|Narrow bridge over the Stratford Upon Avon canal|
The 25 mile long Stratford Upon Avon canal runs from Birmingham to Stratford and, according to a helpful placard along the way, was the first in England to be restored to navigability. It was reopened by the Queen in 1964. We walked a short section today and I loved the peace and tranquillity. We didn't see much in the way of exciting wildlife - mostly ducks and sheep - although I was delighted to spot six tiny ducklings with their mother. When they accelerated across the canal, they were practically running on the surface like pondskaters. The last of the daffodils were flowering together with some primroses. We also saw lots of bright cowslips which I love, and our first bluebells of the season. Ironically, our sighting of (probably) a sparrowhawk on the garden fence when we got back to Measure Cottage was the most 'exotic'!
|Cowslips on the canal towpath|
There were also two aqueducts with the towpath continuing alongside high above the road and railway lines. One of the two, the Edstone Aqueduct, is the longest in England. There's more information on this pictured placard - click into the photograph to see a larger version and actually read the text:
|About the Edstone Aqueduct|
An hour an a half's leisurely stroll got us to the Navigation Inn where we
glanced at the narrowboats for hire and hurried into the warm bar! The pub has a traditional olde-worlde feel and serves an excellent lunch with generous portions. I had ham and eggs, Dave a homemade burger, Gemma an omelette and Carrie a chicken pie. After yesterday's microwave-reheated offering, Dave was quite envious of the pie!
We cut ten minutes off our time on the return walk to Wilmcote. The sun did break through clouds for a few minutes here and there and it is nice to be in the shelter of the towpath, out of the wind. Now we've got one more night at Measure Cottage before Dave and I return to Bailey tomorrow. We've decided to avoid the M6 on the return route and will brave the Coventry ring road instead!
|Cast Iron Rain Gauges|