Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Nominations for Best Cruising Waterway 2011

Before we start on that, I’d better report back on the vote for Best Picture.  We had 14 votes and the people’s favourite by a comfortable margin is the picture of Nb Leo taking the sploosh of the waves.  I’m inclined to agree because of the drama it conveys.  Thanks folks.

Now o to the main business of the day. As we have covered so much new ground water this year, we need a Best Cruising Waterway of 2011 category.  This is bit different from Best Day’s Cruise we had earlier.  Some of these waterways take several days to pass through.  As ever our nominations only apply to places we went on Herbie this year. Let me remind you of where we have been.

1. River Thames – from Brentford to Eynsham

2. Oxford canal, both the southern and the northern sections

3. Coventry canal – entire length

4. Birmingham and Fazeley canal – all of it, but in two separate cruises

5. Trent and Mersey canal, only from Fradley to Shardlow

6. River Trent – only a wee bit

7. River Soar – entire navigable length

8. Grand Union canal – Leicester Arm

9. Stratford Canal – Kings Norton to Lapworth Jn

10. Grand Union main line – Lapworth to Norton Jn.

Phew!  I liked them all.

Let’s just shortlist the top three.

1. Oxford canal - meandering through the countryside and passing through villages, plenty of narrow locks, what’s not to like?

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If I had to put in a criticism it would be that the northern half is relatively featureless except for the Hillmorton locks. Still pretty though, like this typical stretch close to Rugby.

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2. River Soar – feared by some because it can flood, we did it in benign conditions and it was lovely. 

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Even the stretch through Leicester had its charms.

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although Loughborough wasn’t so appealing.

3. River Thames – for all it’s faults, it does have some lovely sections like Cliveden Reach and the Goring Gap,

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not to mention the millionaires’ mansions at Bray.

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and characterful towns like Marlow

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I’d like also to give a “highly commended” to the Coventry canal which despite it’s name is almost entirely rural, and has some very scenic stretches.

Which would you vote for?

Results tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

I loved the long list and admire you for getting it down to a shortlist of just 3.

Of the 3, I have to vote for the Thames, my all-time favourite waterway.

Thanks for organising the Herbie awards - what an opulent affair, what impossible choices :-)

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

KevinTOO said...

I know it's not in the top three, call me awkward if you want, but I vote for the Stratford Canal – Kings Norton to Lapworth Jn.

Adam said...

I'll join Sue in voting for the Thames. We enjoyed it much more than we were expecting to, thanks to some really beautiful sections and interesting towns. Some great moorings out in the middle of nowhere too. You missed out on one of our highlights, though, as we felt that going all the way up to Lechlade was well worth the effort.

Halfie said...

Hang on, Neil - give me a chance to vote! (Who are you calling "small", anyway?) Too late now, but my cross would be in the box marked Oxford Canal.