Saturday 3rd July 2010
We arrived at Ripon Marina about midday, transferred
all our gear to the boat and by late afternoon we were on our
way for another epic journey on the canals. I had promised
Sue that I would take her on a "Luxury Cruise" to celebrate
our Ruby Wedding Anniversary........ and this was it. "Yeah,
Right!" came the knowing reply from my crew mate and wife,
unsure about the "Luxury" bit...... more like a working
We started off in a leisurely fashion with a two
and a half hour "Cruise" down to Boroughbridge Visitor
Leaving Ripon Marina
Sue at the helm
Sunday 4th July 2010
Leaving Boroughbridge we had an uneventful 5-hour
journey down to York. The moorings were full on our arrival, being
a sunny Sunday afternoon, and we had to butty-up to another boat.
But by late afternoon a lot of the "Sunday-cruisers"
had left,and we found proper moorings. We managed to shop for
last minute provisions, including tow "Yorkshire Fat Rascals"
from Betty's, and then ate at Pizza Express.
Waiting to enter Milby Lock
Linton Lock tapers inwards as the water drops,
resulting in this
narrow boat and cruiser becoming jammed!
View ahead from Linton Lock
Moored at York
Monday 5th July 2010
We had heard from fellow-boaters that the locks
at Naburn would open at 2-30 p.m. due to the tide, and that a
booking was necessary. We phoned the BW office at Naburn twice
(01904-728500) and left a message, but did not get a reply, so
we phoned Selby (01757-703182) and confirmed our passage. When
we arrived at Naburn Locks we were one of five boats going down,
and we all went into the enormous lock at the same time. The first
part of the journey down to Selby was hard going as we were working
against the tide, but then the direction of the tide changed and
we seemed to speed up a lot. There was a tremendous amount of
debris being carried by the tide, and I had to zigzag from side
to side at times to miss trees, logs, car wheels etc. Apparently
no effort is made to clear this debris so it just goes back and
forth with the tidal river.
It was not long before we were passing beneath Cawood
Swing Bridge, one of the few features on this stretch, and approaching
Selby. I approached Selby Lock from the left hand side of the
river, making the usual big swing to go past the lock and back
up stream, but the current was quite strong and it was a most
uncomfortable feeling being across the river being carried down
stream until the turn was complete. Nevertheless we entered the
lock with the precision of the QE2 docking at Southampton, which
was a great relief, as there were several people on the dockside
watching proceedings! The moorings in Selby Basin were full, but
we managed to get good moorings just after the swing bridge.
Inside Naburn Lock, three abreast
nb "Lindisfarne" approaches Cawood Swing
View from Selby Locks looking downstream
Moored after Selby Swing Bridge
View ahead after Selby Moorings
"Three-Lads-In-A-Boat" stopped by as
we were moored at Selby!
Tuesday 6th July 2010
We did another 13 miles and 3 locks, cruising down
to Ferrybridge Flood Lock Moorings by early afternoon. It was
a glorious day and we did not feel like going any further, so
we moored up. Sue walked up to the nearby Morrisons store for
some retail therapy, whilst I just sat and read my book!
Sue at the helm on the Selby Canal
West Haddersley Flood Lock
Bank Dole Flood Lock
Wednesday 7th July 2010
We tried to get diesel at Selby boatyard, but they
had sold out. They did not seem to know where the next diesel
point was, and the best guess was at Stanley Ferry! There was
a fair bit in the tank, but it did make me realise that these
days you have to watch out for diesel and buy it where you can.
It appears that there is little profit in selling diesel, and
the extra paperwork required to meet the EU regulations on diesel
for propulsion (full price) and diesel for heating (reduced tax)
is making its sale a real hassle for the boatyards.
We moved on to Castleford, avoiding a huge gravel-carrying
vessel heading towards the lock as we exited. We stopped at Castleford
to take on water and use the Elsan point; both the water stations
were out of action, and there was no water in the Sanitary Station
either! All a bit disappointing for a major locking area with
a BW yard just yards away!
We carried on to Selby and found diesel at the boatyard.
