Wednesday 24th August; Tythorn lock to Aylestone Meadows
It was a lovely sunny morning again. We had spotted some mooring below the next lock which had Armco piling but were happy where we were, even though as you can see the water level in the pound had dropped a little overnight.
It wasn’t a problem, no pushing was needed to get off. We left about 8.30 and went down to Kilby facilities block for filling and emptying and getting rid of rubbish, including stuff from someone’s picnic we picked up at a lock. The gate paddles in the top gates around here are rather fierce and it is easy to see why you wait for them to be covered before you open them if you are coming up the lock.
There is a pretty little sitting area at Kilby which someone has created by the bridge with a false window to break up the expanse of wall.
At the facilities block is a CRT sign but we weren’t quite sure what it meant – CRT is watching you perhaps?
It got hot very quickly but luckily there were shady stretches along the way and it was all very pretty. There are a lot of patches of a miniature yellow water-lily all in bright flower. I took several photos but the flowers didn’t show up in any of them.
We pulled in after bridge 95 between South Wigston and Glen Parva where there are shady moorings and walked up to Blaby for shopping. We expected a boring traipse across a field but found the path followed an old lane. First it passed Glen Parva Manor, an attractive 15th century manor house which is now a pub.
The lane was shady and quiet, closed to traffic apart from bikes and popular with dog walkers.
The lane dropped down to an old ford across the river Sence. There is now a footbridge and the ford is popular with local families.
We followed the way past the church and this interesting barn. Shame about the graffiti.
We had not been to Blaby before and found a lot of shops but nothing we really wanted to patronise apart from Waitrose and a rather splendid pet shop. On the way back we had a look at the Moat, which is not well defined but is in a little public park next to the pub. It is believed that manor houses in this part of the Midlands had moats either for defence or just to show how grand/rich the owner was. We had our lunch back on the boat and Meg had a pig’s ear, a mega treat for her.
Although the shade was lovely we didn’t stay put. We wanted to get down to Aylestone Meadows tonight so we had a chance of a mooring in Leicester tomorrow. It was scorchingly hot, so sun-cream, hats and copious glasses of squash were the order of the day. We moored at the meadows below King’s lock just before 5 o’clock. The towpath is not wide, and busy with dog walkers, commuting cyclists and runners.
So no sitting out, but lots of lovely walking for Meg on the paths through the meadows. I took her out straight away as Dave had a bit of work to do. The original packhorse bridge over the river Soar has triangular refuges (like Essex bridge at Shugborough Hall) where walkers could stand as the loaded packhorses went by.
Dave and Meg got back from her second walk just as it began to rain. It was still hot and every time the rain eased off we had to open the side hatch to cool the boat down while we cooked. We had wondered about eating in the pub, but when I checked the menu earlier they seemed to have more burger choices than other items on the menu, and that wasn’t very appealing to us. Braving the rain were a couple of chaps with a motorised floating device of some sort, though it broke down the second time they used it.
The wake looks huge but didn’t rock the boat at all. Noisy though and probably a bit illegal.
6 miles 11 locks