Sunday, 29 June 2014


Saturday's blog

Have you ever seen a pub as boat friendly as the Barlow Mow at Newbold? You can hire a bathroom as well as get the laundry done. I don't miss having a bath during the summer, but it could be very inviting after a cold and wet winter day's cruise.

The canal width is quite restricted in places just after Newbold due to landslides and slipped trees.

It was a grotty day yesterday and we got caught in a very heavy thunderstorm, unable to pull over as we couldn't get into the bank. By the time we managed to moor up we were both soaked to the skin, despite wearing full waterproofs. They were so wet I had to put them in the washing machine for a good spin before I could hang them up to dry.

We moored for the night by Bridge 15 at Ansty. The moorings were very busy but that didn't stop the speed boats wizzing past. We were almost rammed by a boat at 9.10pm. The steerer and his mate - private boat - had lots of empty bottles on the roof which may have contributed to his inability to steer a straight line. They were closely followed 10 minutes later by a hire boat who was going so fast he couldn't turn the bend and rammed into us, bouncing off and hitting the boat moored in front of us as well. To top it all off, we were rudely awoken at 4.15 this morning by a boat racing past!  If they have to cruise at stupid o'clock you'd think they'd at least have the decency to pass on tick-over.  I'm really glad we've now left the Oxford Canal.  I don't know what it is about this section but from Braunston to Ansty we met so many inconsiderate, miserable boaters that surely there can't be any in your area.

Today (Saturday) we left the Oxford Canal and turned left at Hawkesbury Junction onto the Coventry Canal. We haven't been this way before and it's a pretty section lined with Buddlia bushes in full bloom. It reminded me a lot of stretches of the BCN but minus the rubbish in the water.

Just before we arrived at the basin at the end of the canal we passed under the very ornate new foot bridge.

There aren't very many mooring spaces down here as the ones just past us in front of the shops have "no mooring" signs.

There are actually two arms in the basin but the main one is taken up by Valley Cruises Hire firm. It was one of their boats that had rammed us on Friday night.

This beautiful bubble car was parked in the basin. I don't know if it belonged to someone or was just here as an advert for the Transport Museum

Once we'd had lunch we went walkabout into the city. It's easy access over a pedestrian bridge over the busy ring road directly outside the basin.

Coventry has to be probably the biggest shopping centre I've seen so far, maybe even bigger than Birmingham and the Saturday market was really good.  Lady Godiva watches over the shoppers

There are some beautiful old timbered houses in the city

This is part of the Medieval Spon Street which is home to shops and businesses occupying a range of historic renovated medieval buildings. They are fascinating, although the fairy lights and signs detract a bit from the authenticity.

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