They have only just started re-selling diesel as the yard has
changed hands, so we were relieved to get it. We moored up shortly
after the boatyard in the visitor moorings, and went to the pub
offering "TWO FOR ONE" meals, to have a meal and watch
the World Cup football. The meal was excellent and really good
nb "STAFFORD" leaving Bulholme Lock
Large gravel carrier at Castleford.
Thursday 8th July 2010
We had another fairly leisurely day, doing 8 miles
and 5 locks to Horbury Bridge, where we moored for the night.
Broad Cut Moorings
Broad Cut Top Lock
The Bingley Arms, Horbury Bridge, next to the
Friday 9th July 2010
Our travels took us from Horbury Bridge to Shepley
Bridge (Mirfield). We thought that we might not be coming this
way again, so as we had the time we went down the Saville Town
Arm. It is not very glamorous, and the turning point at the end
was blocked by a boat mooring out of place, so we had to do a
very laborious turn in the mooring area.
Entrance to the Saville Town Arm on the right,
with the two Dewsbury locks on the left.
We had planned to spend some time at Shepley Bridge
so that we could drop in on Sue's relatives in Mirfield.
Saturday 10th July 2010
Shepley Bridge to Aspley Basin, Huddersfield. Our
first port of call was the visitor moorings at Legard Bridge to
get the newspaper from the nearby Co-op. After that we headed
for Cooper Bridge and did a 180-degree turn to the right towards
the weir to enter the Huddersfield Broad Canal. We moored at Aspley
Basin and had a very good meal in "The Aspley" pub next
to the basin.
Moored at Legard Bridge for The Co-op and Lidl
Entrance to Huddersfield Broad Canal from Cooper
Bridge does not look very inviting!
Lock 1, Huddersfield Broad Canal
Boat leaving Turnpike Road Lock
Lift Bridge at Aspley Basin
Aspley Basin, Huddersfield
This low tunnel under the road is the exit to
Aspley Basin and the
start of the Huddersfield Narrow Canal....... only for narrow
and not for the broad beam boat on the left!
Sunday 11th July 2010
The Huddersfield Narrow Canal - 70 locks in
less than 20 miles!
We left Aspley Bridge and headed up the Huddersfield
It was strange being back on the narrow locks, and
in the early stages we made good progress. We reached Lock 7E
in three hours and then met nb Lindisfarne, ahead of us at Lock
10E, who had taken 26 hours to get to where they were! And to
make matters worse, the pound ahead of them was absolutely dry!
A lot of the problems had been caused by a narrow boat called
"Serendipity" which has a large draught of 3ft 3ins.......
it had had a great deal of trouble getting up the canal with the
low water situation, and BW had had to send down a lot of extra
water to get it through the pounds. This had caused subsequent
problems for other users.
Heading up the Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Lock 1E
Above Lock 7E... not looking good!
Walking up the canal I realised that he pound between
8E and 9E was quite a long one, was full, and had a winding hole.
I was keen to get there as it gave us the option of turning around
and going back if the water situation did not improve. The temporary
BW staff on duty (Sunday work) wanted me to stay in Lock 7E until
another narrow boat"Olympic" came down. There was no
way that we could pass Olympic in pound 7E-8E even if they sent
quite a bit of water down, and they agreed I should move to Lock
8E. We eventually passed Olympic in pound 8E-9E, but just after
we had passed we got a piece of carpet around the propeller which
took an hour to remove! We deliberated long and hard whether to
carry on, but another walk up the tow path convinced me that there
was more water coming down, so we started to go up the locks.
Around Locks 10E and 11E there was a great deal of debris in the
canal..... at least five bikes, a shopping trolley and plastic
cable wrapping were people had stripped cables for the copper
and thrown the plastic into the canal. I picked up a 4 meter length
around the propeller which meant another lengthy stop to clear
Two more boats were coming down, and I suggested
that they stay until we got up a couple of locks as the pound
was better for passing. However a small green narrow boat insisted
on coming down and waited in pound 15E-16E for us to come out
of Lock 15E. The problem was that Lock 15E was losing water from
the rear gates, and after we had come out of the lock the small
narrow boat became beached in the mud! We made our way into Lock
16E and then went back to try and help him as he was on his own.
