3. Inlanding to London – 1989

Coventry Canal

Day 3. Fradley Junction to Atherstone

21miles – 11 locks – 11 hours

An early start, and after the fiddle of the little swing bridge at Fradley Junction, ‘Lily’ is headed South into the flat, flat, flat open countryside that characterises the first lock-free section of the Coventry Canal. Despite this being a ‘grumbling canal’, the shallow depth causing the prop to pick up every bit of waterbourne rubbish going, make excellent progress…

Passing Huddlesford Junction where the now derelict Wryley & Essington Canal once joined the Coventry.
The W&E became disused east of Ogley Junction and was abandoned in 1954. Restoration work is on the cards, however currently only a small section from Huddlesford Junction to Cappers Lane Bridge is in use as moorings…

I have to admit to missing the locks, they physically break up the day, creating necessary change and challenge. I had though that being solo I’d enjoy the solitary pace of long sections of lock-free canal, but it’s the activity of locks I look forward to, being busy is less lonely.

Hopwas, Hays Wood
The canal meanders south, following the line of the River Tame closely. It’s not until the urban/suburban sprawl of Tamworth that the bottleneck at Glascote Locks is reached.
Then it’s back into seemingly rural miles of arable fields and the odd oak enclosure to the bottom of the long climb of eleven locks into the sprawl of small town Atherstone. The small basin, and Rothen’s yard, at the top of the flight are a treat.
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