|Twilight in Gloucester basin|
For a canal of just over 16 miles there is plenty to see and do. We spent one day sitting out the rain but other then that found something interesting every day especially exploring Gloucester and finding the old lock. If anyone does want to visit this canal here are a few facts.
- It is wide and deep and at 57ft we could easily wind anywhere. In fact even at 70ft there should be no problem. With the speed limit being 6mph one can motor on if you are so inclined. We did an average of about 4.5mph and barely made a ripple.
- Make sure you don't jump a red flashing light at the swing bridges. Wait for green even though the gap looks to be wide enough. There are 14 swing bridges but 3 (Rea, Sims and Hempsted has enough height for a narrowboat to slip under. All bridges are manned from 8am to 18.00. No DIY allowed!!!!
- Mooring is pretty well anywhere along the canal. For Slimbridge moor at Patch Bridge. Either side of the canal but offside has designated moorings.
- Shopping is few and far between. In fact after Sainsburys at Gloucester (4hour mooring directly outside the store) Sharpness is the only other place that has a Mace store and is a fair walk to get to. Best to stock up before you set off.
- Water and rubbish is nearly at every bridge although some are for long term moorers only. Only 2 elsan disposals, one at Gloucester and one at Saul Junction. Ignore your Nicholsons which states there are full facilities at Sharpness, there is not! Pump Outs are at Gloucester, Saul Junction and Shepherds Patch (Slimbridge).
- Only 2 places on the canal for diesel. Both at Frampton. One in the Marina at 76.6 ltr or at Fretherne bridge at a very reasonable 67p ltr. He takes cash or card. Before you go through the bridge if you are heading towards Sharpness, look for the Gas and Oil sign because you wont see the pump. That is housed on the far wall of the building. The hose is long enough to reach the boat.
- At Sharpness moor before the junction. Wonderful views across the river from here. A water tap is on the corner. Walk round the marina to the old sea lock and continue along the footpath, under the disused railway bridge, to get to Sharpness sea lock.
- One more thing to mention. Moorings in Gloucester dock is along the walls or pontoons. Electric hook up points (card) is on the wall to the right as you exit the lock. We were told this by Vicky and Kevin, tugboat Harry. Do not think of leaving the dock to head for Sharpness between 8.20am and 9am. The bridge keeper has to leave the bridge down because of the rush hour traffic and would leave you hovering until the allotted time. There is no need to phone ahead on any of the swing bridges other then the one in the dock (the lift bridge).
- (This from Paula) There are a couple of other things worth mentioning. There are a couple of small shops in Frampton on Severn which is a beautiful village and well worth a visit. There is a fabulous cafe at Saul junction that is well worth a visit. Finally starting this year the bridges are eventually all going to open via a phone app allowing travel every day all year. Paula
|Checking the depth ready for the Tall Ships to arrive.|