We cruised the last couple of miles into Market Harborough this morning. I’d forgotten how pleasant this short, 5¼ mile, arm is.
Nearing the town the canal runs through a lumpier area, so the banks are tree lined and full of birds, including kingfishers. No pictures today, though. They were very shy.
Of course, as I mentioned the other day, this length wasn’t intended to be a dead-end, it should have been part of the through-route to Northampton. But then the money ran out…
In the last mile the canal describes a loop around higher ground to the west of Market Harborough. Inside the bend sit the posh houses along The Woodlands. Expansive gardens run down to the water’s edge.
Earlier we’d been passed by three ABC Leisure hire boats heading back to base, and it looked pretty busy in the basin.
Entering the basin at Union Wharf
We pulled in opposite the services and I went to have a word in the office. If we were prepared to wait there’d be plenty of space later in the afternoon, they had seven boats leaving with fresh hire crews.
So we waited, temporarily on a private mooring, being entertained by boats chugging back and forth to the pump out.
A couple from Maine, USA, were interested in boats, so they had the quick through tour. They were quite impressed, and toddled over to the office to get some brochures for the hire fleet.
As the moorings thinned out we had our pick of locations, but decided on the section of hard edge next to the sculpture know as “Frank the Plank”.
We chose here because TV through the aerial is poor and we can use the dish from this mooring. Also it’s the sunniest side, but I don’t think that’s going to make much difference.
Frank the Plank is actually a sundial, erected by members of the Old Union Canals Society, based a little further back up the arm. He was installed when the basin was refurbished in 2000, and represents a stevedore handling timber unloaded from a narrowboat.
We’re here for a couple of days, I’ve some shopping to do in town. It’s a certain lady’s *#$th birthday on Sunday…
Locks 0, miles 2¾