It took an hour to get him off the mud, but the only way was to
let more water down from the next pound, which made it more difficult
for us to proceed. We struggled up to Lock 17E, just above Titanic
Mill, Linthwaite, and moored for the night. The construction of
this mill was completed in 1911, the same year as the launch of
the RMS Titanic. This fact, coupled with the building’s
imposing stature as one of the largest woolen mills in the Huddersfield
area, meant it became known locally as Titanic Mill.
We later heard that one narrow boat had become beached
in the mud under a bridge due to low water and had had kids jumping
on the top at night!
Moored above Lock 17E
Monday 12th July 2010
We carried on towards Slaithwaite....... pronounced
as "Slough-Wit" by the locals.
Coming into Slaithwaite
The Visitor Moorings at Slaithwaite looked quite
good, but there was nobody moored there.
Centre of Slaithwaite
We did not really have time to stay in Slaithwaite
as we had to be up at Lock 32E in time for our Wednesday morning
slot to go through the Standedge Tunnel. Sue did manage a quick
dash to the local bakery to buy a "Yorkshire Curd Tart",
which was excellent. Leaving Slaithwaite is a pain, as you have
to go through a guillotine lock. The top gate is wound up using
a windlass, but the gearing on the mechanism is painfully low,
and it takes an age for the gate to lift inch by inch until you
can get a narrow boat under it. Further, there is nowhere for
the person driving the boat to tie up and go and help raise the
guillotine. BW spent £36 million on the rebuilding of the
Huddersfield Narrow Canal, but definitely cheapskated this lock.
It should be electrically or hydraulically operated.
We made progress but it was painfully slow as there
were several boats ahead of us which had got stuck. It was a question
of walking up and down the canal, assessing individual pound levels,
letting water down, getting boats off the mud and dragging boats
over sills etc. In the end we could not get above Lock 27E, and
had to moor in the head of the lock overnight. At least we were
able to have a BBQ!
nb Lindisfarne above Lock 31E
Boat above Lock 27E grounded!
Lock 27E BBQ Steak House!
Moored for the night below Lock 27E
Tuesday 13th July 2010
We were woken up at 5 a.m. by a helicopter flying
low over the canal. Initially I thought that it was BW checking
the water levels down the entire route (as if!), and then perhaps
that it was a TV company reporting on the low water situation.
BW staff turned up at 8-30 a.m. and explained that a man had fallen
into lock 39E the night before when walking his dog after having
drunk a lot, and had drowned. The police had temporarily closed
the canal. It turned out that it was a man in his 40's who had
been made redundant two years earlier, and had become a heavy
drinker. BW said that we might not move that day, and may have
to proceed to Marsden the following day.
Whilst we were waiting below Lock 27E an other small
narrow boat (nb The Sin Bin) came through the lock below and lowered
the level of our pound even more. He got stuck on the mud in the
middle of the pound but did not seem too concerned; he said that
he was going to leave his boat there and catch the train from
Marsden back into Huddersfield!
About midday the police gave BW permission to continue
and they implemented a plan to get boats up to Marsden. Those
above Lock 31E were able to move fairly early, but we were told
that it would be much later in the day or possibly the next day!
By 12-30 p.m. we had not heard what was happening, and I walked
up the canal to Lock 33E to see where the other boats were. They
were not in sight! The canal was reasonably full up to Lock 33E,
and a quick phone call to nb Lindisfarne confirmed that the other
boats were at Lock 35E! I felt that we had a good chance of clearing
the next two locks in low water, and that after that it would
be plain sailing. I spoke with BW over the phone and managed to
get them to agree to my trying to get past the next two locks.
We were feeling a bit stressed, and as we started
to open the paddles on the lock a dog coming up the tow path came
right at me and started barking! I had not seen him coming and
was shocked; I could easily have fallen into the lock. I cursed
and asked the owner to put him on a lead, but unfortunately the
owner became more aggressive than the dog! We could have done
without this altercation!
