Back in 2009 we converted an old minibus into a campervan and set about exploring our local area.
In words and photos, these ten posts document our journeys, I hope you enjoy travelling with us.

Cropredy, Narrowboats and Sunshine.

narrowboats on the canal at cropredyNot far from our home is the small pretty village of Cropredy.

It was made famous by its link with Fairport Convention and the Cropredy Folk Festival where every year in August swarms of people descend on the place for the annual three days of music and good fun.

The rest of the time it is a charming place with a canal running through its centre and lots of colourful narrowboats moored up, or passing through the locks and some lovely walks along the canal or around the village itself.

On the entrance to the village there is a plaque telling of The Battle of Cropredy Bridge, which was a battle of the English Civil Wars fought on 29 June 1644 . Immortalised in the lyrics to the song Red and Gold written by Ralph McTell and sung by Fairport Convention.

CropredySo, on a sunny afternoon we decided to pack a delicious lunch and head off in the bus for an afternoon by the canal.

Joe manouvered the bus down the narrow street leading to where we wanted to park and we found a lovely spot and flung open the side door of the bus letting in the birdsong and a much needed breeze. Of course the kettle was on in minutes and we decided to eat before we explored.

The camper is such a comfortable space to relax in and it is so good to be able to take it to all these lovely places. It is like taking your house to a picturesque place, opening the side of it and looking at the view! I don't think I will ever get tired of it.

Well, delicious food eaten, we lock up and head onto the towpath. Immediately I am struck by the beauty of the surroundings, greenery everywhere, wonderful willow trees overhanging the water and brightly coloured narrowboats moored alongside.

narrowboat on the canal at cropredyWe stop to speak to a couple with a friendly old cat, all three soaking up the sunshine on their boat, she has her hand-made jewellry for sale, all set out at the front of the boat. They are from Yorkshire, retired, and live on the boat from May to September. We talk about travelling with Cats, about life on the canal, and the glorious sunshine.

canal at cropredyPeople moored, or passing on boats, wave and say hello, there is a relaxed happy feel around the place as we continue our walk.

canal at cropredyWe leave the towpath and take a walk around the village, it is a warm sleepy afternoon there are flowers everywhere, bees buzzing, butterflies and birdsong.

cropredyWe make our way down to the bridge where I look in the gift shop, a real aladdins cave of colour and smells. Then down the steep stairs and back onto the towpath to make our way back.

We sit a while and watch the boats manouvering through the locks, the regulars doing it with relaxed ease, the holiday makers looking slightly stressed, anxiously watching the side of their boat as they rise as the water gushes in to the lock.

canal and narrowboatWalk over, we are warm and in need of a drink, we climb into the bus and before long are leaning back on cushions drinking coffee in the cool shade of the trees.

Then back in the cab, music on, we head for home.

Another beautiful day!

Cropredy Village Website

Fairport Convention and Cropredy Festival
Listen to the song Red and Gold


Barbara Scully said...

Oh Susannah.. you should work for the British Tourist Board. It all sounds and looks so idyllic. Your photos compliment your way with words beautifully. I look forward particularly to posts on this blog.. they are a perfect escape. Thank you!


Susannah said...

Hi Barbara, I am so glad you enjoy our adventures. We love them, and it is great to know that by sharing them other people are enjoying them too.

Oriana said...

Another winner! I love how you describe these trips as taking your home along with you then opening up a wall...I can't contain my envy! That village is Quaint with a capital Q...I can't get over how different it is to live in a place with so much history. When I think of the blight of strip malls that cover most of the U.S. I want to puke. (Though to be fair, towns like this do exist, and I have lived in them: Carmel, Pacific Grove & Mendocino in CA & Port Townsend here in WA. But your English villages just seem so picture postcard perfect. Though I'm sure there is as much human drama behind the old stone walls...where do they hide the fast food shoppes--or are they wisely banned?

Can't wait for your next adventure.

Susannah said...

Hi Oriana, yes, it IS really great to open up the wall of our travelling room. :-)

As to fast food shops, the bigger towns are full of them! though the smaller villages usually get away without having any.

Thanks for dropping by.

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