Over the bank holiday I travelled my longest route to-date. Stoke Bruerne to see the floating markets, over 15 miles of towpaths and then 15 miles home – phew...
The opportunity to explore the canal on a bank holiday weekend without any cars was very rewarding. The countryside scenery: wildlife, canal boats, swans, geese, ducks and coots with their babies and not forgetting the three herons.
It became harder work along the towpath from the Navigation pub near Cosgrove to Stoke Bruerne - the towpath had disappeared so we cycled six miles on grass. Luckily, we were using mountain bikes.
Enroute we met two ladies, an energetic woman with her mother from Yorkshire, who were cycling along the canal tow paths from Northampton to Little Venice in London. My ambitions seem to pale into insignificance in comparison – but hey, now that’s a thought…?
Once we arrived at Stoke Bruerne we treated ourselves to ice cream and then walked up to the floating markets.
We were very impressed with the lovely artwork, crafts and homemade ciders and beers on display and for sale. We took the opportunity to watch the boats coming through the mile long Blisworth tunnel.
We stopped and admired the engineering of the locks (at Stoke Bruerne) in progress.
Finally, we treated ourselves to cider and lovely pub food at The Boat Inn before heading home.
Since joining the Trust it has been my ambition to cycle as much of the canal towpath that runs through Milton Keynes. I feel so privileged to be part of this beautiful expanse of waterway. I get to visit such picturesque offices by the canals.
In Braunston, I loved visiting the old lock keeper’s cottages converted into offices, then stepping out for lunch on a narrow boat.
My ultimate favourite is Hatton, to look out the office window and seeing the lock with the narrow boats navigating it. Then the ducks and coots waddling up to the office door tapping on the glass to bring attention that its feed time. A real treat is walking the lovely towpath to the café selling gluten free food.