Patch Bridge

September 30, 2009

We came the short distance along to Patch bridge so that we could visit the Slimbridge Wetland centre, it was started by Sir Peter Scott in 1946 and it is well worth a visit. We spent most of the day there and did not get to see everything. We did manage a Geocache on the way back to the boat before going to the local pub for a meal.

One of the main drawbacks of this canal is the lack of food shops, I know we could get a Tesco delivery but it some how goes against the most enjoyable experience of local shopping, so anyone wishing to come down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal should come down fully provisioned. But what makes this canal so special apart from its size, is the remoteness from trunk road or rail networks it is so quiet, I know that we are only a stones throw from Gloucester and Bristol but been up against the Severn imparts its own special felling of isolation, we love it.

Boat

Boat

Fighting Moorhens

Fighting Moorhens

Crane

Crane

Current Location

Current Location

View from boat

View from boat

Today we did 3.74 Miles and 2 Swing Bridges

Statistics so far:-

888.24 Miles, 656 Locks, 63 Swing Bridges, 47 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.


Sharpness

September 29, 2009

We needed to move on this morning as we were running out of water; we can always tell when we need water as you have to climb from stern to bow, also we become cruiser like in our buoyancy and bob about at the slightest movement.

The water point was just before the next bridge so we spent what seemed like the whole morning filling up and cleaning the boat and bikes to get rid of the grey dust that we had picked up from the gravel path that had ran alongside our moorings.

We have come on all the way to Sharpness, it was only an hour and half and we were doing the washing so we thought we may as well and then we can stop off where we please on the way back.

I have to say that Sharpness is a bit disappointing after the rest of the canal but we had been told this by almost everyone that we had spoken to. We thought that we could get some provisions from the Co-op, but this alas is no longer trading in these parts.

We did go passed the ‘Dockers Club’ but it was closed and we will not be going back to sample their famous portions, quite a walk and I had already cooked the tea, now that is organisation for you.

Sharpness docks

Sharpness docks

Dockers Club

Dockers Club

We did walk to the end of the canal to where the old entrance used to be and the location of a lifeboat station and a brilliant view up and down the Severn.

End of Canal

End of Canal

Sharpness Marina (Canal)

Sharpness Marina (Canal)

SARA

SARA

Severn Bridge

Severn Bridge

Over the Severn

Over the Severn

We walked back to our boat as the sun was sitting low in the sky, along this section they have beached a number of old barges to protect the bank and presumably the canal.

Beached Barge

Beached Barge

The barge is just on the other side of the wall from where we are moored. Just along from us is the remains of an old railway bridge that spanned the Severn and the canal, the canal section had a swing bridge to allow tall ships through to Gloucester.

Engine room and Support for Swing Bridge

Engine room and Support for Swing Bridge

Old Railway Bridge

Old Railway Bridge

The bridge was hit by two barges in 1960, they over shot the Dock entrance in a strong current and brought down a couple of arches, the bridge was never used again as it was considered not financially viable to repair.

Today we did 7.15 Miles and 5 Swing Bridges

Statistics so far:-

884.50 Miles, 656 Locks, 61 Swing Bridges, 47 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.


Stroud by Bike

September 28, 2009

It will be some years before we can get to Stroud with the boat so we had to make do with going by bike. We used the national cycle way routes 41 and 45, I know that I had been playing ‘One foot in the Grave’ on the piano before we set off but by the time we crossed the dual carriageway via pedestrian traffic light for what seemed like the eleventh time a little bit of Victor snuck out and I was mentally composing letters about ineffectual cycle ways.

We did come back along the canal which was a much better option than the cycle way, as well as giving us a clear insight into the task ahead for restoration.

Pike Lock

Pike Lock

The canal has been filled in as it approaches the M5, as there is obviously no way through the M5 at this point it is of no consequences as it is proposed that the canal will be routed south so as to pass under the M5 close to the river Frome.

What canal ?

What canal ?

We eventually got to Stroud and had a walk around this busy town, inclining on the side of a hill.