We proceeded slowly and the first pound was O.K.,
but the next pound was very low. We got close to the entrance
of the next lock and then grounded. Getting into Lock 29E was
very difficult as there is a sand bar just before the entrance.
I would have flushed another six inches of water down to help
lift us over this, but the BW man did not want to send any more
down at all. So, with great effort, we managed to coax the boat
over the sand bar into the lock using the stem rope. Once we got
past this lock there was a reasonable amount of water, and two
BW men helped us lock by lock after Pig Tail Lock (32E). We slowly
made our way up to Marsden, arriving about 4-30 p.m. to cheers
from nb "Evolution" and nb "Lindisfarne".
It had been quite a stressful day and were we glad to be at the
Pound quite low above Lock 30E
Sparth Reservoir's water level was quite low
Canal side Mill
Heading up to Marsden above Lock 32E - more water
Moored at Marsden in front of the Standedge Tunnel
After a trying day we were keen to relax with a
beer at The Tunnel End Inn, where they serve "Black Sheep".
The landlord told us there were several "Morris" groups
performing that evening, so we had to go and have a look. They
were not quite what we had expected, i.e. men with bells and sticks
dressed in white, but were "Border" morris men and ladies!
They looked a bit "alternative" to us!
Ways Goose performer
Wednesday 14th July 2010
We were up early for our 8-30 a.m. start into the
tunnel. You drive the boat yourself but are chaperoned by a BW
man. Liam joined us for the passage. First of all there is quite
a bit of preparation. You have to remove anything sticking up
on top or at the sides. You have to wear high-viz vests, life
jackets and a hard had. Liam brought with him gas monitoring meters
and a fire extinguisher.
There are 4 tunnels at Standedge; the canal tunnel
of 1811; the original single bore railway tunnel of 1849; a duplicate
railway tunnel of 1879; and finally a double-track railway tunnel
of 1894. The canal tunnel is the longest (3 miles 418 yards),
the deepest (638 feet below the highest point of the moor) and
the highest (645 feet above sea level). The canal tunnel lies
below and between the railway tunnels. The interior of the canal
tunnel is partly lined with brick arches, but the central section
was cut through rock. there are linking passages from time to
time to the abandoned railway tunnel, which were used to feed
spoil from the railway tunnel down into boats in the canal tunnel
during the construction of the former. Originally working boats
were "legged" through, and passage took typically three
and a half hours. The tunnel's western portal at Diggle is not
the original one; in 1894 the tunnel was lengthened by 220 yards
to accommodate the new double-track railway tunnel.
A second BW man goes through the old railway tunnel
in a van and checks every half mile or so that things are O.K.
When a train does go through the railway tunnel the pressure in
the canal tunnel increases and it can become "misty"
for a few seconds. Towards the end Liam asked me to "throttle
back as he wanted to jump off!" I had not realised that he
was going to jump into a small side hall to the tunnel where there
was a phone so that he could phone in to say we were nearly through.
The passage was fascinating, but you have to concentrate
for every second of the 3-mile tunnel. It is not absolutely straight,
and there is a slight "s" bend in the middle where they
were slightly out when trying to join the tunnels started from
each end! The tunnel was complete in 1811 after 14 years work,
so they can be excused for not meeting exactly!
The passage time was 1 hour 20 minutes.
The tunnel, 638 feet below the moor
The tunnel looks like a high security jail!
Getting ready to go.
Geared up, with helmet, high-viz vest and life
Last minute preparation (Photo: Judy Ayton)
Off we go! (Photo: Judy Ayton)
A last look back! (Photo: Judy Ayton)
Brick-lined near the entrance, the tunnel is cut
through rock in the centre.
There are plenty of outcrops waiting to inflict damage to your
boat if you get slightly off-line!
Diggle end of the tunnel
Leaving Diggle we went to the first lock on the
down flight and hit a problem. The lock was locked! I rushed back
to get help from the BW man, Liam, and when he walked back to
look at the locks we were embarrassed to find that the paddles
were not locked at all! Rather, they had hoods which fit over
the windlass spikes; these had been taken off and locked in the
"off-position", but we had not seen this type of lock
before and did not realise! The locks on the Western side are
unusual being single-gated at top and bottom.
