Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Easy trip to Aylestone

We had rain last night. Not seen much of that recently! But it had moved through by the time we got going today, leaving us with a fine but breezy morning.IMG_1695

We made use of the facilities on the wharf, then headed off, just 10 minutes to the first lock.


At this point the canal is heading west, following the valley of the River Sence as it’s heads to join the Soar. After the confluence it turns north along the Soar valley.

Double Rail Lock, a bit breezy here in the open.IMG_1697

C&RT are doing some bank reconstruction above Ervin’s Lock.IMG_1699


The large rolls of coconut matting are anchored along the repaired edge, populated with water plants that will help reinforce the bank.

From Ervin’s Lock the countryside is left behind in favour of the built up area of South Wigston, on the southern fringes of Leicester.

There’s a bit of construction going on along here, as the city extends it’s suburbs ever further out.IMG_1703

A good view from up there…

Swinging right as we join the Soar valleyIMG_1706

We’d done well on the trip so far, all the locks were full, and we met two or three boats coming the other way. But Blue Banks Lock was empty with wet walls, so we knew that we were now following another boat.

Filling Blue Banks LockIMG_1708

From Whetstone Lane to Kings Lock there’s a rural interlude, I guess the flood plains of the two adjacent rivers deter development.

We pulled in at Kings Lock, behind the boat we suspected was ahead, just as he finished setting the lock. He was quite disappointed to find we weren’t joining him for the run through the city. But we’d done enough. It’s only in exceptional circumstances that we cruise between Birstall and Kilby Bridge in one go. At 12 miles and 16 locks it takes at least 6 hours, often longer depending on the locks. Too long for Mags to be on her feet these days.

Moored above Kings Lock

Below the lock we join the river for the first time, hence the sign about the water level indicator. From here we’ll alternate between canal and the natural course of the River Soar all the way to the Trent.

Tomorrow we’ll head through the industrial fringes of the city, then through the centre before popping out on the north side at Birstall.

Oh, and thanks to the anonymous comment on a previous post, explaining that finger post at Kibworth.
I should have made the connection - Athens, Olympic Park, and the top and bottom of mainland UK. Doh!

Locks 8, miles 5½

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