Level Access

The Canal & River Trust (CRT) issued an email this morning saying that the River Severn was now navigable after being in flood for several days.

The water levels were very raised when cycled there a few days ago, including the Droitwich Barge Canal and part of the Worcester & Birmingham Canal as I checked the data for my maps.

The recently installed sign at Droitwich Barge Canal’s Lock 2 had two flashing red lights in the “Do Not Proceed” indications although, despite numerous attempts, I couldn’t get them to show in the photos.

Strong Stream Information at Droitwich Barge Canal Lock 2.
Strong Stream Information at Droitwich Barge Canal Lock 2.

At Lock 1 of the Droitwich Barge Canal, which leads to Hawford Junction and the River Severn, the water was level across the lock and anyone foolish enough to try navigating could have opened both sets of gates and cruised straight through.

Raised water levels at Droitwich Barge Canal Lock 1.

I doubt they would have had enough power to navigate upstream and they would have been travelling at more than ten miles per hour when they hit the first obstruction or low bridge downstream.

At Worcester, the water was level with the “towpath” and well over it in places.

Raised water levels in Worcester.

You wouldn’t have been able to get a narrowboat under that bridge.

Raised water levels in Worcester.

At Diglis Junction, where the Worcester & Birmingham Canal meets the River Severn, the water was near the top of the walls which are usually high above boaters.

Raised water levels at Diglis Junction.

That swing bridge would have needed opening for any boats to pass through but it’s normally so high that even vessels with short masts can pass under.

As with the Barge Canal, foolish boaters could have opened both sets of gates at the same time at Lock 1 on the Worcester & Birmingham Canal to cruise onto the River Severn.

Raised water levels at Worcester & Birmingham Canal Lock 1.

The map updates discovered on this trip are now on the master map ready for publication in the April 2018 monthly update for my cruising maps.

Map Updates – Issue 73 – March 2018

I’m pleased to announce the March 2018 updates to my cruising maps are now available.

Extract from Aire & Calder and Calder & Hebble Navigations Map.

As usual, many of the maps have changes this month – those with the most significant changes are:-

You can update your map to the latest version – cost price for the next six issues after purchase, then a small charge after that. You can also upgrade to a larger map. Just email paul@waterwayroutes.co.uk with details of your existing maps for a no obligation quote.

New Crew Member

We are delighted to welcome our latest crew member, Evelyn Balmer, born Friday 16th February.

Parents Andrew and Megan Balmer with Evelyn Balmer.

A day trip to Stalybridge (Manchester) enabled two grandparents to take their turn holding Evelyn.

Paul Balmer (Grandad) holding Evelyn Balmer.
Christine Balmer (Grandma) holding Evelyn Balmer.

How long will it be before Evelyn is using a windlass?

Map Updates – Issue 72 – February 2018

I’m pleased to announce the February 2018 updates to my cruising maps are now available.

Extract from Grand Union Canal Map

As usual, many of the maps have minor changes this month – those with the most significant changes are:-

You can update your map to the latest version – cost price for the next six issues after purchase, then a small charge after that. You can also upgrade to a larger map. Just email paul@waterwayroutes.co.uk with details of your existing maps for a no obligation quote.

Middle Level Navigations DVDs

I am pleased to say our Middle Level Navigations DVDs have just been released.

Middle Level Navigations DVD Cover (Combined Version)

The Middle Level Navigations DVDs are available in our usual three formats:-

  • Popular – like a television programme showing the highlights of the canal
  • Bowcam – a forward facing camera, speeded up for a little fun, showing the whole canal
  • Combined – both Popular and Bowcam in one box for the best of both worlds, saving money and postage.
Middle Level Navigations DVDs.
Popular, Bowcam and Combined (left to right).

Joining the Middle Level Navigations through Stanground Lock at Peterborough, we’ll follow the link route through Wittlesey and March to reach the River Great Ouse at Salters Lode. We’ll also see all the other navigations which can be cruised with a narrow boat.

We’ll pass through all the locks and visit the low bridges. See if we fit under the very low Infield’s Bridge on the Twenty Foot River.

The views from the Middle Level Navigations are rather different to those on other waterways, and present a novel experience.

