The morning dawned as we’d expected; bright sunshine and rising temperatures. Even though we’d slept with the front doors open, the thermometer inside was nearing 20 degrees and it was only 7.30am!! None of us fancied much breakfast, so it was a few pain au chocolate and a coffee.

Mindful of our plans to stop midday and the rising temperature already, it was an early start for us and we were on the move by 8.30!! And what a glorious morning it was. As Stanley Ferry become a dot in the distance, the cool of the river was replaced by the heavy winding of Fall Ing Lock. However grand old oak trees provided welcome shade. Wakefield slipped by with a sparkle on the water and off the buildings. Back on the Aire again once through the flood lock and we were right in the glare of the sun.

Thornes lock and the 2 at Broad cut were hard work as the temperature reach 27 degrees, inside the boat! It was time to find our shady spot and sit out the heat of the sun.

Just about Broad Cut Top Lock, the Calder and Hebble delivered; the most perfect spot, well in the shade and with space for the table and chairs off the towpath. So we spent a glorious afternoon in the type of weather that only this country can produce, under the shade of glorious old oak trees that only this country can produce. We chatted and nattered with passers by, but by about 3pm we were getting restless.

We moved on cautiously and sweltered through the next 3 locks. Double Locks were as glorious as ever, by this time the sun had begun to loose some of its intense heat. It was tempting to stay at Double Locks, but mindful of the short distance, we pressed on, hoping to reach Battyeford Cut. The cooler temperatures made locking easier and the whole journey from cut to river and back to cut again was as picturesque as ever, even if we were all little hotter than ever.

The shade of the trees at Battyeford were all we’d hoped that it would be, so cool showers refreshed us and a light supper refuelled us.

We looked at the map and decided that none of us were in the mood to tackle the Huddersfield locks in this weather, so we changed our plans somewhat and decided to head for the Rochdale instead.

For now though, a second night with the doors open beckoned, although not an early night, due to the reluctance of the temperature inside the boat to drop.

12 Locks.

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Written by Sarah

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