Tewkesbury

This morning we knew before getting out of bed, that the really good weather had returned. The boat began creaking due to the heat of the sun on the steelwork, long before we would normally consider rising. So not long after 8am we moved the boat forward to the water point, and then had breakfast whilst the tank was filled. It was then only a short hop to Pershore Lock. Part of the Weir stream at this Lock, has been adapted to provide hydroelectric power, using an Archimedes screw.

Archimedes screw at Pershore Lock

Once through the Lock, we had to navigate two bridges, very close together. When the water levels are high, it causes turbulence at the base of the arches. Today the passage through was uneventful.

Pershore Great Bridge, followed by Pershore New Bridge

We now had about four miles of cruising to enjoy before the next Lock. One thing we have noticed on our trip down the Avon, many of the trees lining the banks, have large ball shaped growths, in amongst the branches. On closer inspection they were found to be mistletoe.

Mistletoe growing in the trees

After about six miles it was close to lunchtime, so we stopped at Eckington Wharf and picnic area for about 30 minutes. So far we had seen very little river traffic, but this was soon to change. Strensham Lock, was the last of the Avon Locks the crew would operate, then we passed beneath the M50 motorway. Our final two miles to Tewkesbury, saw eight boats pass us. We hoped this would mean plenty of mooring space. We navigated through King John’s Bridge, then winded just beyond Avon Lock. Plenty of mooring was available, in the section where the Lock keeper receives three pounds for the night.

Moored by Avon Lock, Tewkesbury

After securing the boat, we wandered into town for a look. Both Tewkesbury and Pershore each have an Abbey. The one in Tewkesbury is the most impressive. We also had an ice cream, but four legs doesn’t know. He was left behind on guard.

Tewkesbury Abbey

We are now perfectly placed for our transit through Avon Lock tomorrow, and onto the mighty river Severn.

Totals 14 Miles 3 Locks

Running total 89 Miles 109 Locks 3 Tunnels

Pershore

Well our temporary stay at Offenham, ended up being two days due to the rain. We did see plenty of other boats moving, and felt very relieved that we did not have too. The water level has also risen since our arrival. Initially we had to step up, out of the boat and onto the bank, now we are level with it. A quick check with the Environment Agency river levels website, confirmed that not much more of an increase is expected, and the river level gauge by the Lock, was still in the green zone. So, Friday 10/5 after topping up with water, we got underway.

Filling with water at Offenham

The Lock ahead was set in our favour. One advantage of cruising on rivers over canals, is not having to stop and close gates, as you leave the Locks. After a couple of miles we were approaching Evesham with its lock, and fairly large Weir. We had seen due to a bend in the river, that a boat coming upstream would take the Lock, and therefore we would need to wait. The Lock landing at Evesham is next to the Weir edge. You don’t need to worry about how you get to it, the flow of water takes you there.

Waiting to enter Evesham Lock
A bit too close for comfort

Once through Evesham, we crossed a boundary from the Upper Avon to the Lower Avon. This split in ownership of the river occurred in 1717, and both sections, were separately managed until 2010, when the Avon Navigation Trust was formed. We spent the next half an hour rounding Evesham, as the river forms a horseshoe shape around the town. We had to toot the horn as a warning for the ferryman at Hampton, to lower the wire in the river, then it was on into open countryside. At Chadbury Lock we were joined by a hire boat, but only for one Lock, as we planned a stop for lunch. A mile and half further on, we arrived at Craycombe Turn, a small section of flood safe moorings, and we tied up for lunch. No public house here, so it was an onboard picnic.

Craycombe Turn moorings, Lunch stop

There was a small field adjacent to the mooring, which four legs decided to play in. The lack of a towpath for walking the furry crew, is one thing we have missed from the canals. After lunch we set off once more. Passing the canoe centre, we had to dodge dozens of kids playing on the water, then we arrived at Fladbury Lock and Mill.

Fladbury Lock and Mill

The weather had been pleasant so far, but as the afternoon wore on, the clouds started to build. Approaching Tiddle Widdle Island, by the village of Wyre Piddle, so it did, piddle on us. Fortunately only a passing shower, not the heavy rain of the previous two days. Through Wyre Lock, and we now had just a mile to go to our intended spot at Pershore. On arrival there was plenty of space, so we moored and then wandered into town for a look around.

Mooring at Pershore

Later in the evening, we spoilt ourselves with another takeaway, whilst checking the guide books for the next leg of our journey to Tewkesbury.

Today the sunny warm weather returned. The mooring is close to a large wetland water meadow, with footpaths crisscrossing it back towards Fladbury. We took four legs for his daily walk, then the crew nipped into town to top up the supplies.

Four legs having a rest amongst the buttercups

Tonight we will sample the local fish and chips, just to support the local businesses, then tomorrow Tewkesbury, and the junction of the river Avon and the river Severn, at 220 miles, the longest river on the British mainland. We shall only be doing sixteen miles of it, heading north to Worcester.

Totals 14 Miles 5 Locks

Running total 75 Miles 106 Locks 3 Tunnels