As we’ve mentioned previously, our first stay in the UK was in the village of Crick (note that here in the UK historically a city is defined as having a cathedral, a town if it only has a market, a village if it only has a church and shops, and a hamlet if only houses), whose name comes from the celtic word for hill, cruc, and is located on the Northamptonshire Heights (see the plaque). We arrived at the beginning of November and stayed through the 30th at the Low Thatched B&B in the efficiency flat. A nice lodging with access to washer and dryer, small kitchen, and roomy bathroom with shower.
Crick is located near to the M1 motorway, has a bus line through it, is walking distance to the Grand Canal, and is about 20 minutes drive to downtown Rugby, the nearest town where there are major stores, shopping markets, and the train. That’s where we go for groceries. So we’re in the sticks here, lots of farms and fields outside town, but an industrial park over near the M1 and only a short drive to town. Further to the west of Rugby is Birmingham (in the top three biggest cities in England), a large city with airport, trains, big industry (coal) and of course a cathedral. It’s about an hour from Crick. North of Crick up the M1 is the smaller city of Leicester (for non-Brits, that’s pronounced like “Lester”), maybe 30 minutes drive. London is south about an hour ride on the train from Rugby.
In Crick there are three nice pubs, one of which, The Wheatsheaf, we frequented regularly. There is also a co-op food store, small and kind of expensive, post office, hairdresser, a few other shops, two churches and plenty of foot, bridle and bicycle paths for tramping, including the canal towpath.
The architecture is a mix of very old to quite modern. Thatched roofs alongside tile, quite often with solar cells or hot water panels on them.
One problem we had once we were able to borrow a car was parking it. Only street parking was available, and that sort of blocked one entire lane of the road. Believe me when I say these roads were none too wide to begin with before losing half a lane. Also people parked in either direction on that side to make it more interesting. So getting through could be a headache if, for instance, the garbage truck, local delivery van, or a bus was trying to get through as well. Sometimes “reversing” was required, or use of the sidewalk. We did have an incident where our “pavement” (sidewalk) side mirror was broken off. We assume someone staggered into it, I was able to get a used assembly and some matching spray paint to replace it. Not too hard a job even with only my multi-tool but irritating. We made sure to keep the mirrors pulled in whenever we parked after that.
We found the people of Crick to be very pleasant, especially our hosts at the B&B where we stayed. Seems Brits will readily engage in conversation with little pretext. We found ourselves telling our story quite often. In between job hunting while Sandy was hard at work during the day, I made several hikes mostly along the canal towpath with excursions to the top of Crack’s Hill, a high point in the area with good views. Since the canal winds near to several towns within walking distance I used it to visit other local towns like Yelvertolf, where there was a great little Italian deli, Squisitos, that would custom make sandwiches to order. With fresh espresso! Best I’ve had since Italy.
All in all, a pleasant stay for our intro to the Midlands. Next we’re off to a rental house in Husbands Bosworth!
Some canal pics.