We worked our way down to Upper mill-Saddleworth
and moored for the night.
Saddleworth Railway Bridge
Moored under the trees at Saddleworth
Statue of Ammon Wrigley (1861–1946) in Saddleworth
Ammon Wrigley was a poet/writer who was recognised
in his lifetime as a vivid
interpreter of moorland and village life in and around Saddleworth
in the local
dialect and in plain English. A self-taught artist of some competence
also an amateur antiquary with particular interests in Roman remains
prehistoric microliths. Most of his long working life was spent
in woolen mills.
Thursday 15th July 2010
It rained heavily overnight and being tired after
the trails and tribulations of the Standedge, we had a lie in!
We did not set off until 10-30 a.m. and headed for Stalybridge.
We had intended to moor between Locks 5W and 4W, but the weather
was miserable and we were getting cold, so we moored just above
Lock 8W where there is a BW refuse station.
Friday 16th July 2010
The weather was strange; one minute quite warm and
the next pouring down with rain. We stopped off at Tesco to do
some shopping, and then made our way down to Portland Basin. The
area near the last lock, Lock 1W, was not very nice at all. First
of all you approach the lock via a long single-boat section, and
then find that the lock is separated from an adjacent garden centre
with grey steel panels with barbed wire on top. Further, as there
is not enough room for lock gate beams at the top lock, it is
operated hydraulically using the windlass. You then have to go
down a low tunnel to get back on to the boat, which is not very
nice if someone is lurking around! Even the bit between Lock 1W
and Portland basin does not have much going for it, with a lot
of old boats moored up. We were glad to pass this area and get
to Portland Basin. Here we turned left under the bridge and onto
the Peak Forest canal, mooring up for lunch outside Portland Basin
Marina.. We carried on until late afternoon and moored just below
the Marple flight of locks.
Tesco Stalybridge, handy for shopping!
But you have to take care by the side of the canal,
as the following article from The Telegraph, 21st July 2010 shows:-
Looking back at the narrow section leading to
Lock 1W, a really scruffy area
The bridge at the entrance of The Peak Forest
Canal Heritage Centre, Portland Basin
Lift Bridge on the Peak Forest Canal
Saturday 17th July 2010
We set off at 8 a.m. to do the 16 locks of the Marple
flight. We were going great guns to start with but then heavy
showers of rain appeared from nowhere making it quite unpleasant.
We then found that pound 9 - 10 was very low and we grounded trying
to get into the lock. The only way out of it was to send more
water down the flight, and this took time. Lock 10 is quite slow,
as the bottom paddle does not work and you have to rely on a single
gate paddle. We struggled up to the top in the driving rain and
moored up at lunchtime having had enough for the day!
Rail Bridge next to Aqueduct
Starting the Marple Flight
Boat emerging from the Macclesfield Canal
Starting down the Macclesfield Canal.
The visitor moorings are just under the bridge.
Sunday 18th July 2010
We cruised from Marple to the top of the Bosley
Flight, a 16 mile stretch with no locks and just two swing bridges.
We were surprised how busy it was, and were pleased to find some
mooring space just before Bridge 53.
Looking for lunch!
Monday 19th July 2010
We took on water at the top of the Bosley Locks,
and were then the first to enter the locks that day. Our progression
down the flight of 12 locks went without hitch, and was aided
by some locks being in our favour and three boats coming up. We
stopped off at Heritage Narrow boats Marina to take on diesel,
and then moored up at the visitor moorings between Hall Green
Bridge and Hall Green Lock.
On the Bosley Flight
Tuesday 20th July 2010
We left Hall Green Bridge at 8-30 a.m. and did a
7-hour day to get to Wheelock, covering 8.5 miles and 27 locks.
We particularly wanted to get to Wheelock so that we could go
to the Italian restaurant there, but on route we learnt that it
had changed to "Murat's Turkish and Mediterranean Restaurant"
Hall Green Stop Lock
Paired single locks on the Trent & Mersey
Two young swallows waiting to be fed!
