It would be quicker to walk, but not as dry

We know that Firecrest is no Ferrari when it comes to playing the speed game, but honestly it would be far quicker to walk sometimes. It’s 6 miles from the Rugby visitor moorings to the Skew bridge at Yelvetoft. But 21 miles by canal, and it took us a week. We were still playing dodge the rainclouds but had enough time to beat the planned winter stoppages so our first stretch of this section was just “around the corner” to the top of the 3 Hillmorton locks.

Top Lock, Hillmorton(yes there is a rainbow there)

It’s a picturesque place and there’s usually a willing crew of volockies to help you through. They take great pride in these twin locks, and are quite sad to know that the surrounding fields are already being turned into a housing development.

Poetry at the Middle lock, Hillmorton

I have mixed feelings, people need homes as well as pretty canals. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I love being in the countryside, with its freedom, it’s wildlife and it’s farm animals.

Cows sheep swans and the Barby Alpaca

Still, we meandered onwards towards Braunston for a night on the outskirts.

We should have known red sky in the morning didn’t bode well for a dry day

Despite it being a Sunday we didn’t join the service at the church, even though we have been made so welcome there in the past. Thankfully the butchers was open and I stocked up on a plentiful supply of Braunston Bangers for our boaters breakfasts.

Braunston is such a busy place, mooring is at a premium and TV reception is poor. So we chose not to linger this time….

Cruising through Braunston in the rain

….and snatched the opportunity to share the Braunston flight with two lovely young couples on their first ever narrowboat holiday. Having never done a lock before I don’t think they realised they were doing me as big a favour as our guidance was doing them. We transitted the tunnel without meeting oncoming traffic and as the storm clouds were brewing again

That looks ominous, time to moor up

We waved goodbye to our new friends, they were heading to the New Inn pub at Long Buckley

If you keep straight on, the pub is on the next corner

We settled for the night just “around the corner” past the gorgeous toll cottage at Norton Junction on the Leicester line.

we’re turning left onto the Leicester line.