Route covered by the Middle Level Navigations DVDs

The Popular and Combined DVDs each include an information booklet and a fold-out map.

Contents of the Middle Level Navigations Combined DVD. Includes both Popular and Bowcam discs, a fold-out map and an information booklet.

Enjoy these waterways from the comfort of your armchair. These Middle Level Navigations DVDs, or any others from our range of waterway DVDs, are great for planning your cruise, or just for fun.

We also have the Middle Level Navigations Maps which are available to download in both Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats.

Middle Level Navigations presentation box (thin DVD size)

The Middle Level Navigations Maps are also available on CD in a presentation box which makes them ideal for giving as a present.

Extract from Middle Level Navigations Maps

You can save 10% by purchasing a Middle Levels Navigations DVD and Map in the same transaction.

Map Updates – Issue 71 – January 2018

I’m pleased to announce the January 2018 updates to my cruising maps are now available.

Extract from Shropshire Union Canal Map

As usual, many of the maps have minor changes this month – those with the most significant changes are:-

You can update your map to the latest version – cost price for the next six issues after purchase, then a small charge after that. You can also upgrade to a larger map. Just email paul@waterwayroutes.co.uk with details of your existing maps for a no obligation quote.

The Wash Maps

I have recently added a map for The Wash.  Please note this is for general information only and should not be used for navigation.  You should use full charts, an experienced pilot or guide, or have your own local knowledge.

Extract from The Wash map.

The area covered is shown here.

Area covered by The Wash map.

The map links the individual maps for:-

The map of The Wash is included in the England & Wales Cruising Maps (from the December 2017 issue onwards) and you can download maps of The Wash – Free.

River Nene DVDs

I am pleased to say our River Nene DVDs have just been released.

River Nene DVD Cover (Combined Version)

The River Nene DVDs are available in our usual three formats:-

  • Popular – like a television programme showing the highlights of the canal
  • Bowcam – a forward facing camera, speeded up for a little fun, showing the whole canal
  • Combined – both Popular and Bowcam in one box for the best of both worlds, saving money and postage.
River Nene DVDs.
Popular, Bowcam and Combined (left to right).

Joining the River Nene at Northampton we’ll cruise along the navigable length of the non tidal River Nene to Dog in a Doublet Lock at Peterborough.

Cruising down the picturesque Nene valley we’ll see the open countryside and glimpse the villages along the way.

We’ll see the locks with guillotine gates, and the unique Ditchford Lock with its vertical radial gate. We’ll squeeze through the attractive bridges, with their narrow arches making navigation difficult.

We’ll see the navigation challenges and show how to tackle them safely.

Route covered by the River Nene DVDs

The Popular and Combined DVDs each include an information booklet and a fold-out map.

Contents of the River Nene Combined DVD. Includes both Popular and Bowcam discs, a fold-out map and an information booklet.

Enjoy these waterways from the comfort of your armchair. These River Nene DVDs, or any others from our range of waterway DVDs, are great for planning your cruise, or just for fun.

We also have the River Nene Maps which are available to download in both Acrobat (pdf) and Memory-Map (qct) formats.

Extract from River Nene Maps

The River Nene Maps are also available on CD in a presentation box which makes them ideal for giving as a present.

River Nene Map presentation box (thin DVD size)

You can save 10% by purchasing a River Nene DVD and Map in the same transaction.

Map Updates – Issue 70 – December 2017

I’m pleased to announce the December 2017 updates to my cruising maps are now available.

Extract from Mon & Brec Canal Map.

As usual, many of the maps have minor changes this month – those with the most significant changes are:-

You can update your map to the latest version – cost price for the next six issues after purchase, then a small charge after that. You can also upgrade to a larger map. Just email paul@waterwayroutes.co.uk with details of your existing maps for a no obligation quote.

Bradford Canal

The Bradford Canal once ran from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal at Shipley to Bradford.  It opened in 1774 and closed in 1922.  There are proposals to re-open it.

Bradford Canal Location.

I have added the Bradford Canal to the range of free canal maps that can be downloaded from my website.  From the November 2017 issue onwards, it’s also included in these maps

Extract from Bradford Canal Map.

Visit the Bradford Canal Map pages to download the free map on its own.