Oh what A beautiful Morning, from Birstall to Barrow

We could have enjoyed a few more days at Birstall but the water point at at Friars Mill (in Leicester) wasn’t working and we were perilously close to running dry. (CRT were informed so hopefully it’s fixed now). We phoned ahead and were given permission to fill up at Leicester marina, and carried on our way.

The river Soar

Canal builders knew how to make the most of local features and took advantage of the navigable sections of the river Soar so canal and river intermingle which makes for an interesting journey. We love the 1860 bridge at Mountsorrel. It was built to carry the railway supporting the local pink granite quarries. At 90feet (27m) it’s one of the countries longest single span brick bridges. The track was lifted in the 1950s and although it’s now a grade II listed structure, previous restoration was badly done and it’s condition is deteriorating.

The 1860 bridge at Mountsorrel

We were lucky to get onto the visitor mooring at Barrow Boating as there’s only room for 1 narrowboat and a small cruiser.

Visitor mooring at Barrow Boats

During the day there’s a steady stream of walkers crossing the bridge over the weir that permits the river to continue its meanders whilst the canal to cut the corners.

The weir at Barrow


But at 6am in the morning it was all ours for one of the most breathtaking walks we’ve had so far this year. (Not that we usually walk at 6am but when I saw the sun rise and the frost, there was no way I was missing this treat) The flood plane meadow beyond the weir was shrouded in ethereal mist.

It seems like the cattle had the same idea for a morning walk, but thankfully they haven’t worked out how to open the gate over the bridge.

Cattle on the soar

It’s a bit surreal with the daytime reaching teeshirt temperatures, to see a proper frost first thing.

Frosty nettles

I’m quite glad we haven’t discarded the winter duvet yet.

That’s ice on the roof

I usually compile a “create your own calendar” so we can enjoy looking back over our previous years travels, I fear 2022 may be full of misty morning images.

I still haven’t decided which is my favourite

Grazing rights

I should say that Barrow upon Soar looks an interesting place to explore, I’d image it was a thriving place in the 17th/18th century looking at the houses. But with Eric suffering badly from the catkin pollen we decided to leave our daytime explorations until we can return here in another season. There’s plenty of 14 day Armco mooring just beyond the next bridge. And lots of lovely walks