Monday, 11 November 2013

Autumn in Welford

A bright autumnal day, and though the mellow fruitfulness may have gone the leaves are still on the trees and filtering the sun in golden shafts. A good day for boating, except that Patience is currently having her bottom blacked in Oundle.
So, reluctant to miss the a boat-flavoured visit, I headed further west along the A14 to spy out some other marinas. Despite some confusion in my mind between Walton, Whilton, Welton and Welford I ended up in the latter and found it a very attractive spot.
Welford is mid-way along the route of the Leicester to Northampton turnpike, at a point where there was a ford on the river Avon. There is a neat, if packed, wharf, a  marina a few hundred yards further up, and boats moored along the canal between the two. The pub, The Wharf, was packed with locals and walkers (its website briefly describes local walks too) and it all had a busy and sociable feel to it.

A detailed set of information boards suggest walking routes and gives local history, and evidently it is popular with walkers.
I took the simplest route from the wharf, around the marina, past the lock and along the tow path to the junction with the Leicester Line of the Grand Union, returning the same way, a distance of 4 miles or so.

I couldn't find any contact details for the marina while I was there. They seem not to have a website, but I found one phone number: 01858 575995 which might be a contact for Les, the man in charge.
Welford: A bit off the beaten track, and all the better for it!

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Meanwhile, in Sri Lanka ...

Just back from hot and humid Sri Lanka - and still shivering with the temperature change - I thought I'd give a mention of a canal in that far off Island.
The Hamilton Road Canal at Negombo, now only a few miles from the international airport, was started by the King of Kotte to transport local produce from the interior to the coast. It was later developed by The Dutch and later again by the local British agent Garvin Hamilton.
We didn't have time for boating ourselves but would recommend it if you're staying more than a day or two at Negombo. Apart from anything else it's cooler afloat!
I won't go on at length but leave you with a photo from the Visit Sri Lanka website and a few links for further reading.
The Hamilton Canal: A Past and Future Waterway 
and Explore Sri Lanka

An enchanting waterway
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