Friday, 5 June 2009

Tewkesbury to Saul Junction and onwards to Sharpness.

Thursday 4th June

The lock at Tewkewsbury does not open until 9am so we had a early shop and watered and were ready when the lock keeper came on duty. He duly relieved us of £6 (2 nights at £3 for mooring) Not a large fee, although there are no facilities and we had paid £55 to come down the Avon, however the trust needs money to maintain the Avon so must not be too grudging.
We locked through with another boat and had a pleasant trip down the Severn to Gloucester. Still good weather although cooler than of late. The river is pretty but does not have the interest of the Thames.

The guide books are quite alarmist about the approaches to Gloucester Dock but we had phoned ahead as per instructions and the lock was waiting open for us. The conditions are ideal as there has been little rain recently and the water is very low.

A small boat was already in the lock so we were three abreast and room for more behind.
There is quite a rise to come up into Gloucester Docks and it took about 10 minutes.
There seemed to be plenty of mooring space on new looking pontoons. However we were not planning to stop until the return trip so we carried on through.
Several tall ships were there, including the Matthew. We had missed to collection of all the tall ships by one weekend.

The Matthew

To leave the dock area there is a huge swing bridge which duly opened to let us pass. We were now on the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal. This is a delightful canal, very wide and very peaceful. There are numerous swing bridges which are all electrically operated and manned. There is plenty of good mooring places all along and if you miss a good place and want to go back, it is wide enough to turn almost everywhere.
Our intention was to stop at Saul Junction. This is where the Cotswold Canal will join if and when it is fully restored. There are good facilities there including showers. The mooring was good with a nice wide towpath.
Geoff took a couple of long walks to suss the area out and decided it would do well for the weekend. He found a pub for Sunday lunch and a church at Fremilow.
The intention for Friday was a dash up to Sharpness and return here. However on making contact with Klim and Tina on Strathmore who were moored there and gave glowing reports we thought we might stay the night.
Friday 5th June
We duly set off and had a 2 1/2 hour trip and enjoyed this end of the canal. The mooring is as delightful as they reported. Good wide towpath and just over a low wall we look over the Severn Estuary. We had a good reunion with Tina and Klim over coffee on the bankside and then they departed to return to Slimbridge to collect some friends.
We set off to explore the docks and estuary area.

1 comment:

BigJohn said...

Great blogs, Gill. Great to see Gloucester again. Keep it up.