A narrowboat trip from Worcester to Stafford and back

Worcester. A city on the River Severn.

The place dates back a couple of thousand years or so, but we are more interested in it’s English Civil War history as we do a lot of reenactment and Living History for that period

Perhaps the best known building from that period is the Commandery, King Charle’s headquarters during the Battle of Worcester.

The Commandery, WorcesterCaroline at the Commandery, Worcester

Too long: didn’t read

Went to Worcester and picked up a narrowboat at the marina.

Out of the marina, turned right and went down a few locks to the River Severn.

Turned up the Severn and cruised for a couple of hours, passing through one lock and mooring up before the second as the lock keeper had gone by then.

Carried on up the Severn next day and turned into the River Stour at Stourport.

Cruised a day or so to the Staffordshire and Worcester canal.

Cruised a bit further until the last winding hole (turning point) before Stafford. Then turned and moored, got the bikes out and cycled into Stafford.

Did it all again in the other direction.

Single track canal with passing places

Pendleford Rockin, a narrow cutting in sandstone, forming a single width canal with passing places on the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal.

Bringing the boat down through Bratch locks

Caroline piloting the boat down through Bratch locks. Engineered by James Brindly as a staircase lock and then reworked as three individual locks, with very short pounds between them.

Worcester cathedral from the Severn

A narrowboat on a wide river. Cruising down the Severn into Worcester, with the cathedral appearing to sit on Worcester Bridge.

A bit of wildlife

One of the nice things about a canal holiday is the wildlife.

DucklingDuckling. We were on the canal in early May, so there were lots of ducklings. Most moved too erratically to allow a good picture but this one was a bit more cooperative.





A moorhen sitting on its nestMoorhen on its nest.

Very unusual, most nests are hidden away.

Actually the most common view of a moorhen is its tail end as it walks into the undergrowth as you approach.






A pair of sandpipers flying down the severnA pair of sandpipers flying down the Severn.

It looked like a male desperately trying to impress a female. They would stop on the bank for a few seconds and then one would dart away, closely followed by the other. This went on for several miles.

 



Honey bee on green alkanetHoney bee (Apis mellifera) on Green Alkanet.

We hadn’t seen a lot of bees in the spring, so it was good to find some busy on a sunny corner of the canal bank.







Green veined white butterflyGreen veined white. Fairly common, but this one has lost the dark spots near its wing tips, so it’s probably getting on a bit and has had the colour bleached out by the sun.

Stafford

The Ancient High House

Stafford's Ancient High HouseThe ancient high house is the largest timber framed town house in England.King Charles and Prince Rupert stayed there and it is now a museum. What’s more, it’s free, although donations or purchases at the shop are appreciated.

Stafford's Ancient High House, Tudor bedrooKing Charles slept here, possibly. Actually it’s the Tudor bedroom but the Civil War room doesn’t have a bed.


Working the locks

Ian does most of them while Caroline steers the boat. But once in a while she’ll have a go at one of the smaller ones.

Caroline working the lockAnd to show that Ian does some as well

Ian working the lock

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