Jump to content

Avon Ring June '24


Ken X

Featured Posts

Hi All, team X are planning to bimble around the Avon ring for a couple of weeks starting on 22nd June. 

 

Firstly, are we correct in thinking the ring is all open? We have checked carefully but there is nothing like local knowledge. 🙂 

 

Secondly, OC Domestic has decreed that day visits to Stratford on Avon and Worcester are to be arranged. Can the collective advise on convenient places to moor for a couple of nights at these locations? We have peered at Nickolsons but again a bit of local knowledge would be great. Many thanks all.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Appears to be all open but keep an eye on CRT and ANT notices.

In my opinion, the best place to moor in Stratford is in the Bancroft Basin.  If it is full, moor on the river.

Worcester I would say on the pontoon between Diglis (river) locks and Diglis basin, if you can find space.

Otherwise go up the river a bit further and moor near the racecourse (creative fendering may be needed, the side has an odd overhang).  Indeed go up past the Cathedral anyway, even if you are not mooring up there, just to see Worcester from the river (before turning and coming back down).

I would do the ring clockwise, the Avon locks are more relaxing going downstream.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe it is all open, heading up to Tewkesbury tomorrow and then up the Avon, we always seem to be doing this; plan on going down the Avon if you can.  Mooring can be quite limited in Worcester so stop as soon as you find somewhere.  Stratford has a lot of mooring on the Avon so as long as you have time on your ANT licence you can stop there, otherwise Bancroft basin is excellent apart from the tourists climbing on the boat to take photos .

 

where are you starting from and which way round are you going?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks for all the replies. We are starting at Wootton Wawen and running clockwise. Our local river is the Wey and going down is easier than up so we figured the Avon would be similar. We have subscribed to the ANT email notifications.

 

Always up for a bit of creative fendering🙂.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Ken X said:

Many thanks for all the replies. We are starting at Wootton Wawen and running clockwise. Our local river is the Wey and going down is easier than up so we figured the Avon would be similar. We have subscribed to the ANT email notifications.

 

Always up for a bit of creative fendering🙂.

Yep Avon is much easier going down, the locks are fierce going up.  So when you get to Stratford, if there is space in Bancroft basin, which there probably will be, stop there.  If not you can go down on to the river and stop on the recreation ground.  Bidford is nice if the timing works for you and there is space, otherwise Offenham lock has lots of good moorings.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have moored on Bancroft basin and on the river. I find the river far preferable due to the crowds of tourists in the basin.
At Worcester there is not much space in the basin. There are some spaces above the next lock at the Commandery, after than its a bit naff until out in the countryside. My preference is mooring on the river, there is a pontoon near the river lock, this often has spaces. Alternatively further upstream along the bank where the railways crosses the river (you are supposed to buy a car parking ticket for this).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, jonesthenuke said:


At Worcester there is not much space in the basin. There are some spaces above the next lock at the Commandery, after than its a bit naff until out in the countryside. 

There's a bit of space above Blockhouse now as well, they did some bank repairs and put in a length of armco when they did it. But either the river or Diglis VMs are where we always aim for. If your do go for Diglis and get a choice stop nearest the bridge past the water point, as the other end of those VMs is under a petrol station and there's a compressor which runs until late at night right above your head 🙄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If coming out of the canal onto the river at Stratford, I recommend that if time allows, you turn left and go upriver for a bit. Its easy pleasant cruising up as far as the sharp bend by the Red House, where there is a sign incorrectly announcing the end of the navigation, but you can go on quite a bit further, although the channel gets narrower and shallower. In the past I have taken a 40 ft hire boat right up to Alveston Weir, but you might struggle with a bigger boat. Plenty of room to wind by the weir though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 18/06/2024 at 17:51, Ken X said:

Hi All, team X are planning to bimble around the Avon ring for a couple of weeks starting on 22nd June. 

 

Firstly, are we correct in thinking the ring is all open? We have checked carefully but there is nothing like local knowledge. 🙂 

 

Secondly, OC Domestic has decreed that day visits to Stratford on Avon and Worcester are to be arranged. Can the collective advise on convenient places to moor for a couple of nights at these locations? We have peered at Nickolsons but again a bit of local knowledge would be great. Many thanks all.

 

I assume you're hiring  - do you know how long the boat you're planning on is? 

We did that that trip a couple of years ago in a full length 70' and although we made it things were very tight on some of the locks (to the point where we were considering turning back until we were advised by a friendly fisher to go down one lock backwards! ) 

Edited by cornishdave
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for all the feedback. 

 

Fortunately we are not full length this time so won't have to spin the boat.  Good to bear it in mind for future trips though.

 

Will spend a bit of time peering at Google Earth as Worcester looks interesting.  Suspect we will stay on the river to moor. 

 

Did wonder about pootling left at Stratford for a look see.  Bit of research required.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to say thanks for all the knowledge. Currently moored in Bancroft Basin listening to a Bob Marley tribute act in the park opposite.

