This is a trip of 50 miles, and 16 locks. The locks getting closer together now as we reach the upper reaches of the navigable River Great Ouse.
There are ambitious plans to extend the navigation and link up with the Grand union Canal near Milton Keynes, about 20 miles of new canal would be needed, here’s the link for more information.
From Popes we cruise into Cambridge for a day in the City before returning to Popes Corner then its 11 miles to Hermitage Lock at Earith and a short tidal section with a rise-fall of only about 1 foot to Brownshill lock. There’s pump-out and drinking water services on a pontoon at Westview Marina which also gives walking access to the town of Earith for supplies.
This section is tidal because the course of the Old Bedford River links into it from near Denver some 30 miles away. On our first trip here back in 2005 we were surprised to see a sea seal basking in the sun on the marina slipway. Apparently it’s been living there for years!
So many places to visit en-route to Bedford. It’s a shame that the quayside in Bedford, which is perfect for mooring, isn’t believed to be safe, to either overnight or leave a boat unattended during the day. This is often the case in Cities where waterfronts are a magnet for drinkers and unsavoury characters. Always best to moor out of town and bus or bike in.