So we were trying to go to Caroline’s parents place in Tenbury Wells this weekend. We set off at 1pm, later than we expected thanks to a torrential downpour in London. We then took an hour-and-a-half to get to Hanger Lane due to unusually appalling traffic in north London. We then sprinted up the M40 for quit a while, until Traffic-i told us that the motorway was at a standstill going up to Birmingham.
So we headed off cross-country, taking the A44 to Chipping Norton. It was getting wetter and wetter, so we decided to turn back once we got in a non-moving queue just before Salford (there were plenty of people making “turn around” gestures as they passed us in the opposite direction).
Back to Chipping Norton and then the A3400 which took us to Long Compton, where, once again, we turned around based on the fact that the village was flooded and the locals told us we wouldn’t get through.
Then to Little Compton – which was further on than Salford, but still not there. This time it was our choice – 300m of flooded road, with little visibility of road surface, and water two-thirds of the way up our wheels scared us away. A colleague managed to get from Oxford to Burford to Moreton-in-Marsh at almost the same time without a problem – the benefits of higher ground.
By the time we were at a standstill in Banbury at 6pm, Caroline made an executive decision to stay in a hotel. It was a good decision – one of the last rooms, and we had got precisely nowhere. Had some nice Thai for tea and retreated to bed.
Simple journey back, followed by a slightly different weekend than we expected. We made the right choice: Caroline’s mum had to abandon her car because the flooding was so bad and hitch a lift with a neighbour, her father only just got back in a 4×4 and her brother had his bonnet under water and lost traction at one point and floated gently towards the hedge on his way home.