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Into the Severn Valley

After yesterday’s marathon effort, we were in bed at 9.30 last night. Fully rested, we got on our way and left our mooring at Compton wharf at twenty to nine. It was still as windy as it had been the day before but it was dry and reasonably warm as we drove on to the first lock of the day. 

Our descent into the Severn valley revealed a subtly different landscape to that of the Trent valley that we had climbed out of over the last few days. The canal seems wider and deeper, the variety of trees and plants slightly different, both sides of the hill being pretty and picturesque. It’s hard to believe that we have been travelling so close to the huge conurbation of the West Midlands and yet have only passed through open countryside.

This part of the Staffs & Worcs is new to us and our journey today took us down through the Bratch locks, locks which were built as a staircase and then converted. They still need to be managed closely though and today there were three lock keepers on duty to aid the passage of boats through the short flight. We were third in the queue but with nothing coming up, we were soon in the top chamber. After the Bratch there is a normal lock with the curious name of Bumblehole Lock and then onto a proper staircase lock at Botterham. We then descended the two locks at Swindon and tied on the visitor moorings there. 

Dinner tonight is beef that Sue has had in the slow cooker all day (the smell is driving me mad so I might risk sampling it while she is showering!)

There are two research establishments in the village that we might check out later, The Green Man and the Old Bush.

We did 13 locks in 6.5 miles today so with a bit of luck we should reach Stourport on Severn by Friday lunchtime.