May Cruise Day 2 Hatton Locks

A bright Sunday morning, and relatively quiet. Although the canal goes through Warwick, it skirts round the centre so shielding you from most of the city. So you’ve cast off and steering on a pleasant morning watching the world go by and enjoying a coffee. A couple of locks appear accompanied by a pub, The Cape of Good Hope, and you’ve exchanged pleasantries with a few oncoming boats – oh a nice day to cruise. Off around the corner of Budbrooke Junction we travel and then some more locks appear. A few locks, can’t harm, so through one … lock number 26 Hatton Bottom Lock. Oh, must be a few together then, oh yes I can see a second just ahead. Through the second we went, unaccompanied as it seems to be no boats around, then round the corner where we see the 3rd, 4th, and 5th!

Well onwards we press, looking forwards to the next lock. Up the 6th, 7th, and 8th. We seem to be in our stride now, so on to the 9th, 10, and then into the 11th – the half way point in this lock flight. We then hear a couple of shouts from behind and see a boat coming up a couple of locks behind us! Neither of us are accompanied, so we wait – may as well lock up together for the remaining ten locks. Apparently they’d spied us, but were unable to catch us up close enough to be heard. Hmm, I guess we were too much looking forward, than back! Two boat crews make locking easier, which is good because these ten lock are close together. With one crew opening a gate whilst the other goes onto the next we make short shift work of these. Once through we bid farewell to the other boat as its time for us to stop for lunch, quiet well timed because its started to rain. So we sit inside watching the ducks go by and have a leisurely lunch. Once the rain stops, we set off through the cutting to Shrewley Tunnel. The showers return once through the tunnel, but not enough to dampen our enthusiasm to carry on. Its just me, my mac, and a tiller against the rain onslaughts.

The showers don’t last too long and we’re soon approaching Kingswood Junction. Time to leave the Grand Union Canal for the Stratford-on-Avon, with its narrow locks and barrel-roof cottages. This seems to be a quiet section of canal, with the only boat we met was at the first lock when we turned onto the canal – though we did see another several locks down who moored for the evening before we reached them. Once we got to Lowsonford, the first place with a pub after coming onto the Stratford, we too decided to moor for the night.

(youtube lower quality alternative)

One Response to “May Cruise Day 2 Hatton Locks”

  1. Keith Percival Says:

    Brilliant idea. As a canal boater it all looked a bit scary to go so fast. Thank goodness it is slower in real life. Great well done.