Wednesday 21st July 2010
We started at 8 a.m. for the run into Middlewich,
and then did a 90 degree turn under the bridge on to the Shropshire
Union Canal, Middlewich Branch. The first section of the Middlewich
Branch is quite nice, with lots of bridges and short sections
between, with nice houses and gardens on the left. We were soon
in the countryside and moored up at Bridge 14, ready for a meal
in the evening at "The Badger". It was a nice sunny
day, so it was nice to be moored up by 1 p.m. for a relaxing afternoon.
It was amazing how many boats passed us in both directions.
Middlewich Junction under heavy skies!
First section of the Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich
Old Canal Horse Stables converted into homes near
Moored at Bridge 14, ready for dinner in "The
Badger" in the evening
We had promised ourselves a slap up meal in "The
Badger" as we did a few years ago when passing this way,
and walked down into the village around 6-30 p.m. The road into
Church Minshull is quite narrow and the cars swish by quite quickly....
great care has to be taken not to get run over! And to top it
all........ The Badger had been closed for may months and is due
for refurbishment later this year! We returned to the boat for
soup and cheese!
Thursday 22nd July 2010
We started at 8-30 a.m. with the skies looking dark
and leaden. After half an hour the heavens opened up with tremendous
rain, and we were forced to pull over by the new marina at Church
Minshull to shelter for a while. After that we proceeded to Hurleston
Locks and then up the Llangollen Canal to Wrenbury. There are
two "eateries" at Wrenbury, the pub "The Cotton
Arms" and a restaurant called "Dusty Miller". We
went to the latter about 6-30 p.m. and were surprised that the
place was almost fully booked out! Nevertheless we got a table
and had a very enjoyable meal.
nb Keynsham braving the rain
British Waterways office at top of Hurleston Locks
Typical lock on the Llangollen, with very strong
Friday 23rd July 2010
We got up early and decided to set off at 7-45 a.m.
so that we were not in a long queue for the Grindley Brook locks,
Although there were quite a few boats coming down, we were the
first to go up so did not have to wait at all.
Wrenbury Wharf and the road lift-bridge
Nice maroon boat at Wrenbury
Aptly named, as it was 7-45 a.m.!
The Piper at the Gates of
Dawn is the debut album by the rock band Pink Floyd,
and the only one made under Syd Barrett's leadership. The album
lyrics about space, scarecrows, gnomes, bicycles and fairytales,
along with psychedelic
instrumental songs. The album was initially released in 1967 by
Alternatively, for those of
a literary bent, it could be after the title of the 7th chapter
in Wind of The Willows!
Canal runs adjacent to Blake Mere, very attractive
Old Canal Warehouse, Ellesmere Arm
New TESCO store at the head of the Ellesmere Arm
Saturday 24th July 2010
We left Ellesmere at 11 a.m. intending to go in
a leisurely fashion to Chirk. Initially we had thought about mooring
up at Lion Quay, near Bridge 17, which is a pub with about 16
mooring slots where overnight moorings are free to pub users.
However we got there and did not fancy it, so continued. We then
passed through a very narrow section with boats moored on the
tow path side; it was quite tricky especially where boats had
moored on tight bends. We did not fancy mooring here so continued.
Next we came to the Chirk Aqueduct and then the Chirk Tunnel.
We had to moor up to wait for a narrow boat coming through the
tunnel. We passed through the Chirk Tunnel but the mooring possibilities
the other side were not great as there were a lot of overhanging
trees and it felt very dank. So we headed for Froncysyllte, thinking
we might moor up before the Pontcysyllte aqueduct. You can see
where this is going! We were getting closer and closer to Llangollen,
meaning that it did not make sense to moor for the night! We then
went past Chirk Marina where there were lots of Black Prince hire
boats about to leave the marina, so at this point we decided that
we might as well go on to Llangollen, and headed over the aqueduct.
