22nd July 2020
We stay at our mooring at Rowington for three days and then and take a short cruise to Kingswood Junction. It was a lovely cruise on a lovely warm day. We fill our water tank at the tap at Bridge 63 where there are nice moorings and a nice pub (although not yet open). Watch out for the beautiful old beamed house at Turners Green en route.
At Kingswood Junction, the Grand Union Canal meets with the Stratford upon Avon Canal. We moor here overnight and have a short walk up to the junction. This is an ideal place to stop if you don't like the idea of taking your boat into Birmingham, as there is a railway station here, a short walk from the canal.
23rd July 2020
We set off around 9am the following day to continue our journey North, passing through some open countryside and hills as we approach Knowle Locks. The flight of five wide locks are the most northern for many miles now and used to be six narrow locks until improvements were made in the 1930’s. It really is quite lovely here and you wouldn't think that Birmingham is only a short drive (by car) away. The locks are quite pretty and well maintained by the Canal and River Trust. It does however get quite windy here as the landscape is quite open and Pat did have a little difficulty when approaching the locks. We are now heading North towards Birmingham and we moor just before bridge 72 so we could access the village, pick up some groceries and visit the town.
Knowle is still considered a village despite it's proximity to Birmingham and its well worth a visit. The Church of John the Baptist was completed in 1402 and has some lovely intricate stone work and stain glass windows. Apparently its worth a look inside but when we visited it was closed due to Covid 19. In the town there is Chester House, this dates back to the Middle Ages and is now the local library.
26th July 2020
We continue our journey North towards Birmingham and cruise the 3 miles into Catherine de Barnes, considered to be the last safe mooring before the bulk of Birmingham makes its presence felt. We stop at the water point at Copt Heath Wharf . Here we chat to an elderly couple who have just sold their house as it was too much for them to manage and they have bought a bespoke disabled boat complete with stair lift and wheel chair access which they moor on a linear mooring near to their son ( who also lives on his boat). She showed me around and I was amazed at what could be done in the limited space.
It was a fine day and a lovely cruise, we moor on the visitor moorings at Catherine de Barnes. In the afternoon we had a short walk through some woods and returned to Dunworkin on the tow path. The following day was forecast to be wet and windy, just more of what we have come to expect from summer 2020!