This route takes us from the well-heeled village of Hockley Heath with its Rolls Royce and Mclaren showroom to an attractive rural setting in the neighbouring villages of Lapworth and Kingswood in the heart of Warwickshire. The latter have two glorious National Trust Houses within 1 mile, a train station and an abundance of canals and basins. No wonder it is a spot favoured for sunny days by those within a short drive via the M40 and M42 Motorways but also within easy reach of central Birmngham by train by  infiltrators like myself .

There are some characteristic and interesting features along this short 2.75 mile canal leg – 19 locks(!), 12 bridges (two of them lift), and many lock-side cottages and houses – some pre-dating the canal – adorning the way. There’s even a village cricket ground just through a gate at Bridge 30 – in summer at weekends you may be lucky enough to waste an hour or two watching this relaxing game to make your rural village experience complete.

The bridges are interesting along the length of this canal. Some are split of a type termed Roving. These enabled a horse, towing a boat, to cross the canal when the towpath changed sides without untying the towing rope . Was this really that arduous? Obviously so or they wouldn’t have gone for these difficult and costly designs! A bit of imagination is needed as to how this is achieved (for a rainy day, perhaps?). Bridges 32 and 36 are an example of this in my slideshow below.

An alternative to the split bridge is the even more topologically challenging stone built Rover bridges on the Macclesfield canal seen left (Photo Wikipedia).



The two lift bridges are for roads crossing the canal and are raised by using the windlass to pump hydraulic fluid into a piston which, in turn,applies pressure in the right place to raise the bridge. The effort required by the winder is assisted by counterbalancing weight structures on the opposite side of the pivot to the bridge itself. So, in theory, it’s just a case of changing the bridges position – if the designers got it right and years of use have not taken too much of a toll.

National Trust houses Baddesley Clinton and Packwood House  are nearby and in walking distance if you ask the locals where to moor.

But the sheer joy is to moor at Lapworth Juntion on a sunny day and just indulge in the slowly moving canal spectacle around Bridge 36.  Sheer relaxing joy!

Click here for a slideshow of my photos along the canal,

Click here to open a separate page with an annotated Google Map of the area  with all the placemarks identified.

Click here to find out how to get the most out of the photos.