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Croxley Green

Croxley Green to Kings Langley

When we set off on our adventure back in May we believed ¬†that, unlike all of our holidays and short breaks over the years, we wouldn’t have to factor the weather into our travel plans. That isn’t entirely true but it does mean that we don’t have to travel in the rain or have to have long days to compensate for days lost to really bad weather. Wednesday was forecast to bring heavy rain all day so we decided to move a bit further on Tuesday and then sit out the storm.

It was 8.30 when we set off and after making slow progress past the long line of moored boats, we worked up through the first lock and took on water.

Cassiobury park looked quite gloomy, the trees are still in full leaf but it was the leaden coloured sky which made everything look dull.

We were caught up at the next lock by nb Myra-D so when we reached the next lock after that, we waited for them to catch us up again and we worked the next three locks with them. As we left Lady Capel’s lock, Myra-D encountered a problem that they thought would involve a visit to the weedhatch. We carried on, expecting them to catch us up at the Hunton Bridge locks half a mile further on. Sue prepped the lower lock and while I manoeuvred into position, she set the upper lock too. Then we waited but after a while had to come to the conclusion that our lock buddies had encountered a bigger problem than they had anticipated, so we carried on.

Eventually we reached the bridge which carries the M25 over the canal and railway and passed under it, we had first entered the concrete motorway ring which sits around London when we passed under the road between Runnymede and Staines just over a month ago as we made our way down the Thames. Shortly after passing under the motorway, we reached Kings Langley where we found a mooring below the village lock. The pound was a little low and as a result we struggled to get the stern close to the bank but with a bit of rocking and the use of the fat fenders, we were in and secure. Having travelled for four hours and worked through nine locks, we decided to get showered and go to the local pub for lunch, something that we had done when we passed this way five years ago. As before, lunch was very good at The Rose & Crown and it was four o’clock when we arrived back at our boat. A few minutes later and we could hear a boat engine so we looked out to see nb Myra-D lashed to another narrowboat with only the other boat’s engine running. It turned out that the problem that they had was a broken cable but they had arranged for one to be delivered to them the following day. Maybe we’ll see them again on our travels and find out the whole story.

A fleeting glimpse of Watford

Croxley Green is only just over two miles away from Watford town centre so on Monday, after a lazy start, we walked into town and explored the place. It was alright, a busy High Street with a large Intu shopping centre filled with all of the usual retail suspects.

After a wander around we dodged a heavy rain shower by ducking into one of the local Wetherspoons. A couple of drinks over a satisfying lunch let us avoid a drenching and when we emerged on to the High Street we saw that the sky still looked threatening and that there were a number of bus stops just across the road.

It wasn’t too difficult to make the decision to get the bus back to Croxley Green even though we had only had a fleeting glimpse of Watford. I don’t wish to disrespect the town but its centre at least doesn’t seem to hold anything unique for the traveller.

We weren’t too sure of which bus to catch and when we asked the driver of the 420 bus, he didn’t seem too helpful. Luckily enough, a fellow passenger who was sitting near the front of the bus told us that if we got off when he did, he would point us in the right direction. True to his word, he let us know when he was getting off and as promised, pointed us in the direction of the road to the canal. We had only just reached the boat when the rain started again and it continued on and off for the rest of the evening so we just spent our time indoors chatting about nothing in particular and everything in general – as usual!

Short hop to Croxley Green

In the time since I retired I have woken up at any time between 4am and 9am, no idea why but with very little to do each day it doesn’t bother me. On Sunday I awoke at 7.30, just a little hungover from the afternoon spent in the local Wetherspoons. For reasons best known to herself, Sue felt the urge to get up and get going so at eight o’clock she forced me out of bed and made me get the boat moving. The overnight temperature had been quite low so the early morning trip was a little fresh feeling to say the least but it did clear my fuzzy head! We stopped below Batchworth lock and carried out our services again and then set off. We didn’t travel far, three locks and a couple of miles brought us to Croxley Green where we found a good straight mooring with Armco lining the bank and for the first time since we left Kidlington on the Oxford canal, we were able to use our piling pins with a little spring at the stern giving us a really secure mooring.

Croxley Green has a village feel to it with a tube station, a couple of pubs and a few local convenience stores. In reality it is a suburb of either Rickmansworth or Watford although judging by house prices it’s probably still classed as a part of London. We had a wander around and did a bit of shopping after we arrived on Sunday but spent most of the afternoon sitting on the front deck of Caxton in the sunshine.