After several days at Marsworth Junction we made a move today, up the locks to Bulbourne. I know we could walk it in 15 minutes but there are seven locks and its a big psychological leap!

It was a good day to travel with the sun shining, the sky blue and all the colours glowing. The Marsworth flight of locks is one of the most beautiful in the country and after all our travels I feel more qualified to make that statement than I was the last time I came through here. There are splendid views over Star Tops and Marsworth reservoirs on one side and fields on the other side, the spire of Marsworth Church is on the horizon, there are good pubs at each end, lock side cottages and the old canal work shop buildings at Bulbourne. When we were moored at Cowroast for four years we used Bulbourne as our weekend retreat and took guests through the locks.

Alan had limped his way up four locks before swapping with me for the last three but decided that he would be able to walk around the reservoirs after lunch. I let him have a head start but he gradually sped up as his heel loosened up and eventually got back to normal speed. The high backed walking boots he was wearing were probably helpful. Hopefully he won’t wake unable to walk tomorrow.

We went through the gap between Marsworth and Star Tops Reservoirs and over the road to Tringford Reservior and round the back past the hide. There were very few birds on the water though I did spot a pochard. Alan thinks the reason we saw so many birds here in November a few years ago was because the water was very low that year and there was a good area of scavenging land exposed at the water’s edge. We went on to the Wendover Canal Arm at the Tringford Pumping Station, which was pumping nice clean looking water out at a great rate, then past the Heyford Flour Mills. Great to see a mill building that is still actually in use for its original purpose!

We like to pop out for a drink on Friday nights. (I know you are all chorusing that what difference does a Friday night make to us and what’s our justification for the other nights!!) We had to re-visit the Grand Junction Arms and were surprised to see that it has been revamped into a very smart looking dining pub. We hadn’t planned to eat out tonight and were a little early anyway but noticed that the menu looked very good. We might try it another time.

Today we did 1.08Miles and 7 Locks

Statistics so far:-

2124.83 Miles, 1176 Locks, 120 Swing Bridges, 82 Lift Bridges, 36 Tunnels


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