Trip 6: Kingsbury Water Park, Sutton Coldfield.
This was a late change in our plans and being a Camping & Caravan Club site is not a normal venue type for us. However the campsite is in the middle of a massive country park of over 600 acres, with fishing lakes, bird sanctuary, water sport lakes and the river Tame on one side and the Birmingham & Fazeley canal on the other.
Once we were settled in and we had eaten our lunch we went to have a look around the site. It is modern and immaculate with a small shop within the reception area for basics.
We had spoken to a warden so we thought we would go for a short walk to the canal. The canal is the Birmingham & Fazeley and it is easy to reach. We walked along the towpath to the first bridge and lock and then decided to carry on.
We came to another bridge and lock and just beyond it was a Pub. There were a couple of people sitting outside but we carried on walking to a few more locks. Then we met a couple actually using a lock so we had a chat with them, they were on their way to Stratford upon Avon, about a 6 day canal trip away.
We said goodbye and turned back towards the campsite with the idea of stopping for a drink at the pub, The Dog & Dublet, but it was closed. We carried on but changed our route and walked back along the single lane road through the woods to the campsite.
Back at Iona it was time to relax after the walk, although we had only done about 3.5 miles.
Tonight for tea we are having a new chicken dish called Chicken Shawarma, which is new to us and apparently a bit spicy.
It is a bit dull today but hopefully it will brighten up. We left the campsite and headed to the Canal, today we turned right towards Cudworth Lock. This is lock 11, it has the remains of a swing bridge and the original lock keepers cottage although this has been heavily modified over the years.
From the lock we walked further along the canal until we came to a footpath that would take us through the nature reserve and on to the river Thame.
There were various footpaths to follow but we went for the one that followed the river and went under the M42. Under the bridge there were lots of graffiti, the pieces on our side were particularly good and I took several photos, they included A Rat and Mouse and also Officer Dibble from the Top Cat cartoon of years ago.
We were now in the water park reserve and we followed a path towards the information centre passing over the Echills Wood Railway, a narrow gauge railway.
It was not much further to the centre where there is a cafe and toilets.
Sue treated us to ice creams which we ate while looking out over one of the numerous lakes. It was along the bank of the lake that we came across a few large carp that appeared to be spawning in the shallow water.
Using the maps.me app on my phone we found the footpath back to the campsite. We had walked just on 5 miles but there is far more to explore another day.
The afternoon brightened up after a few spots of rain and we spent the afternoon sitting in the sun and reading. We did manage to sit out side with a drink but the sun was nowhere to be seen. We were going to have a bbq this evening but the wind is quite strong so it will be Steak and chips but cooked inside tonight.
Not so good today, it is raining and the forecast is rain all day. We stayed in the van all morning but after lunch it seemed to brighten up.
We went for a walk and tried to use new paths where possible, we went under the motorway via a different bridge and there was more graffiti but it was not as good as we found yesterday.
We followed the path around to near the visitor centre and then headed towards the campsite, we crossed under the motorway as we did yesterday, the entrance to the tunnel was flooded but there were some stepping stones that helped. Instead of going straight back to the campsite we walked around the lakes.
We came to the cafe and farm park but they were closed. There were quite a few geese with young on the park. We had seen a few ducks with various numbers of ducklings earlier as we walked around the lakes. We headed for Cudworth lock on the canal and walked back along the towpath.
Our walk took us 7 kilometres nearly 5 miles. Once we got home we sat outside the van until another black cloud rolled in. I just managed to put the chairs away and it started another heavy downpour.
Today we have a mix of weather, but mainly cloudy with sunny periods. We spent the morning sat outside the motorhome making the most of the sun when it appeared.
We did go for a short walk around the campsite, We bought some ice creams and people watched but it was quite cool in the wind. The rest of the day was spent reading in the motorhome.