5. Inlanding to London – 1989

North Oxford Canal

Day 5. Stretton Stop to Braunston

15 miles – 3 locks – 11 hours

Through purple-green countryside, entertained by the flurry-dance of damsel or dragon flies. A summer’s day, one to learn about pottering along at canal-pace. Perhaps, today I finally found that pace? It was pretty much an internalised day of lists and clear thinking prompted by the blank canvas of the surrounding countryside. I felt adrift, the ‘outside’ world beyond the confines of the canal, an increasingly long way off. I’m enjoying this – despite the loneliness and the long hours of silence. I feel positive, I am getting there.

Brinklow ‘arches’ c. 1910

Today, follow the long embankment over Brinklow Arches, the long since filled-in aqueduct. Pass Harborough Magna ‘Lily’ gliding through stretches of open countryside and deep cuttings.

One thickly wooded cutting leading to Newbold Tunnel…
Exiting Newbold Tunnel…

and Newbold on Avon prior to entering the outskirts of Rugby.

Hillmorton with its double locks provides a welcome distraction. I love locks!

A further deep wooded cutting shields much of Rugby from view, as the canal describes a wide arc around the town, before further open amd emptied countryside hemmed by bare hills.

Braunston Turn

After hours of relatively empty canal Brauston, a hub of the canal system, brings welcome activity and bustle, suddenly the canal’s crowded with people, there’s an energy and purpose to things, there’s queuing!


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