Leicester Ring Day 4: Hawkesbury to Hartshill

Most of today’s journey was familiar to us already because we used to live on the Ashby canal and would quite often make the trip down to Hawkesbury. On one occasion we turned north and went up to the Atherstone lock flight too. So this was mostly a “do you remember” day, seeing how much, or how little, things have changed on the Coventry canal. One thing that hasn’t changed is the amount of rubbish in the water! We kept hearing things grinding against the hull. Fortunately we escaped getting anything wrapped around the propellor.

The day was fairly uneventful, the most excitement being provided by Rosie, who is now over-confident to the extent that she jumped off the boat as we came close to the side at one point, causing much frantic reversing and shouting as we tried to get her back on in the high winds. In the end we had to get off ourselves to retrieve her! In future, she will be held on deck. Anyway, no harm done.

We passed through Bedworth, where people go to a lot of trouble with their canal-side gardens, like this:


And this:


Or this:


Wait – is that a… gorilla?


It is! Rosie barked at it and, for once, we all agreed with her.

A little further on is Charity Dock, one of the stranger places on the canal. Here’s a short video:

And a photo of the … well, what to call it?! Junkyard or scene from a J. G. Ballard story?


Round the next bend was a very familiar place for us…

We cruised on through Nuneaton, which has hundreds of well-tended allotments that break up the housing estates. The countryside the other side of town is quite pleasant, and we had a lovely stop at Springwood Haven:


The people here were very helpful and Louise did some shopping in their gift shop while I filled ‘Froth’ up with water and emptied the toilet cassette. They gave us a map of Atherstone, which we will certainly use tomorrow.

We finally moored up at Hartshill, which still leaves us a full day ahead of schedule. The day ended with boat washing, once the heavy showers had blown over. That bucket on the roof is a nice idea – it folds down to a disc – but unfortunately is quite unstable and twice collapsed, spilling its contents all over the washer!IMG_2063

After these exertions it was nice to settle down to some of Louise’s excellent chicken, couscous and salsa.

Tomorrow, the Atherstone flight. All 11 locks of it! Time to get some sleep.



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