A Day on a Narrowboat

Spent a chilled day on the Avon & Kennet canal last weekend, courtesy of Ali and Juliet, a couple of Felix's friends, who were away across the pond for a couple of weeks.
We were a motley crew of seven, comprising Felix and his four lovely housemates, Philip, plus yours truly...
Our skipper - Justin
Greg & Justin
Bina, James and me
Philip, Felix and I had been to a family golden wedding in Reading the day before, so we'd set off early to join the others by mid-day in Bath.  The weather was glorious and the Brasseries were flowing fast and furious.  I must have led a sheltered life, as I hadn't come across these wonderful tiny bottles of amber nectar before, but I must say they went down a treat in the heat.
Our makeshift picnic lunch of hummus, guacamole, olives, camembert, ciabatta, and crackers tasted way better than it would have done indoors, spread out like a feast on the roof and eaten while we chugged along, watching the floorshow of a bevy of other boats, painted every colour under the sun.

Canal life is lived in technicolour, with inspiration wherever you look - colour, pattern and form. Each boat is a work of art, expressing its owner's unique personality.
Eat your heart out Leonard Cohen - freedom!
Some boats even have their own resident dog or cat...
Fell in love with this gorgeous girl
Much wildlife was spotted including many dragonflies, damselflies, ducks, geese and this heron...
The locks and swing bridges brought interesting diversions, expertly navigated by our clever crew.
Lining Ali and Juliet's narrowboat up for a lock
Closing the swing bridge
 Plus several sculptures spotted on the banks amongst the Joe Pye weed.

Approaching Avoncliffe
Eventually we arrived in Avoncliffe just as the light was beginning to fade, in time for Greg to get out his guitar and play a few songs after we'd moored - including an awesome rendition of Dylan's Hurricane  - I can well see why it's had 84,000+ hits on YouTube!
Of course I can never miss a chance to get hold of a guitar, so it turned into a bit of a session and we were pretty hungry by the time we started to think about supper. 
We finished the day at the nearby pub, the Crossed Guns, with a hearty pub supper of chips and veggie burgers, whilst the non-veggies had other local delicacies like steak and ale pie. A wonderful time messing about on the river!


  1. Just love it! I've always been dreaming of a holiday in a narrowboat on the canals in England. Thank you, again! Hilde

  2. Oh hey, look at you , playing (and singing) ! Coming along I see, I'd love to be out on a boat getting towed by a big Shire horse. Do they still do that? Lovely post.

    1. No shire horses seen on our trip, but have seen lovely pics of the gentle giants working the canals. Am getting quite excited about the music (with our Ireland knitters' tour looming). Philip bought me an amp and I'm having a lot of fun messing around with it x


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