Milton Keynes by Narrowboat

I last left you at Fenny Stratford which is the beginnings of the greater Milton Keynes area. We only had one day to move due to other commitments so we stopped off for water and headed north.

There is one lock with a swing bridge at Fenny which is the last lock before you leave Milton Keynes. We were through that and had a full water tank by 9:30am so headed off. The weather was good and we had an extra set of hands to do the helming. I pretty much left it to Joey and Alan to move us along and I had a lovely ride. Sadly, I failed to think of taking pictures along the way so today you will have to settle for a handful that were taken while moored up.

Before noon we were passing by the old marina where we stayed the winter. It provided us with access to power and water but that it as much as I can say for Milton Keynes Marina. It is otherwise overpriced and poorly maintained. I cannot recommend it at all.

We had decided to moor up anywhere after Chaffron Way and before Portway if at all possible so after the marina we were getting ready to start planning our stop. Milton Keynes is quite popular so it is sometimes a challenge to find anything and in that space is also another marina.

Campbell Wharf is located just adjacent to Campbell Park and very well centred for town. It is a large gated marina with very good facilities. The price is reasonable and on first meeting the management is very friendly. It is owned by the Parks Trust that manages all of the MANY beautiful parks in the Milton Keynes area. This is where we will be for the next year from this autumn.

A view across Campbell Park to our boat on the far side of the canal.

Shortly after the marina we found a nice little spot which was only a 2 day mooring but we grabbed it up as it was just below the main bridge between Campbell Park and Willen Lake. We needed to pick our daughter up from work so we were moored up by shortly after noon.

We couldn’t stay in the 2 day mooring long and we needed a spot to stay for two weeks so the next morning we scouted out the area and moved down about 100m and we’re perfectly placed for parking, solar, Parkrun, and the gym! Couldn’t have gotten a more perfect spot for us. Oh and Alan had an easy walking commute to work as well.

The highlight of the first week was Alan and Joey replacing the old tiny washing machine that used way too much water with our old washer from the flat . This washer can do more that double the weight of clothes for about the same amount of water so I was desperate for it to come home. The problem is that it weighs almost 70kg so the size of a man. It also had to be lifted up over the dinette which is well beyond my physical abilities to help. So very proud of my boys for getting the job done!

Why were we staying put a whole two weeks? Not even getting water? Not even moving to get water. We showered at the gym and did washing at the in laws just so we could stay put for 13 days. Our eldest had gotten us day passes for Centreparcs at Longleat on the Saturday and we had already booked a 5 k run at Thorpe Park for the Sunday. The weekend was so full we had no time to move.

Centreparcs is a resort in a forest. There is swimming is a fancy pool with waves and slides as well as a lake and cycling. It is a lovely spot but it is also three hours away. Lots and lots of driving. It was a nice day out with my kids but exhausting by the time we got home and dropped into bed around 11pm only to be back up for 5am.

Thorpe Park is an amusement park with excellent roller coasters! They had 5 or 10 k run options so we chose 5k and convinced all the kids to do it with us so we could all have passes for the park itself after. I had hurt my hip and ankle a few days before so this time I just walked. I am so glad I walked and I would have been dead on my feet waiting for rides but all was good since I took it easy. Joey walked with me and we were the last two 5k people to finish.

My first wooden medal. We didn’t expect one at all as we thought the day in the park was the reward.

The second week at our mooring was filled with moving completely out of the flat which had been sold. We did a bit here and a bit there. We rented vans on three occasions trying to empty that flat. On the last day we resorted to throwing everything into any container we could find and sorting it all out at a later date. Katie is the owner of most of that and was no there for the moving as she had college. Anything that I wanted on the boat come home with me and anything for Joey was packed away until he is ready to move into his rental house in September. It was just days of chaos!

The move was done and the sale completed by the end of the week so on the last Saturday of April we headed off again. North up the Grand Union and out of Milton Keynes until September. Milton Keynes ready is a great and very green town if you just get off the main roads and explore.

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