Before we left Newbury this morning we popped into Tesco for few necessities and some free sparklers (courtesy of a Sunday newspaper). Oh what a palaver! We went through three levels of management before the firework cabinet could be opened – all for a 79p pack of sparklers. Doug likes both sparklers and a bargain!! After that we had a quick walk around the new shopping centre – very nice and clean but it’s par for the course - we could have been in any town in the country.
Anyway, leaving at 10:30, the morning was mild and dry and we’ve had a lovely cruise today.
Going though the swing bridge as we leave Newbury today, overlooked by the lovely wharf cottages.
The locks west of Newbury are now all the same (perfectly sized for just two boats) and they are mild mannered (filling very gently) with just about every lock having had major work done since we were last here in 2007. They are a joy this time around – the gates and paddles are excellent.
Idyllic autumn setting – the canal (as the guide book says) is “untroubled by the outside world”. We seemed to be miles from anywhere and the silence was deafening as they say.
Another lovely setting – the lock landings, as you can see, are really good this time around.
A new type of paddle gear on this lock has an automatic ratchet locking system so you don’t get your fingers trapped – and they’re very smooth to use.
We had a very serene and pleasing journey today – this is just another photo! Sorry about the roof of the boat in so many of the pictures!
After watering up just outside Hungerford we decided the town would be our chosen mooring for tonight. We like Hungerford very much and we took a walk around after making the boat safe and tidy. The town, sadly, has a lot of very overpriced “antique” shops and estate agents these days!
A view of the main street in Hungerford.
We took the long walk back to the boat from the town – this is swing bridge 85 over the canal with the church in the background. All very rural and lovely.