Going over the Pontcysyllte aqueduct is fantastic; on the one
side there is a narrow tow path with a guard rail, and on the
other is........nothing! The only thing that separates your 15-ton
narrow boat from a 120-foot drop down to the River Dee is about
4 inches of cast iron assembled 200 years ago! At the end of the
aqueduct is a sharp left hand turn under a low bridge that leads
We expected the 4-mile section to Llangollen to
be plain sailing even though it is narrow, but unfortunately we
came up behind a boat with 5 ladies (a hen party?) who had little
experience in handling a boat in the narrow confines of the Llangollen
Canal. They were swinging the tiller arm 180 degrees from side
to side in a violent manner, the result being that the boat zigzagged
up the canal hitting first one side then the other. And they were
going so slow! At one point I jumped off and ran ahead to offer
them some advice..... not to swing the tiller arm from one side
to the other so violently and only to make gentle maneuvers. After
that they made better progress but it was very very slow! We were
glad to moor up alongside the tow path in Llangollen and did not
go the further half mile to the marina, where there are moorings
for 38 boats. There is a mooring charge of £6 per night
in Llangollen, although this includes electricity hook-up.
Lion Quay, next to Bridge 17
Narrow section near Chirk
Looking back over the Chirk Aqueduct and railway
bridge on the right
The "Welcome to Wales" sign near Chirk
Pontcysyllte, 120 foot above the River Dee
Narrow section leading to Llangollen
Moored at Llangollen
Llangollen High Street
River Dee at Llangollen
Sunday 25th July 2010 (DAY OFF!)
We had a leisurely read of The Sunday Telegraph,
and watched the chaos of three boats trying to get out of Llangollen
through the narrow bits, with a boat coming up.
After that we walked along the Llantysilo part of
the canal to the Horseshoe Falls, a walk of 2 miles each way.
It was quite a pleasant walk which included sightings of a steam
train, a horse drawn narrow boat, canoeists, a man fly fishing,
a chain bridge across the Dee, in addition to the Horseshoe Falls.
Walk to Horseshoe Falls
Local steam train
The Chain Bridge, after which the adjacent Chainbridge
Hotel is named.
Monday 26th July 2010
We got up at 6-30 a.m. to get an early start on
the run down from Llangollen, as we did not want to get caught
in a long queue through the narrow parts of the canal down to
Trevor. We started at 7 a.m. and it took nearly two hours reach
Trevor, cross Pontcysyllte and moor up at Froncysyllte for breakfast.
We were quite surprised how the traffic had built up over the
weekend since we left Ellesmere. When we reached the two New Marton
locks we had to wait a few minutes as there was one boat in front
of us, but there was a queue of 11 boats waiting to come up and
the waiting time was an hour and a half! We pressed on and reached
Ellesmere after 7 hours.
Pontcysyllte viewed from across the valley at
Boat leaving New Marton top lock
Not a pretty sight -- Queue of 11 boats waiting
to go up New Marton bottom lock!
Boats moored for the night on the Ellesmere Arm
Tuesday 27th July 2010
Rest day in Ellesmere.
Wednesday 28th July 2010
We stopped at the services point at Ellesmere to
take on water and then left at 8-15 a.m. to go to Whitchurch,
where we planned to more for the night. Quite an enjoyable 4-hour
cruise with no locks, and we were able to "share" the
four lift-bridges with other boaters which made it easier.
Boat moored at Blake Mere
Moored in the Whitchurch Arm
Lift Bridge, Whitchurch
Thursday 29th July 2010
We set off at 7-45 a.m. and leaving the Whitchurch
Arm we went to the winding hole to turn round to head for Wrenbury.
We were soon at the Grindley Brook locks and were third in line
at the queue. 5 hours after departing we arrived at Wrenbury where
we took on diesel and visited the chandlery. As we did not have
to be at Hurleston until Friday evening we decided to moor up
for the day, especially as it was looking black overhead and we
thought that we would be in for heavy rain.
Lock keeper's house, Grindley Brook
At Quoisley Lock
Friday 30th July 2010
We left Wrenbury at 8-30 a.m. and made our way down
the Llangollen Canal to its junction with the Shropshire Union
Canal at Hurleston Junction.
We then did a slight deviation up the Shropshire
Union towards Chester, as far as Bunbury Staircase Locks, before
returning to the Middlewich Branch and mooring at Benyon's Bridge.
Saturday 31st July 2010
Rendezvous with John & Anne at Church Minshull