Narrowboat Tacet

Silent Movement - Our gap year travelling the inland waterways

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Stratford-on-Avon Canal

After all the locks of the Tardebigge flight there is a welcome rest along the summit, through 2 tunnels to Kings Norton Junction where you can either continue to Birmingham or join the northern stretch of the Stratford-on-Avon Canal.
approaching the junction

toll house

straight on for Birmingham

through the guillotine lock for Stratford
Through another tunnel, watching out for the boys with stones on the bridge, (we'd been warned by a passing boater!) and on through the suburbs to a quiet spot just beyond Shirley.
9 miles, 2 tunnels

With the clocks changing, we wanted to make an earlier start than we often do, so were ready to move off at 8.30. We had the Lapworth flight coming up..
Illsworth Heath village shop
stopping off on the way at Illsworth Heath village bakery. Bread, cakes, pies and pastries are baked on the premises. A good greengrocery too. A very useful little shop, look out for it if you pass by.

views of the Lapworth flight
Arriving at Kingswood junction we went under the footbridge, into the lock to the southern Stratford. Taking the lock to the left leads to the Grand Union Canal and back to Birmingham or south to London.
Tacet passing the first of the barrel roof lock cottages
8 miles, 22 locks

This morning we walked to Baddesley Clinton, a National Trust property which in Elizabethan times was a catholic safe house and has several priest's holes where catholic priests were succesfully hidden. It was the Ferres family home for 500 years until passed to the NT.
the moated house
over the bridge, no longer a drawbridge
into the courtyard
There are servant's quarters to explore and the family rooms, well furnished and decorated. And of course the priest's holes, small spaces hidden in wall panelling and under the house in the drains!

fantastic stained glass
Also gardens and lakes to explore with some lovely autumn colours showing right now.

loads of ladybirds!
Once back on Tacet we set off again the locks are more spaced out so not able to lock wheel ahead but more walking for the one with the windlass.

Autumn trees spotted on the way...

Yes, it really is a car in a tree!
5 miles, 14 locks


  1. I always think the locks on this stretch of the Stratford are just the wrong distance apart: a long way to walk, but not worth getting back on the boat. Plus lots of the paddles are still and the gates are heavy, so it seems like much harder work than a narrow canal should be!

  2. They are hard work, we found the Worcester and Birmingham much better.

  3. I don't suppose you know why there was a car in a tree?

    The moated house looks very interesting!

  4. No idea why the car was there, 'cos someone thought they could I suppose.