My mother and stepfather Bill have been visiting the UK from their home in Australia – to meet their new grandchild – and to have a break. They invited me on their week-long canal holiday from Bath and I was able to go with them for a couple of days in the past week. We set off in reasonable weather, mastering a swing bridge early on in the trip, then had a day of miserable cold and rain, hunkering down in the cabin for games of cards, crosswords and the papers with mugs of tea.
On my final day, we had the most wonderful cold start with mist rising off the water and a clear blue sky. Cyclists, runners, dogs and their owners all use the tow paths alongside the canal and it’s great to be surrounded by ducks, swans and other birdlife. Apart from one near miss when another canalboat skipper seemed to have missed seeing us, it was a peaceful trip with incredibly still canal water that ended just after going through our first lock at Bradford-Upon-Avon. This took about 45 minutes, including filling up with water and we could relax at the nearby Lock Inn for an all-day breakfast.