A Walk Around Braunston Locks

Yesterday was one of those iffy days, weatherwise.  The sky was really overcast, but the air was mild.  What to wear?  What if it rains?  What if it doesn’t?  I can’t bear days like that.  It is July for heaven’s sake!  It was my last day in the Midlands and I wanted to go outside and do some exploring.  So, wearing a bit of everything and taking a rucksack with a picnic, waterproofs and umbrella, off we went to Braunston, again.

This time we parked the car in the village and walked down to the canal where we came to the first lock.  When we came to Braunston last time, this was the furthest we had walked up to.  Here is a map of The Grand Union Canal and the Braunston locks.  We discovered that there were six in a row.

This is the first lock.  You need a special key and a bit of muscle to open and close the locks.  It was really interesting to watch.  Going through six locks is certainly going to keep one busy!  Good thing nobody seemed to be in a hurry for anything.

Walking along the towpath you will find a few picturesque properties, a pub (always useful), and boats moored up alongside the banks.  It is a very pretty walk.

We walked as far as the last lock and found a lovely willow tree to sit under and have our picnic and watch the boats float by.  It did rain a couple of times, but we were nice and dry under the tree. 🙂  Most people didn’t even notice that we were there!  There were some really interesting boats on the canal.  I love how some people embellished their boats with flowers and painted pots.  Some even had unusual and interesting names.  My personal favourite was On Cloud Wine, above. 🙂   After a leisurely lunch, we walked up to The Braunston Tunnel before heading back to the car.  The Tunnel is over a mile long!  And dark!

On the way back, we stopped at The Admiral Nelson pub for a pit stop and refreshments.  We sat outside and watched more boats going through the lock.  I have always wanted to do a canal boat holiday, maybe next summer.  I  lived on a barge many years ago, but it didn’t go anywhere.  People seem so friendly on the canals.

The day turned out better than anticipated, weatherwise.  We also saw some butterflies, a family of ducks, a field of poppies, and the usual farm animals in the fields.  It may not have been the seaside, but we had water and boats. 🙂