Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Rickmansworth to Hemel Hempstead

Mum came and joined me on Constance for a week. We parked at Tesco in Rickmansworth whilst I went and fetched the boat from her mooring way above Batchworth Lock. Mum waited patiently in the car. We then loaded all of our stuff for the week and did some shopping at Tesco before moving across the canal to the Rickmansworth Visitor Moorings ready to move on the following day.
Every half mile of so you find the resident heron standing guard and hoping to see a meal swim by.
We were being watched by this fine specimen!
 Cassiobury Park is a lovely place for the kids to visit. There are extensive play areas and a massive paddling pool among acres of fine woodlands.


Mum ensconced in the bow

A well kept lockkeeper's cottage

Grove Bridge

The turn after Grove Bridge before Lady Capel's Lock

Apsley basin

66 miles to go!

The Paper Mill - Apsley

Friday, 11 July 2014

Up the Grand Union to Rickmansworth

We went east as far as Sturt's Lock before turning back. We then had to negotiate the Camden locks on a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon with a massive audience some of whom were a little the worse for wear.

Alison at Sturt's Lock

Part of the reception committee at Camden

Most watched

Some waved
 I was photographing them photographing me. We all smiled and waved to each other.
But they all smiled

The Gondolier punted and the guitar player played

The Lord Snowdon designed aviary at London Zoo

His plastic boat was not big enough so he added a raft and then a dinghy

We are now out of the Paddington Arm and on the GU proper, heading north
The inauspicious entrance to the Slough Arm

Denham Deep lock

This swan family came for their breakfast

I think this means 'No Trespassing'!

Eventually he did show off properly to his 'Ladies'.
As you leave Uxbridge everything just gets better. We can relax a bit now we are on canals we understand. Plenty of space to stop and moor and even some places to park the car.

Camden Market

The walk back from St. Pancras was rewarded by the atmosphere of Camden Market on a Sunday morning. Alison was in her element! So many clothes shops to choose from.

Alison was very pleased with her new coat!

Paddington to Camden Lock

I am not quite sure where Paddington Lock ends and Little Venice begins, or even if Little Venice is a real place... As you leave Paddington Basin to go east you pass through many moored boats and some lovely houses before reaching Maida Vale Tunnel.
Boats in Little Venice

The west portal of Maida Vale Tunnel

Lissom Grove Basin
 You come out of Maida Vale Tunnel into Lissom Grove Basin where there are many boats permanently moored.

A house in Regent's Park
 You then turn the corner into Regent's Park with its lovely houses and London Zoo
'Blow-up' bridge - Regent's Park

The Chinese Restaurant in Cumberland Basin

The footbridge over Camden Lock

We had a good reception party - lots of Gongoozlers at Camden

My confident crew performing at Camden Lock

As we go down the first lock
We stopped for the night at St. Pancras. There are very few visitor moorings in this part of London, so we had a bit of a walk to get back to Camden Market.

Hanwell to Paddington Basin

We have now moved on from Hanwell Top lock to Paddington Basin. After a couple of miles from Hanwell Top Lock you reach Bulls Bridge and turn right on to the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal. This takes you north and then east through Southall, Northolt and Kensal before entering Paddington Basin.
Quite the strangest paddle boat I have ever seen!

Bulls Bridge - entering the Paddington Arm of the GU

'Constance' - meet 'Constance'

An example of 'Bankside Art'
And another

The A40 sweeps over the canal and leaves us in peace

Browning's Island - Paddington Basin

Paddington Basin - now looking very posh.
 We stopped for the night not far from Paddington Basin and had a look round.