Monday, 21 August 2017

The Grand Union Canal

The Grand Union Canal is unique among English canals in that it is composed of at least eight separate canals.  The system links London with Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham.

We are doing the section from Brentford up to Braunston.

After exiting Thames Lock Arkholmes engine stopped completely and coasted alongside this dutch barge where we stayed for several hours while River Canal Rescue came and sorted the problem.
Air had got into the fuel system.

Gauging Locks 

Brentford canalside.

We managed to find a mooring just below Clitheroe's Lock.  Trev spent the following day down the engine cleaning and tidying.

The lad did a good job.

The Grand Union has a 14'6" beam so its two boats at a time.

Grand Union wildlife.

The start of Hanwell flight of locks, 8 in all.

Heads down, the only way is up!!!

The remains of a Victorian mental asylum, the infilled brickworks once served as a arched loading bay.

I went on to set the next lock while this one was slow filling - 1 ground paddle and gate paddle out of action.  Its starting to bring back memories of Wigan Flight!!!

Yep 10 locks is a shock to the system after being spoilt on the Thames.

Today dawned with 'missle'

Mr Heron standing guard.....

over this little commune....

where Toggenberg is moored, a old favourite off the Lancaster Canal.

The Paddington Arm which leads to the Regent Canal and on to Limehouse down on to the Thames.

The Slough Arm

Our overnight resting place below Cowley Lock despite what Mr T put on his facebook status!!!!

Here is hoping for sunshine tomorrow.

Kingston-on-Thames and Brentford

Approaching Kingston Bridge.....

and a rendezvous with Huffler and Magic

We went off to explore the town before we all met up for a evening meal and a jolly good catch up.

It surprised us how much town there was to see.

Trev just doesn't know his own strength

A all too brief meeting with these guys this year. 

We had to be at Teddington Lock by 11.45am to be ready to go at 12.15pm

Exiting the lock

Plenty of water for us today.

Isleworth at high tide....

and the boats afloat !!!

So relieved to see the boat in front turning into Brentford, our engine had been cutting out, Trev thinking there was water in the fuel and we
 needed to moor a.s.a.p. 

So at Brentford we join the Grand Union Canal and begin our journey north.

The Thames has been amazing, we have loved every minute.  We have met very friendly people, visited lovely towns, the mooring has been challenging in places and the locks have been a pleasure thanks to the lock keepers.


466 1/2 Miles, 229 locks, 21 swing bridges and 15 tunnels. 

A River Cruise to Westminster

We will be only cruising the tidal Thames as far as Brentford because although it is possible to cruise upstream to Limehouse(in a narrowboat) it is advisable to cruise downstream thus going with the tide and not against it.  The thought of cruising passed the Houses of Parliament appealed to one and all and this river boat did just that.

Here we are in Richmond Lock.  When we cruise down in Arkholme we will be inside the 2 hours before and 2 hours after high tide  when the weirs are raised thus allowing us to cruise though without the use of the lock.  

This is the river at 4p.m, the level of the river taking us very much by surprise.

The islands have beaches.

As does Isleworth

The boats are well and truly aground.
Our captain struggled to find a navigable channel and told us that the Environment Agency, in their wisdom, have decided that the Thames is self dredging!!! He believes that without dredging this part of the river will be impassable at low tide thus bringing an end to river cruises from Hampton Court Palace to Westminster.

Fulham football ground.

The City of London is getting closer.

The iconic Battersea Power Station being transformed into modern day living and leisure.

A modern day London skyline.

Our first glimpse of the Houses of Parliament.

Mission complete....cruising past the Houses of Parliament!!!

Not forgetting the London Eye.

The boat trip was one-way so we had a little wander round, found a nice Italian restaurant that served delicious food and was Fen friendly.  Then we braved Waterloo station and got a train back to Hampton Court.

A good time was had by all!!!!