Fenny Stratford wouldn't be anyone's idea of a beauty spot, but as a place to moor up for a day I really like it. In the Red Lion pub next to the lock they have three photos of the lockside taken in 1905, 1955 and 2005 and you'd be hard put to spot the differences. The cottages next to the lock and the little pump house opposite still have their original character.
I had a go at taking one of my panoramic views.
then a straightforward shot of the pump house.
There are 24 hour and 14 day moorings which feel safe
and behind the towpath hedge, an old road, now closed to traffic, where you can walk your dog. Volunteers have been doing a big job of bramble clearance, and it should make a nice picnic spot once it has finished.
The pub used to look as though it wouldn't stay open long judging by the fact that it was usually nearly empty, but it seems to be doing OK now. There was a friendly atmosphere and I sampled the beer , in the interest of research of course, and can report that they keep it well and have a rolling selection of guest ales. Plus, they do something which more pubs should do, which is to have tasting notes.
So adding up the character, the moorings and the pub, plus the shops and station nearby, it makes it a good place to stop.
This morning I'm at Bridge 82 in Milton Keynes, a quiet mooring spot recommended by others and nicer than Campbell Park. A ten minute walk through the park gets you to a bus stop from where you can get to the city centre. Yesterday afternoon I went in and enjoyed a walk round the street market in the centre. A good place to shop for Asian and Carribbean veg and spices. Much cheaper than supermarkets. I wouldn't go into the centre for supermarkets, the only one I found was Sainsbury's and that was quite a walk.
In the normal course of events, my next stop in MK would be Great Linford, another lovely mooring, but tonight I have an assignation in Wolverton! Stay tuned.