The sun came out and the bells rang from the church by the roundabout as we cruised away from our mooring on Sunday.
As we passed through Hunton Bridge Locks we saw this sweet little cottage. The curved patterned roof tiles reminded me of the story of Hansel and Gretel. At The Grove a golf course had been laid in the extensive grounds of the 18th century mansion. The access to this is across the canal over a very ornate bridge painted white. The former Grove Watermill was being converted into flats and obscured by scaffolding, so no picture of that. Approaching Cassiobury Bridge Lock there was a fishing match on, so we crept along into the lock where plenty of gongoozlers awaited us with many questions. Do you live on your boat, have you sold your house and car, how do you manage, is it expensive, where have you come from and where do you moor? Needless to say we weren’t keen on answering all these questions. I wonder if they would think we were rude if we quizzed them about their lives? Anyway we did manage to moor by the park eventually and disappear inside for a much needed drink. The canal and the River Gade run through Cassiobury Park, which was once part of the 17 century gardens of the Earl of Essex. There are a great variety of trees, some of which are 300 years old, spread throughout the 190 acres. The footpaths and river meander around and through the woodland, with little bridges, pools and waterfalls. The children's playground, little kiosk and the ice-cream van were all extremely busy, as was the miniature railway. I just had to have a ride round on it, but Bottle didn’t join me as he doesn’t do fun things like that!
We sat for a while and enjoyed a hot drink by the cafe people watching. Nearly everyone had dogs or children with them. It’s a wonderful place for cyclists, scooting, pushchairs and wheelchairs too as all paths have smooth tarmac surfaces.
As we returned back over the bridge the fishermen had packed up, it’s amazing how much equipment that is needed to catch a fish. The chap on the right was staggering under the weight of his rods on his back, while his trolley was motorised. Good job really or he may never have made it up the long slope to the car park!