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Bascote to Warwick

The Lucky Fisherman

The weather has continued to bless us with its presence this year. We left our mooring between Bascote and Long Itchington on Saturday morning and made our way to the staircase lock at Bascote where we caught up with nb Tickety who were waiting for a locking partner and that turned out to be us. Our passage down through the staircase and the following two locks was straightforward enough and because we intended to find a mooring soon after, Sue walked from the bottom lock along the towpath. Nb Tickety left the lock first and pulled beyond the lock landing to collect her husband. She avoided the lock landing so that she would not disturb the fisherman who were using it for their pastime! As she waited for her husband to reach their boat, she was rebuked by a fisherman for taking too long. She very politely pointed out that he and his friends shouldn’t really be on the lock landing as it made life difficult for boaters. The fisherman then shouted at her, threw his arms in the air and told her that they, the fishermen, rented the canal and that she was in the wrong. I saw and heard most of the exchange as I exited the lock and the woman didn’t deserve that outburst, she really had spoken quietly, politely and had not done any more than state facts. Why was the fisherman lucky? He was lucky because by now, Sue was about 200 yards along the towpath and completely oblivious to the goings on. Had she been on that lock landing, boy would that fisherman have known all about it!!!

Our mooring for the night was just above the next lock near the Welsh Road Bridge. The afternoon was hot and since there isn’t really anything in the area, we just sat on the front deck and chilled out.


It’s all go at Radford Semele

On Sunday morning we got up and carried on with our slow journey down towards Warwick. After dropping down through the three locks to Fosse wharf, we pulled over and did the services. As we untied, nb Narnia passed us and we joined them in the next lock, working down that and the following two with them. Waving them goodbye at Radford bottom lock, we followed on until we reached Radford Semele where we pulled over and tied up on a nice open mooring. The starboard side of the boat was in the shade so we decided to wash and polish it before relaxing in the cratch for the afternoon. It was lovely, the peace only being broken by the odd cyclist or runner on the towpath and then without warning my elbow was grabbed by a hissing swan which continued to hiss at us until shoed away.

Our mooring near Radford Semele.

Despite the attack of the aggressive swan, our mooring was in such a nice spot that we decided to stay a few days and use it as a base for going into Leamington. Sorry, Royal Leamington Spa, to give it its full name. Sue had ordered some yarn from The Wool Warehouse so on Monday we walked the mile and a half and collected her latest treasure trove. However, Monday wasn’t as straightforward as we had expected. In the early hours, we had been awoken by the sound of a police helicopter hovering overhead for about half an hour and on Monday morning we saw police officers walking along the towpath. I spoke to a couple of them as I walked to the refuse bins at Radford bottom lock and they told me that they were looking for a 35 year old wearing purple trainers. One of them asked me if it was me, I said that I’d take the 35 year old bit but sadly my trainers were the wrong colour. The police helicopter was overhead again as we returned from the Wool Warehouse but we didn’t see any other police presence. In the early evening we decided to take a walk up to the village of Radford Semele and along the way, encountered a number of members of the Lowland Search & Rescue group. A bit of research later on revealed that the voluntary group assist the police in looking for vulnerable people who have been reported missing. We never did find out exactly who the police were searching for but it seemed pretty clear that it wasn’t a criminal investigation. The walk to Radford isn’t that great, from the road nearest the lock there is no footpath and it was pretty busy with traffic when we walked it. There are some rather large and expensive houses in the village, a pub that we didn’t visit and a restored church with large windows which can be seen from the canal.

Evening walk along the towpath.

The White Lion at Radford Semele.

St Nicholas Church

Large windows at St Nicholas Church.

Across the fields at Radford

Unusual looking house

The road back down to the canal does have a footpath but the main road has to be crossed to get access to the towpath and even that is a steep and perilous descent. Once back on board we were further entertained by a large fox which was leaping around the field on the other side of the cut.

On Tuesday we took a walk into Leamington where we had coffee followed by lunch, did a bit of shopping and then returned to the boat.

On to Warwick

It was a little overcast on Wednesday when we awoke but after we had set off, the sun broke through and another beautiful day provided the backdrop for the next leg of our journey. This section of the canal winds its way through the edge of Leamington and despite the multitude of mooring opportunities, we saw no boats tied up at all. We stopped for a couple of hours on the pub moorings near Myton road while we went shopping at Morrisons. There is a handy laundry station outside for those boaters without full size washing machines.

Laundry machines at Morrisons

Once we had returned to the boat, we set off again and travelled the relatively short distance to the Coventry road moorings opposite Kate Boats in Warwick. I had ordered some bits from Ebay to be delivered to Argos in Sainsbury’s so we walked into town and out the other side, picking up my parcel on the way. Our circular route brought us back along the towpath past the two Cape locks and the Cape of Good Hope pub. It seemed silly to pass it by on such a beautifully sunny afternoon so we had a refreshment stop there before completing our walk and returning to Caxton.

An easier day

After yesterday’s exertions, we took it easy today moving from our overnight mooring at Upper Cape to Radford Semele. It was half nine before we untied and moved down to the water point above the Cape locks. After topping the water tank up, we dropped through the locks on our own and made our way to Leamington Spa, stopping off at Tesco for some shopping. 

Shopping done we set off again looking for a mooring that would allow us to visit Royal Leamington Spa. We tied close to the bridge nearest to the railway station in Leamington and walked into town from there. Sue had identified a couple of fabric shops that she wanted to investigate, one of which is virtually next door to a Wetherspoons. Why aren’t all towns planned like this? She dropped me off at the “man crèche” there and collected me half an hour later.

By the time we got back to Caxton it was four o’clock, we untied and made the short hop to Radford Semele where we have tied up for the night and had one of Sue’s culinary creations, a delicious chicken risotto.

Tomorrow we will start our climb out of the Avon valley (again!) having seen the river once again today as we crossed over it on the aqueduct between Warwick and Leamington.