In August eleven leaders and senior section members from Hastings had [in their own words] an amazing trip around the Warwickshire Ring.
Between them they wrote a short blog about each day to document their trip. Here (with their kind permission) is what they put together.

Friday 12th August 2016
Today was the day of our canal trip on the Warwickshire Ring, which we had been fundraising for since September 2015. We arrived at the meeting place for 9am, ready to leave by 9.30am; we drove to Braunston Bottom Lock (stopping at Oxford Services for lunch) and arrived at 4pm.
Little Braunston
We then met our skipper Nigel, who showed us our boat, which is called Guinevere. It was really nice! Nigel then gave us a safety talk, and then we were on our way. We soon came to our first ever lock, which was hard work!

Guinevere, the home and boat for Hastings Girl Guides' trip around the Warwickshire Ring

Guinevere, the home and boat for Hastings Girl Guides’ trip around the Warwickshire Ring

Later we stopped for the night and had fish and chips for dinner, with cake and custard for pudding.

  • Hours Spent Travelling: 4
    Miles Travelled: 7
    Number of Locks: 3



Saturday 13th August 2016
Today we woke up at 7.30am and had eggy bread for breakfast.
We cruised for a while, with some of us having a go at steering. We also did some locks in between games of Uno.
After lunch we made a pit stop in Leamington Spa for a food shop in Morrisons. We stopped for the night in Warwick and in the evening we sat on the roof of the boat looking at the stars.

  • Hours Spent Travelling: 10.5
    Miles Travelled: 12
    Number of Locks: 23

Sunday 14th August 2016
By 7:45am, we had managed to scrape everyone out of bed, met by an angry sounding chorus of groaning and whining.
Breakfast was warm bacon butties and eggs with hot chocolate, to prep us for the bustling day of locks ahead of us.
We were only cruising for ten minutes before the cry came to ready the troops – we were approaching the monstrous 21 locks of the Hatton Flight!

We split up into three groups of three and four. We had four windlasses between us all. We got suited up in our life jackets and set off. Group 1 started on the first lock, with group 2 moving on to the second lock. As we needed two windlasses per group, and only had four windlasses in total, group three walked along and waited for group 1 to bring the windlasses along as the headed to the next lock.
The locks took us a total of three hours and seven minutes!
We ended up in a really pretty and scenic village.
We all piled on to the boat, exhausted, and cruised for about 400 yards before we stopped again.
The skipper said he gave us five hours to do it in, and we smashed it in three!
So we had an hour to go into Hatton Shopping Village. It was really nice there and we had ice creams with flakes, which we munched away on whilst walking back.
We then dined on some top notch sarnies for lunch, and spent the next four hours playing cards and doing some extremely awful dancing, mixed in with a few hot chocolates and a go at steering the boat. An amazing day had by all!


  • Hours Spent Travelling: 11
    Miles Travelled: 14
    Number of Locks: 26


Monday 15th August 2016
Today we started by learning about the different types of locks that we will come across in Birmingham, up until now they had all been double locks, but for the rest of our trip we will be going through single locks.
We took a quick pit-stop at McDonalds for some well deserved treats! Ice creams and milkshakes for everyone! They were delicious and gave us all an energy boost ready for the locks that were coming up ahead.
Really looking forward to Drayton Manor tomorrow! Some of us are already counting down.


  • Hours Spent Travelling: 14
    Miles Travelled: 23
    Number of Locks: 23

Tuesday 16th August
Today started off with two consecutive locks early in the morning ready for an exciting day out. Our skipper had suggested a day out to Drayton Manor Theme Park, a great way to celebrate the previous days of hard work.
After wolfing down our warm breakfasts and calming our nerves we made our way off the boat and towards the entrance of the park and raced inside. The first task was splitting into two groups: fast rides and slow rides. We went on as many rides as possible and after hours and hours of fun we finally got back to the boat and had a relaxing night in, with a takeaway.


  • Hours Spent Travelling: 2
    Miles Travelled: 2
    Number of Locks: 2

Wednesday 17th August 2016
We awoke not knowing what today would hold. We only had a few locks so it wouldn’t be that difficult, however we were wrong.
That day was one of the hottest.
After a few locks we came across a lock with very shallow water, because the water levels had lowered due to the heat, so we couldn’t leave the lock. We had to open up the next lock a couple of times to give us enough water to get through.
When we did get out the lock we came across a queue of boats coming in and out of another lock so that slowed us down. But we entertained ourselves with games of Uno, Cheat and Werewolf.


  • Hours Spent Travelling: 12
    Miles Travelled: 13
    Number of Locks: 13

Thursday 18th August 2016
After breakfast today we continued on our journey aiming to get to Rugby, but soon we came to a 180-degree turn and a stop lock (a shallow lock where one canal ends and another starts) which was quite tricky to get round.
We made it to Rugby at about 5pm and had some time in the retail park before heading to the Harvester for dinner!


  • Hours Spent Travelling: 10.5
    Miles Travelled: 21
    Number of Locks: 1

Friday 19th August 2016
Today was our last day, and the only day it really rained, we soon came to our final 3 locks (and made use of our rain coats). We soon arrived back in Braunston where we unloaded the boat and one of our members Jess made her Senior Section promise.
MAY 2011 Braunston Church Little Braunston
We all had a great trip! The locks were hard work to begin with but we soon got the hang of it, and we all got at least a couple of goes of steering the boat!


  • Hours Spent Travelling: 5
    Miles Travelled: 12
    Number of Locks: 3


  • Totals for trip
    Hours Spent Travelling: 69
    Miles Travelled: 104
    Number of Locks: 94


Thank you to Hastings Girl Guides for such a wonderful and detailed account of your trip. It sounds if you had a wonderful time.
We are so glad you enjoyed your time with us. It was a pleasure to have you aboard and we hope to see you again soon.


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