Thursday, 14 May 2015

After a slow start to the year it feels as though we are finally underway.  This year we are heading south along the Grand Union Canal to London and the River Thames.  Hopefully taking in several arms and rivers along the way.

At the moment we are having a day off from cruising due to the horrible weather forecast.  It is raining, cold and windy.  However not all bad as we are sitting in front of a small but cosy fire and have just eaten a good lunch of home made soup made chicken soup made from leftover roast chicken.

Today's weather is in contrast to the glorious day we had yesterday, which should have been a shorts day if I had bothered to change.  Yesterday was a good day which included a late breakfast in the Swan hotel, the Wetherspoon's in Leighton Buzzard.  A fairly long day though with several locks, all doubles so mainly heavy paddles and big heavy gates.  Some are very picturesque though.

Soulbury Locks showing the Three Locks pub, handily placed lockside

Jeanie Deans in Soulberry middle lock

Church Lock with what used to be Buckinghamshire's smallest Chapel (now a private house) adjacent

Due to the forecast we had a longer day yesterday than originally planned and found a good mooring with a pleasant view over the Dunstable Downs where we are staying for today.

View from the mooring

At different perspective of today's view
Travelling by canal is always interesting and varied with widely differing countryside and outlooks often in relatively short distances.  Wolverton is a case in point.  We stayed here for a couple of days as Graham had an appointment in London and the railway station was close at hand.  The moorings are outside a new development of flats and apartments and on the face of it not an ideal place to stay.  However it was surprisingly quiet and peaceful.

Suprisingly quiet mooring at Wolverton

However a matter of two miles to the north of Wolverton in the pretty rural village of Cosgrove the idyllic looking moorings are busy with boats and lots of towpath traffic.

Aquaduct taking the Grand Union Canal over the River Great Ouse at Cosgrove

View from the aquaduct, where we took the dogs for a lovely walk

Another view from the aquaduct

Wide beam boats are commonplace on the Grand Union 
Milton Keynes in particular is surprising for the very rural and picturesque aspect of the canal!

The suprisingly rural aspect of the canal through Milton Keynes

This moored boat looked more suited to the seaside than Milton Keynes

Passing through Milton Keynes

As ever it is good to spot all the wildlife and too see all the various waterfowl chicks!

The dogs are of course continuing to enjoy life afloat.

Truly adopting her favourite position.

Jake being Jake!

Weather permitting tomorrow we will continue and head down the Aylesbury Arm to spend the weekend in Aylesbury.

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