We did go along to the Boat Inn for a drink yesterday, and found it very warm and welcoming. We sat in the small bar which had a wonderfully bright log fire and several incumbent gentlemen who seemed to all be local residents who probably meet up there most evenings for an early evening chat. I imagine they probably enjoy it on these cold evenings when there aren’t hordes of visiting boaters to push past to get to the bar.
Today was one of those lovely bright and sunny but very cold days, when the light is wonderful and the water shiny like stainless steel. We started down the Stoke Locks just after 9.00 and the seven locks seemed to pass quite quickly. This time it was my turn to steer and Alan operated the locks. Several were set in our favour or needed only a top up and we met a BW chap at one who opened the lock ready for us and passed the time of day.
When we emerged at the bottom we moved on quickly taking turns to steer, and even continued through lunch as we passed through Cosgrove, a beautiful place. The view from the lock across the field of cattle towards a distant large house looks like France with a distant chateau. I am actually rather fond of the Milton Keynes section of the canal because it goes through some lovely parks and always looks green even when in industrial areas like Wolverton (which in any event has less broken down industry and more smart new apartment blocks on the waterside). The only previous time Lazydays travelled through Milton Keynes in Autumn or winter Alan was travelling solo as I was away at a book fair so I had never realised how many lakes line the canal between Cosgrove and our mooring at Great Linford. They are much easier to see when the leaves are off the trees.
We had hoped that there would be a space at Great Linford and found that the off side 48 hour section was empty and we moored where we have the lovely view up the park towards the thatched pub with its lights twinkling. What did surprise us were the new and very smart permanent moorings for some distance before the one boat visitor space, which was previously much bigger. We had a short walk and it was cold enough to make my nose freeze: the children out walking were muffled up in scarves and mittens. We can’t believe that the heavy rain that was earlier forecast for tomorrow will actually arrive: frost seems more likely.
Today we did 11.66 Miles and 8 Locks
Statistics so far:-
2101.45 Miles, 1153 Locks, 118 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels