Offenham, River Avon. Friday 26Apr13.
1. Looking southwest from Craycombe Hill on the edge of Craycombe Coppice. The orchards hereabouts provide apples for Bulmers Cider. I also came across wild deer foraging in the woods, which Gunner took great delight in chasing.
2. Leaving Craycombe Turn.
3. Wood Norton Hall.
4. The site of a ruined Benedictine Abbey with St Lawrence Church in the foreground, All Saints Church spire behind and to the left, and the Abbey Bell Tower rising above to the rear.
5. The Bell Tower in all its glory.
6. Looking upstream towards Workman Bridge.
7. Leaving Evesham.
We continued our journey on Monday, arriving in Evesham where we stayed three nights before continuing north to Offenham.
Evesham is a pleasant market town with much to admire in the way of timber-framed buildings and stone architecture harking back to the craftsmanship still so admired today.
We arrived as the demolition to replace Abbey bridge, which crosses the river, began in earnest. A few local people even muttered their annoyance at the inconvenience of the detour to cross the river by car. The river is closed to boat traffic on Sunday to allow a temporary footbridge to be swung into place. It amazes me how townspeople have allowed themselves to become slaves to their cars to get about rather than walk or use public transport. Some will reach their four score years and ten knowing less about their home town than I do having only spent three days there. Sad!
There is a large eastern european community in and around Evesham, both working and waiting for the fruit and vegetable picking seasons to begin. As always, I found those I met while out and about with Gunner to be friendly, polite and engaging (even with a can in their hand). I sometimes wonder at 'our own' who haven't travelled and experienced living or life outside of their own back yard, yet deride people who have or do through necessity or choice.
Let a good heart be your guide and life will be your adventure!
26th Apr 2013, 15:28
Craycombe Turn, River Avon. Sunday 21Apr13.
2. These Lambs brought a smile to our faces as they followed us along the bank.
3. Just arrived at this picturesque spot known as Craycombe Turn and decided to stay a while.
4. A Turner moment.
5. For all those doubters out there.
6. It's been a hard day.
7. We're moored behind the trees to the right of centre.
We left Pershore on Thursday morning and continued upstream, passing below the village of Wyre Piddle (where I enjoyed a fine pint of 'Directors' at 'The Anchor' while out walking Gunner one evening). We then passed by Tiddle-Widdle Island (don't ask), at least Wyre Piddle has an excuse; it's named after Piddle Brook! Only in England.
The river was a delight as it wound its way through the flood plains and pastures that border it. By early afternoon we'd stopped at Craycombe Turn where we'll dally for a while
22nd Apr 2013, 00:54
Craycombe Turn, River Avon. Sunday 21Apr13.
1. The river above Comberton Quay.
2. Uncharted water (for us).
3. Leaving Pershore's 'Great Bridge' in our wake.
4. Moored at Pershore.
5. I opened the curtains one morning to find we'd been adopted by our young friend here.
6. A lovely spring afternoon.
7. The Anchor pub mooring at Wyre Piddle.
On Monday we left Comberton Quay and headed upstream for Pershore where we moored until Thursday morning, spending time to stock up on a few supplies and exploring the riverside walks.
For a few days the wind seemed to keep all but us hardy folk in port as we only saw six boats pass us in the four days we were there. It even disturbed our afternoon slumbers as we rode the rise and fall of the swell it had created by occasionally bumping the boat against the moorings. Out and about, the rain, driven near horizontal by the wind, felt like being speared with the force of a pressure washer.
Then the wind dropped and the sun came out.
21st Apr 2013, 17:38
Comberton Quay, River Avon. 08Apr13
1. Leaving Gloucester behind.
2. Heading up the River Severn wearing 3 layers of fleece plus a waterproof jacket and over trousers against the cold. Photo courtesy of our sometime travelling companion Terry Humphries.
3. A casualty of the November floods at Healings flour mills wharf, Tewksbury.
4. Tewksbury Town moorings.
5. Eckington Bridge.
6. Comberton Quay.
We left Gloucester Docks on Thursday and headed fourteen miles up the River Severn to join the River Avon just below Tewksbury. A journey that took just under five hours. A near freezing 18mph headwind accompanied us most of the way along with the occasional accompaniment of sleet that gave us both wind-burnt faces as a consequence.
Upon arriving at Tewkesbury lock we opted for a £70 permit to travel the 43 miles up the River Avon to Stratford over the course of a month. This gives us plenty of time to enjoy what the Avon valley has to offer.
We moored for three nights (£3 per night) just above the lock at Tewkesbury and on Sunday began our journey upstream where we moored overnight on the wharf just above Eckington Bridge, built in the sixteenth century. Today we continued on and tied up at Comberton Quay. This is a delightfully secluded mooring where buzzards can be heard calling to each other and the smallest of birds can be heard singing amongst the trees.
We very much enjoyed over-wintering on the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. The experience has further swelled our knowledge of boating through into our ninth year of living aboard. Nine years that have passed all too quickly and treated us to the best of actually living a much fuller and rewarding lifestyle away from the madness that is the pace of 21st century living.
8th Apr 2013, 22:38
We moved on up to Frampton yesterday afternoon in preparation to leave the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal. However, the River Severn is carrying a lot of 'fresh' after recent rainfall and C&RT; advise:
'Gloucester Lock is running high and is on amber alert. This means that the river conditions are hazardous due to strong flows and debris. Boaters are advised to proceed with caution and only travel if safe to do so.'
Winter hasn't finished with us yet and the weather, being what it is, isn't forecast to improve anytime soon, so we might not be able to leave just yet anyway. No bad thing really. What with high tides due too, we'll probably be delayed until after Easter. Hopefully by then, temperatures will start to pick up and spring may be given a chance to begin in earnest.
21st Mar 2013, 14:31
2. Popular with our winged friends.
3. A fine Cob.
4. living-on in cherished memories.
5. The view from Gwilym's bench.
6. Spring born.
20th Mar 2013, 13:04
1. Tall-ship barque 'Kaskelot' dwarfs 'wilvir' as she draws alongside on her way to Gloucester for a refit.
2. A sight never to be forgotten.
Yesterday we were privileged to be in the company, if only fleetingly, of one of the largest remaining wooden tall-ships still in commission. It's a sight I'll remember forever as she passed us by, framed majestically against a blue sky in the bright morning sunshine.
19th Mar 2013, 16:40
1. Heavy rain and hail showers followed by blue sky as dusk approaches.
2. Rooks braving the wind and rain high in the treetops overlooking the canal.
You can always rely on rooks to show off their mastery of flight in the best and worst of the weather. I can sit beneath a rookery for ages, watching them come and go. They're intelligent too. Last night the wind must have been gusting close to 30 knots at times. It amazes me how their nests withstand all that the weather throws at them, exposed as they are to the elements. I've even seen trees blown to the ground with youngsters still in the nests coming to no harm.
16th Mar 2013, 20:27