Revisiting memories on a walk along Hatton Locks

Hubby and I both love canals. Before we had children, we went on a couple of narrowboat holidays together as well as a road trip around the country to see ‘the seven wonders of the waterways’  Our first narrowboat holiday together was on the Warwickshire ring route which took us through Hatton Locks, a flight of twenty-one locks.  We arrived there late in the day, with just under three hours to spare until sundown. This meant that we needed to get through the locks as quickly as possible before mooring up for the night. Thankfully hubby and his parents were very experienced narrowboaters. We got through in just over two hours thanks to hubby going ahead on his bike and presetting each lock for us so we could just go straight from one to the next without waiting for it to fill before entering it.

 

Looking down at some of the locks on the Hatton flight - "Revisiting memories on a walk along Hatton Locks"

 

The girls have been on a short canal boat ride through the Dudley canal tunnel. They haven’t yet had a longer narrowboat trip though. It’s something hubby and I have talked about a few times. One day hopefully we’ll get around to organising it. However, we do live near a canal. It’s always nice to go for a walk along the towpath and watch boats going through the locks.

 

Sophie walking along Hatton Locks

 

It was lovely to take a walk along the Hatton flight. We stopped for a cream tea near the top of the flight. It would have been blissful had it not been for the pesky wasps. The girls enjoyed watching the boats going through the locks and I managed to find a couple of geocaches. Hubby and I had fun reminiscing about our previous trip through the locks, trying to get down the flight as quickly as we could.

 

Me, hubby and his dad leaning against a lock gate back in 2002

Me and hubby with his dad on our last trip to Hatton locks back in 2002.

 

Towards the end of the afternoon, we encountered a boat doing just that. The family on the boat were clearly experienced narrowboaters and we could see they were doing the same as we had done – setting the next lock in their favour while the boat was going down in the one before it. They were happy to let us and the girls help them. Jessica and Sophie were soon busy opening and shutting the lock gates and helping with securing the boat in the lock. They also got to help close the paddles using the windlass a couple of times.

 

Jessica and Sophie helping to open the lock gates

 

Jessica and Sophie helping open the paddles using the windlass

 

Jessica and Sophie loved every minute of it. It was lovely to see how enthusiastic they were about helping out. The family on the boat were so patient with them, showing them what to do and helping make sure they were safe doing it. It was so kind of them to let the girls help – they gave Jessica and Sophie so much joy as a result.

 

Sophie and Jessica helping to secure the boat in the lock

 

Hubby, Jessica and Sophie getting ready to close the lock gates as the boat enters the lock

 

One bonus of the girls helping out was that in the excitement of running ahead to get each lock ready, they didn’t notice how far they both walked. I did wonder how well they’d cope with the trip back up though. We’d parked at the top of the flight which is nearly two miles long. A two mile walk back uphill with no locks to open and close might not be quite so much fun!

 

Hubby suggested that if needed he could walk back up and try to drive somewhere closer to pick us. As it turned out, he didn’t need to. The family in the boat decided to moor up halfway down the flight. We didn’t have too long a walk back up the hill after all. It was harder work for me and hubby though with Jessica in her buggy and Sophie deciding to ride on the footrest for most of the way back to the car!

 

Looking down over the Hatton locks with a hot air balloon in the sky

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


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16 Comments

  1. October 14, 2017 / 10:28 am

    What a great afternoon for all of you, I love revisiting places from Nick and I’s early days with the kids to reminisce. The girls look like they’re having a wonderful time helping the family on the narrowboat slowly make their way through the locks, it’s lovely that that were kind enough to let the girls help. I bet you can’t wait until the girls are a little older so you can take them on their first Narrowboat holiday.

    Thanks for sharing with me over on #CountryKids.

    • Louise
      Author
      October 16, 2017 / 9:30 am

      Thank you Fiona. It is lovely to look back over those old memories. I am sure the girls would love going on a narrowboat holiday when they are a little older 🙂

  2. October 14, 2017 / 8:48 pm

    how lovely to revisit a memory and enjoy it all over again with your children. my dad’s business is based around boats so I have found memories of being around narrowboats at festivals as a child and meeting rosie and jim #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      October 16, 2017 / 9:34 am

      Thanks Lucy. I used to love Rosie and Jim. Must have been fun meeting them at a festival 🙂

  3. October 14, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    So lovely to be able to revisit such a beautiful places and reminisce with your little ones #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      October 16, 2017 / 9:35 am

      Thank you Emma, we really enjoyed it 🙂

  4. October 15, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    We’ve never been along Hatton Locks, just to the adventure park. We used to love working the locks for the lock master in Maidenhead. My nan used to live nearby and knew the man. #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      October 16, 2017 / 9:40 am

      Oh I can imagine that must have been fun as a child. I forgot there was an adventure park nearby at Hatton.

  5. October 16, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    A trip down memory lane! We’d love to go on a narrowboat holiday! Looks like the girls enjoyed the walk x #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      October 21, 2017 / 7:47 am

      They did thank you and it was lovely to revisit some happy memories too 🙂

  6. October 16, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    What a lovely afternoon you had! I have fond memories of a trip along the Caledonian Canal with my dad when I was a kid 🙂 So nice of that family to let Sophie and Jessica help x #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      October 21, 2017 / 7:48 am

      Thank you Sara. I loved that the girls were able to help – it really made their day 🙂

  7. October 16, 2017 / 9:52 pm

    A trip on the canal – that is something we have to introduce our kids to! But baby is still very enthusiastic about the water so maybe safer to wait another year. Hopefully we’ll find a place as lovely as Hatton Locks.

    • Louise
      Author
      October 21, 2017 / 7:49 am

      It’s a bit tricky when they’re so curious about water isn’t it? The girls are now at the age that they are generally quite good at knowing to keep away from the water’s edge.

  8. October 18, 2017 / 5:33 pm

    Sounds like you had a wonderful day out with the family. My girls are now running everywhere and walk near the water would have my nerves jangling. #countrykids

    • Louise
      Author
      October 21, 2017 / 7:56 am

      Thanks Helena. It is nerve-wracking when they run around everywhere and it does make walks near water more difficult. Thankfully both girls are now at the age that they are generally very good at staying away from the water’s edge.

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