Thursday, December 03, 2015

Herbie Awards - first winner, plus favourite flights listed

Welcome back. So having read about the five best places we ate food at this year, we have to decide on the winner.  This years winning meal was so good that I knew it would win as soon as I finished eating it, and that was way back in the summer.  Not that the others weren’t excellent, but the name inside the golden envelope for

The 2015 Herbie Award for

Best Pub  /restaurant for food

near the canal

goes to (drum roll)

The Admiral Nelson at Braunston


Yep, the old Admiral takes the biscuit.  Their perfect “Black and Gold” steak (to be honest I can’t remember if I had rump or sirloin) with the gorgeous tasting trimmings was the absolute biz.  I challenge you to get a better steak anywhere.  It might cost a couple of quid more than some cheaper places, but the difference is money well spent.  Well done them.

Now after all that excitement, back to the canal.  Everybody has their favourite lock flights.  Locks come and go but there’s something special about a ascending or descending a flight.  These spots become real landmarks on a canal trip.  They tend to be sociable too as folk help each other up and down to speed up the process.  I certainly don’t like ‘em all.  I have yet to meet anyone who really likes the Buckby flight for instance whereas the more physically demanding Hatton flight is somehow more enjoyable.  So of the most enjoyable flights we have done this year, which would you choose?



watf 3_thumb[1]

Yep,you got it.  First up is the beautifully kept Watford Staircase, often you have to queue, but once you get in you seems to ascend or descend as fast as an elevator and the locks are so easy a child can operate them as our little Grace demonstrated when only five years old

watf 2_thumb[2]


Next,  the serpentine Marsworth flight as it snakes up the hill past the reservoirs with each lock only just out of site from the previous one.

marsw 1_thumb[1]

Footpaths on both side of the water too, so teams can really get a move on.

And finally

The quick and easy Hillmorton flight with its pairs of side by side narrow locks, a welcome change after the many lock free miles from Hawkesbury.  Down near the bottom you can always stop for a break at Badsey’s cafe (nice for me ‘cos I was born and raised in Badsey – the village, not the boat!).


Bear in mind that we can only include flights we have done this year, so if you’re a fan of  Foxton or the Bratch of whatever, they don’t count.  Results tomorrow, plus the

nominees for best and worst boats I have driven this year.


Amy said...

Hey! I love the Buckby Flight. We've headed North each time we've exited the Northampton Arm for a few years now and for me, doing the Buckby Flight means that we're finally out of the Fens!

Adam said...

Out of those three flights, I'd say Marsworth. The others are over too quickly!

I'm looking forward to the equipment category, in the hope a certain loo might make an appearance.

Herbie Neil said...

Well Amy, I suppose someone has to love Buckby locks. Most people find them too heavy and too far apart. I feel the same about Stoke Bruerne locks too.

Adam . be patient. All in good time:-)