Thursday, 27 September 2018

Foxton and Market Harborough again

Terrible recent stormy weather changed our more adventurous plans so we aimed to go out for 3-4 days in a window of sunny opportunity. And so, in warm sunshine though amidst chilly winds and cool mornings, we set out from Welford for Market Harborough.
We are quickly down the Foxton locks in an admirable 40 minutes, mooring at the bottom and eating in the evening at Foxton Locks Inn.
Next day we are up promptly and off to Market Harborough in bright sunshine, though it's still chilly.  We note the pedestrian swing bridge is still broken, push aside the swing road bridge and continue down the Market Harborough Arm. The trees are turning to autumn gold, the canal is full of substantial branches brought down by the strong winds and spying floating logs ahead makes me think of spotting crocodiles in the Zambezi River (there are more hippos than crocs on the Zambezi: Ed).
One of the timbers attaches itself to us but John bravely fights it off with our boat hook and we are saved. Nevertheless the canal is awash with green shade and sparkling sunlight: ideal idle boating.
After an uneventful stroll through Market Harborough (see recent references in our blog here and here) we head back and moor up at Black Horse Bridge, anticipating a pleasant meal at the Black Horse Inn. Frustratingly there is a large sign proclaiming NO FOOD TONIGHT so we trot back down the hill, in gathering gloom we move our moorings nearer to Foxton Locks basin and return to Foxton Locks Inn for a second night.
On the third day, with no time for reflection, we climb once more up the scarred and leaking locks of the Foxton flight (yes it's two staircases of 5 locks each but it's convenient to call the whole lot a flight.) The homeward stretch is very pleasant, pausing for advice at the old North Kilworth boatyard.
We note also that the new marina at Kilworth is now open for mooring and not overly expensive for annual mooring, compared with Welford, if you don't take the £600 Services package. However do note that if you don't want electricity, laundry etc but you do want water, it seems you'll have to buy into the package - an expensive way to buy water.
Happily home at Welford (and with free water ...) we take the opportunity to wash and polish dear Patience, leaving her burnished and shining - at least on the port side. Next week, weather permitting, we may polish her starboard.

Foxton Locks looking down

Foxton Locks looking up

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