Thursday 19 October 2023

Kings Norton

Today's Canal : Worcester and Birmingham

The forecast was not good for today (and the next two) but the chance of rain on the morning was quite low. The temperature was warmer than the last few days.

We began by reversing to Old Turn and then back down to Cambrian House to fill with water and do the usual disposals. A hire boat was already there but they were close to finishing. Nevertheless it was an hour before we could be on our way.

Next to the Sea Life Centre we saw what we think is a new visitor attraction :  the Park Experience. Sad to admit, but neither of us has had any experience of VR and so we can but imagine what you get for your money here (Around £40 each and you need groups of 4 or 6). We leave it to their web site to introduce themselves: Embark on thrilling adventures with friends, family or colleagues as you tackle challenging quests together. Afterwards, unwind over a refreshing drink at the bar or enquire about our catering options.

After coming under Broad Street Bridge we passed through Worcester Bar. The pub here (no connection with 'bar' in the title - at one time the different canal companies insisted that goods had to be transhipped across a bar here) is usually very busy but perhaps the weather put off the early morning customers.

We think that this is the first time we have noticed the striking architecture of The Cube, a multi-function 'destination', next to the rather older Mailbox. A hotel, bowling alley, a Marco Polo White restaurant and other features including residential apartments are to be found somewhere on the 16 floors.

Passing the Five Ways Station with a view that illustrates to diversity of a modern inner city.

The new University Station, with its rust-coloured footbridge to the main university campus, is all but complete - just a little final landscaping to go.

We have often stopped at Selly Oak for shopping but this was the first time we could use the new Whitehouse Wharf - we spotted that we could moor quite close to the new footbridge and walk across to Sainsbury. Eventually this will provide a turning circle for boats joining this canal from the yet-to-be restored Lapal Canal. Progress is inevitably slow especially as it involves cooperation from large scale developments but the Trust seem determined to open up as far as a new marina at California.

By the time we returned with our shopping we had lunch before setting off again. By now rain arrived and at first it was just a light drizzle. However, by the time we reached Kings Norton it was very much heavier and so we opted for an early finish to today's cruising at the mooring rings just after the Toll House.

6.6 Miles - 0 Locks

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