Art and Science Building

Art and Science Building


 Church Building

Church Building

Oh and while we were out cycling the curried goat I had prepared earlier was merrily cooking itself along with some Basmati rice in the Dream Pot. So when we got back a quick shower and then a beautifully cooked curry, with perfectly cooked fluffy rice.

Statistics so far:-

877.35 Miles, 656 Locks, 56 Swing Bridges, 47 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.


Saul Junction

September 27, 2009

We took a walk back up to Saul Junction and had a visit to the heritage centre, very friendly reception we had there too. They are doing sterling work in restoring the Stroud water canal which will eventually link Saul Junction with Lechlade, although there is a long way to go yet.

Saul Junction

Saul Junction

We walked over to the Severn at Upper Framilode for Sunday Lunch and took in a couple of Geocaches. The pub, The Ship Inn was very friendly and we enjoyed the meal, we really like it over here. In fact I would say that since coming on to the River Avon at Stratford we have come through some of the friendliest and most welcoming places in our travels to date, definitely worth a visit.

We came across a field with the Gloucester breed of cattle that produce authentic Double Gloucester cheese; they have a characteristic white stripe on their backs.

Gloucester Cattle

Gloucester Cattle

The Disused canal also runs, or more accurately does not run from Saul Junction to the Severn at Upper Framilode, it was very strange seeing signs for the lock keepers cottage and a row of canal cottages with no canal or lock in sight.

House by disused canal

House by disused canal

A bit of disused canal

A bit of disused canal

Statistics so far:-

877.35 Miles, 656 Locks, 56 Swing Bridges, 47 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.


Frampton with Pictures

September 26, 2009

Okay we were going to have a good look around but in the end we decided that a walk around the largest village green in the country and a side excursion for a quick cache was all that we were up for today. I need to sort out some stuff, get the keyboard out and then we need to get tarted up for a special meal out tonight as it is Frances’s birthday tomorrow.

As I said early the village green is reputed to be the biggest in the country (source now questionable as Frances cannot remember where she saw that snippet of information). Anyway it was fairly large and boasted two village ponds.

Village Pond 1

Village Pond 1

Picturesque Garden

Picturesque Garden

Village Pond 2

Village Pond 2

Toy House?

Toy House?

Statistics so far:-

877.35 Miles, 656 Locks, 56 Swing Bridges, 47 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.


Frampton-On-Severn

September 25, 2009

We spent the morning doing a multi Geocache around the city centre, it took most of the morning but it did give us the opportunity to see parts of the centre that we would have otherwise missed.

After Lunch we set off down the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal, we first had to go through the impressive Llantony Lift Bridge.

Llantony Lift Bridge

Llantony Lift Bridge

The Canal has a feel of a river it is so big.

Big Canal

Big Canal

Interesting hen coop location

Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop

We then came across the famous Grass Barge, well famous in that it is in the Pearson’s. It has been there for years and now boasts a large cop of grasses.

Grass Barge

Grass Barge

We are now moored up in Frampton.

Today we did 8.62 Miles 1 Lift Bridge and 7 Swing Bridge

Statistics so far:-

877.35 Miles, 656 Locks, 56 Swing Bridges, 47 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.


Inside Gloucester Cathedral

September 24, 2009

Today we had a walk around Gloucester town centre ending up inside the Cathedral. Gloucester is a strange mix of new and old buildings interwoven with not much consideration of either.

Here are some pictures from the inside of the cathedral:

Stain glass by Thomas Denny

Stain glass by Thomas Denny

Lady Chapel

Lady Chapel

Crucifixion ‘Pieta’ Resurrection by Iain Mc Killop

Crucifixion ‘Pieta’ Resurrection by Iain Mc Killop

Cloisters

Cloisters

Part of the Harry Potter movies are filmed in the cathedral and also there is an American flag flying as John Stafford Smith the composer of the music for the Star Spangled Banner was born in Gloucester.

The marine basin is certainly a relaxing location, here is the view from the boat.

View from boat

View from boat

Statistics so far:-

888.73 Miles, 656Locks, 49 Swing Bridges, 46 Lift Bridges, 7 Tunnels.