|The delightful St Cyr's church on the Stroudwater Canal|
So we set off on a ten mile hike to find another.
There was possibly one closer – though I'm not sure; shops are thin on the ground around here – but we had already planned to walk part of the route of the Stroudwater Canal to Stonehouse, and that certainly had a P.O. so the letter joined our packed lunches.
|A derelict lock but the gates were new in 1996|
So what have they got to do? Beyond the short arm at Saul was the first obstacle; a low road bridge. But, judging by what's been achieved so far, that's just a small issue. After that the canal continued in water for a few hundred yards then petered out at a derelict lock, overgrown by brambles. Oddly though the lock gates were dated 1996.
|How to get under the M5 is the restorer's next challenge|
|Isolated sections are in water – this even has a surviving bridge|
|Another minor problem – driving the canal under this railway line|
|Nutshell Bridge, Stonehouse and its surviving bridge house|
The canal here is already in use by a canal society trip boat and as it enters Stonehouse, even looks like a workaday canal scene, back gardens of bungalows look onto the towpath; modern 'executive homes' stand opposite.
Now we were in the town all we had to do was post our letter, buy an ice cream ... and head home again.
It was a delightful walk on a sunny day and an eye-opening look at what can be achieved with determination and ambition. Can't wait for 2020 and a chance to do it again – by boat.
Today we left Saul and headed down to the end of the line at Sharpness for a weekend of more exploring. And Sunday lunch at the Dockers' Club.