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Weedon Bec & Whilton marina

We had decided to tackle Blisworth tunnel as early as we were able so after a cup of tea at seven, we chucked on our clothes and set off at half past. We were passing the blacksmith shop at the entrance to the tunnel just a few minutes later and then it was into the darkness. It was easy to see that we were alone in the tunnel as we had hoped because it was possible to see the other end. Our trip through was straightforward enough, not too much water fell on the deck and half an hour later we were popping out of the Blisworth end of the bore. It was cloudy, windy and cool but with no locks to do we quite enjoyed our trip through the Northamptonshire countryside. There wasn’t a lot to remark on, a Gayton based hire boat turning at Blisworth boatyard by reversing into the hole, perhaps that’s what they tell them to do since we watched the same thing happen exactly two weeks ago!

We eventually reached Weedon Bec and tied on the church moorings. We walked down the embankment, through the churchyard and then explored the village and then the sun came out and stayed out for the rest of the day. There are a surprising number of shops tucked away down there and after checking them out we made our way up to the old Ordnance factory with its private canal (now cut off from the GU). We were challenged by the civilian security guard but Sue managed to get a picture anyway. We carried on up the hill until we reached the A45 Northampton to Daventry road we wandered into a large antique store, there are others on each side of this road but they are smaller so we only glanced in their windows. We didn’t buy anything but had a good look around before dropping in to the nearby Wheatsheaf which seems to be a pub/cafe/crèche/somebody’s house. We had another drink over the road in the Heart of England before returning to the towpath and walking back to our mooring.

We untied again and made our way to our next stop near bridge 18, the Heart of the Shires Shopping Village. We had a look around the shops there and bought some cheeses before returning to the boat and resuming our journey. This leg only took ten minutes and we were able to moor opposite Whilton marina just a few yards away from the spot we had occupied on the first night of our holiday. After securing Phoenix III, we took a walk over the lock gates and visited the Chandlery as well as having a look at some of the boats for sale in the marina. It was then a case of getting back to the boat for the last night of our holiday and having dinner.