rest of the day, or push on. The fine cruising weather won, we carried on with full and empty tanks as appropriate, aiming to get to Wistow. The moorings here look out over beautiful pastures to Wistow Church.

Kilby Bridge, moorings, services and a pub, so popular!IMG_0450

The ground starts to rise a little more steeply as the canal approaches Newton Harcourt, meaning the locks are deep and closer together.

The towpath crosses sides at Turnover Lock, and just above is Bottom Half Mile Lock.

Looking up at Bottom Half Mile Lock from Turnover LockIMG_0456

The surveyors didn’t use a lot of imagination when naming these locks, although there’s the delightfully named Bumblebee Lock a little further back. I wonder what happened there?
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The lock chambers and gates have been through several reincarnations since the navigation was completed in 1809. Often date stones (or a sharp chisel) have been used.

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After Top Half Mile Lock (of course) and Spinney Lock (next to a small wood), our last was Newton Top Lock.

Newton Top Lock, with the lock cottage alongside.IMG_0466

We should have been mooring looking out over this view, but there was no space to be had.IMG_0468 I’m sure there used to be more vegetation cut back along here, now there’s only room for four or five boats.

It’s very pretty, but loses a bit of it’s appeal when you’re trying to moor up!IMG_0469

We found a short bit of piling with trimmed grass a little further on, thankfully without having to do any more locks. It’s been very warm and all three of us were flagging.

I took Meg out a little later, and she had a refreshing splash about in the River Sence as it passes through a culvert under the canal.

Not her best angle…
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That’s better!
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Locks 9, miles 4

2 comments:

The Budds said...

Meg is looking good - even the water phobe , Muttley, went in to cool off today!

Geoff and Mags said...


Hi Jill, Graham
I bet it's even hotter there than here, although we're in for a bit of a change this weekend. Enjoying reading about your travels..