 

High spot of the day was sliding straight into a finger mooring without touching the sides with a crowd watching. Couldn't believe it. Pure luck but I'll take it. 😄

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Ken X said:

Just to say thanks for all the knowledge. Currently moored in Bancroft Basin listening to a Bob Marley tribute act in the park opposite.

 

High spot of the day was sliding straight into a finger mooring without touching the sides with a crowd watching. Couldn't believe it. Pure luck but I'll take it. 😄

You will pass us, perhaps tomorrow, we are coming upstream and in Bidford at the moment.  It is still crazy busy in Bidford, I expect Stratford is too.  Roll on tomorrow and them all going back to work!  
 

In general the river has been very quiet during the week, very few boats about, and lots of mooring space everywhere.  There is a decent flow on the river though, and in the narrow spots you will feel it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Having a day off for retail therapy at the command of OC Domestic tomorrow so will be venturing down the Avon on Tuesday. A few slots available in the Basin.  Boat is Anglo Welsh, Rowan 2 if you wish to offer words of encouragement. 😃

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Ken X said:

Having a day off for retail therapy at the command of OC Domestic tomorrow so will be venturing down the Avon on Tuesday. A few slots available in the Basin.  Boat is Anglo Welsh, Rowan 2 if you wish to offer words of encouragement. 😃

We are not going as far as the basin right now, going into Shakespeare Marina on Tuesday to go home for a bit!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Just to report back and close off our trip. Thanks to everyone who assisted with advice.

 

We wombled round the ring in 10 days with stops at Stratford and Worcester and an extra pootle up to Knowle locks just because we could.

 

Points of interest, the Stratford Canal down to Stratford was fine if a little low on water. Mooring in Bancroft basin was easy with several places available.

 

The Avon proved a bit challenging for OC Domestic due to the height of the lock landings. At 4' 11" she is a bit lacking in the leg department and had to scramble up and down a few times. Lock gates occasionally a bit stiff but generally OK.  Loads of moorings available but had to do a bit of boat shuffling at Tewkesbury.

 

The Severn was fine and provided our first Kingfisher sighting of the trip. We arrived at the aggregate wharf just as they were doing a bit of boat rearranging but a few horn signals soon sorted out who was going where.  Diglis lock was quiet and we slid onto the pontoon just above, where there was plenty of room.

 

After a day in Worcester we ascended the Worcester and Birmingham Canal stopping at Tibberton and Stoke Prior where our second Kingfisher perched on the boat. Again moorings were easy to find at both locations. The Tardebigge flight was a real pleasure, we bumped into a volunteer at the second or third lock and he went ahead setting for us for the whole flight. Result was we topped out the flight in four hours having got into a nice rhythm.  We noticed Anglo Welsh have closed their Tardebigge operation which was a pity as we have used the site many times over the years. Stopping at Alvechurch we then turned right at King's Norton, pausing for a pump-out at Lyons Yard. Very pleasant lady sorted us out.  Turned out they are just getting over a nasty fire so hopefully they will be up and running fully soon. Shirley lift bridge was a dream as the road was closed for resurfacing. Just had to make sure the road crew were clear of the barriers and counterweight and we were through. Picked up a couple of volunteers halfway down Lapworth who were happy to help if we wanted them to and we moored easily at Kingswood. Some of the Lapworth locks proved difficult to achieve a top level but we got there.

 

Having spent a day on the Grand Union, where we saw our final Kingfisher, we returned to Kingswood to find the same mooring still free.

 

The last day down the Stratford to Wootton Wawen proved to be the most difficult with heavy gates not fully opening and jumping cogs on paddle gear.

 

Overall impressions were that it was generally quiet on the network. The grass was very long everywhere and there was no sign of contractors which was unusual as we usually either see them or the evidence of their activities.

We saw as many hire boats as private and well over half the hirers we chatted to were from overseas.

 

We had conversations with a few C&RT bods and moral is sadly low. We commented that the system seems to be generally decaying and they agreed. The consensus was that there was not enough money or staff to arrest the degradation despite them working as hard as they could to keep things going. The policy appears to be fix after failure rather than preventative maintenance.

 

Disappointingly this is resulting in verbal abuse from boaters towards staff and one engineer we met had just received a real pasting. We stopped, chatted, and hopefully brightened his day a bit. He was trying to fix a lock paddle gear he knew was in poor condition and had numerous jobs he knew needed doing in the area. He seemed to be overwhelmed with work with no prospect of clearing the backlog.

 

In conclusion the Avon is a great little ring plenty of interest and numerous places to eat and visit. The only caveat is enjoy it whilst we still can as the network is creaking and seems nearer to failing every trip.

 

  • Greenie 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were surprised to be honest.

 

It always struck us as a location with plenty of route options. Talking with the bods at Wootton Wawen it was a bit quick in closing. One minute they had all the boats prepped for the coming season the next minute closure was announced.

 

Apparently Wootton Wawen engineers are covering the Oxford yard for call outs so what with an unexpected influx of unfamiliar boats from Tardebigge they are flat out. Diesel pump was inop on Saturday so they were struggling all round.

 

It'll be interesting to see how Anglo get on running three sites on the K & A now they have picked up Sally Boats.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.