Hungerford and it’s surrounding marshland is a great area for walking. The crystal clear little river Dun flows through the marsh and there’s lots of choice as to which paths to follow. The middle picture is of an egret – I’ve only ever seen them flying or on the ground before.
One day we decided we didn’t want to moor where everyone else was but it wasn’t easy and took lots of determination. It’s not fair to say that there’s nowhere to moor on the K&A – there are designated visitor moorings but they are where the powers-that-be want you to stop for a pub or shops. For those of us who like to moor in the middle of nowhere with open views, it’s really frustrating! And, where there are rare places to get into the bank, the Unofficial Residential Non Compliant Continuous Cruisers are generally well entrenched!!
Locks and swing bridges just kept on coming but when some joker decides to put a swing bridge is in the middle of a lock chamber ……………. well, I ask you!! This is Hungerford Marsh Lock. The truth of the matter is that when the canal was constructed, permission to re-route the existing public right of way around the lock was refused. The crossing had to be provided exactly where it had been before and that is where it remains today.
Now we are in Wiltshire and beautiful thatch cottages abound:- ££££££££££££££££££££
They obviously provide a constant source of work for the professionals:-
We walked away from the canal to see the restored and extremely well cared for windmill at Wilton. It is maintained and operated by The Wilton Windmill Society.
We moored for the night by The Crofton Pumping Station. April Love was there for a short while and we were able to have a bit of a chat with her new owners. It was a somewhat noisy night as the main London – Plymouth railway line, which has been our constant companion since Reading, was a just a stone’s throw away!
We have seen very few boats on the move. After Crofton Top Lock we reached the short summit pound. After all the effort to reach the summit – 52 locks, 13 swing/lift bridges and 35 miles, it was over in little more than 2 miles! We are now, however, seeing the appearance of a few widebeam boats and, since coming through the short Bruce tunnel, we’ve had lots of kingfisher sightings.
We moored for the night at Wootton Rivers. The church clock has the unusual inscription of ‘Glory Be To God’ instead of numbers. We can now look forward to 15 miles of lock free boating. The guide books, maps and articles I have in my possession tantalize by telling me about lovely walks on the downs but whether or not we will be able to moor up in order to access them remains to be seen.