Stratford-Upon-Avon is extremely popular for narrow boat Excursions both for holiday hires and owners like us.
There are a total of 129 locks on the 109 mile route of The Avon Ring and Stratford-Upon- Avon is part of it, so we would have several locks to operate to get there in a chugging journey of some three to four days from here (no traffic, no blaring radios, no screaming kids, just the peace and tranquility of nature as we ripple gently along).
We haven’t been through one yet, but thought that today we would go up in the car to see what was on offer, where we could berth, and the costs involved before setting off to Explore the waterways in the boat.
If you stay on the river, the cost is just £5 a night. This is cheaper than most camp sites.
To get off the river and into the basin, you have to go through the lock though. Berthing overnight therein is free, but you have to have a CRT (Canal River Trust) licence which is £680 for the year, but you can get apply for shorter licence periods of 3 or 6 months instead.
We currently just have the ANT (Avon Navigation Trust) licence.
We went to Stratford years ago as it was part of a weekend trip with the Sports and Social Club of the company I worked for. What had attracted us was for £25 each we had two nights B&B in Stratford at The Premier Inn, a full day in Alton Towers (2 of the biggest kids ever are sitting here on the boat) and a full morning to explore Stratford before the coach left at 2.15pm for our return journey to Bournemouth.
Back to our visit today.
We managed to park in the town centre and had a little walk around. Maggie was very good and didn’t pull too much, though there was plenty to sniff, and she was desperate for some grass upon which to do ‘the business’.
The place hasn’t changed much from what we remember, and after going to the bank, we
got some lunch and sat down in the park to eat.
Maggie was given her share, and settled down whilst we ate ours.
In fact, she was very quiet, so I turned round to see why.
She had her back to me and was staring intimidatingly at the couple sitting on the wall behind us eating hot sausage rolls.
She was positively drooling, having perfected the ‘Poor me, I’m hungry and my owners don’t feed me’ look. I apologised profusely to the couple concerned, who I’m afraid had no sense of humour at all, and was just grateful that her lead didn’t reach far enough for her to physically rest her head on their knee and look even more ‘pathetic’. It was Embarrassing.
Having finished our lunch, we crossed over the bridge, and recognised a small boat that had been berthed on the river up by our lock last week.
We went over to say hello, and the couple remembered us. This is one of the main things we like about the boating life, everyone is so friendly.
As we were chatting, a swan swam up beside us and stretching its neck to its maximum length, started rummaging around in the bedding they were sorting out on the pontoon.
It appears that she has been feeding them, and this one was obviously after its dinner!
All images of Stratford-Upon-Avon from google