It’s almost three years since we travelled on the Avon but then we were coming upstream and we were limited by time. This time around, it is completely different and we have no such restriction apart from the thirty day licence so after topping up the water tank, we moved down to the first lock and found that it was set against us. On the Avon, boaters are instructed to leave the exit gates open so when the lock is set against you, not only do you have to fill (or empty) the chamber, the open gates have to be closed first. In 2015, our journey was defined by the vicious inrush of water from the gate paddles. Heading downstream is a much more civilised affair with the locks draining in a relatively sedate manner. The first two locks are fairly close together and when we reached the third, we tied above it, near the village of Luddington.
Luddington is a tiny place and is only about 4 miles from Stratford. There’s very little in the village, the population is less than 600 and it is served by a church, a public telephone, a post box and an infrequent bus service to Stratford.
The moorings above the lock have full facilities so it was a great place to wash and polish one side of the boat.
After dinner, we took a walk around the village and back through the churchyard. Unfortunately, All Saints Church was locked so we couldn’t take a look inside but we still managed a tour of the boneyard.