Today was much more leisurely. We didn’t get cruising until 10.30amas both exhausted from the last two very long days. We had five hours of cruising with a few locks and swing bridges to go through.
The purposes of the swing bridges are to usually connect farmers fields and access for the cows to the milking sheds. Sometimes they are road bridges but usually for minor roads. There are a few swing bridges up in Liverpool which are on major roads and they have very limited opening times and are governed by a Canal and River Trust employee.
The countryside we were going through today is very rural English style with rolling hills and we also looked over onto the Salisbury Plains. It is different to the countryside up north of the country. If anything, the countryside down here does remind us more of New Zealand.
One thing that has been very apparent to us on the Kennet and Avon Canal is the lack of wildlife. There was heaps more wildlife going into London which is surprising. This is why we were very surprised to see this Moorhen and also such a young brood. There are less ducks, swans (thank goodness), Canadian Geese and even fish. There is no shortage of Horse Flies and midges though. Going past a farmers hay field that had just been turned over created a black swarm of Horse Flies that ate us alive.
We arrived into Bradford On Avon late in the afternoon. This gorgeous town is also referred to as Little Bath as it has so many similarities in appearance. What was very pleasant for us was the non existence of any coach tour groups. All the visitors we saw today were pretty much locals.
After mooring up, which we were very lucky to find, we walked back along the canal into town. This lock is fairly central to town and goodness, the gongoozalers were out in quantity. We will be heading off through the lock in the morning so we will not have this kind of audience providing us with all their words of wisdom.
We walked away from the canal and through a great park to the River Avon. This is not the River Avon that goes through Stratford On Avon. In fact, there are several rivers in England called Avon. The name “Avon” is a cognate of the Welsh word afon, “river”. This photo is taken across the Avon towards the Trinity Church.
The flowers in the city were the same as what we saw at the pub last night. They are quite inspirational. You can see the steepness of the side of the Avon Valley that we are in and the building material is the same as they use in Bath and what makes Bath so famous.
This bridge called simply Town Bridge dates from the 13th Century and was doubled in width in 1769. We noted it had a weight limit of 15 ton which is remarkable considering the date it was erected. This bridge is on the main high street so gets a lot of traffic.
Then there was this little beauty. It is circa 1502 and still in use. It is currently used as tea rooms which have twice won awards of being the best tea rooms in England. They were closing up as we arrived but we might try to make it for afternoon tea on our way back. We were stunned when they said that dogs were welcome.
We wandered back through the park and the playing fields and sat down for half an hour to watch a couple of the local cricket teams bat it out. It was such a lovely evening and relaxing after our last couple of crazy days. Dinner was at a pub again as we were just too chilled to want to go back to the boat and cook, and we wonder why our clothes are getting tighter but we did not indulge in dessert!