Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Relaxing at Bugsworth

At Bugsworth Basin, Falcon is middle boat on the left
Well once again a week has slipped by without me ‘putting pen to paper’.  Thursday saw us arriving in Marple.  This is basically the end of the Macclesfield Canal as at Marple Junction it joins the Peak Forest Canal.  Arriving early afternoon we decided to go for a walk around.  Finding the cinema we thought we would go that evening to watch ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’.  Well it was a real step back in time.  It is quite an old cinema and apart from having had some seats removed so you do have some leg room you could be back in the 70’s.  An usher showed us to our seats and there was an interval in the middle of the film when ice cream was sold from a tray on the balcony and only £1 for a sizeable tub.  As an added bonus we both enjoyed the film!
On Friday my cousin Dawn and her husband Dave, who live near Manchester came to see us.  Can’t remember the last time we saw them, 5 years or more.  The weather wasn’t brilliant but we did have a short cruise down and back.  We will be seeing more of them whilst we are in the area.  Saturday was lovely sunny day and we thought summer had arrived.  We moved on to the junction then headed south again on the Peak Forest Canal.  In this direction there is only 5 miles of canal, to Whaley Bridge with a branch off to Bugsworth Basin.  Sunday unfortunately we woke to rain, which was a shame as Paul’s niece Cheryl was joining us for the day.  Anyway by the time she arrived at New Mills the rain had stopped and we cruised with her to Whaley Bridge and back.  At the moment we are moored in Bugsworth Basin.  It is lovely moorings on the site which is an Ancient Monument.  Alongside the moorings are remains of wharehouse buildings and wharfs where lime stone was loaded from wagons from the quarries onto the narrowboats for transport onward.  Apart from the nearby A6 it is a beautiful site, full of wildlife.
Tomorrow will probably see us start the journey back towards Marple, so catch you next time.

Admiring the view

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Trying local customs

At White Nancy
Well we didn’t manage to stop at Macclesfield as there were no moorings as we came through.  So we carried on, mooring just before Bollington.  So Saturday saw us catching the bus to Macclesfield to have a look around.  Felt that as is it the town the canal is named for we should at least have a look around.  We had coffee in the Old Sunday School, in the same building was a discovery centre which was very interesting with a film about weaving.  There are lots of old mills around this area.  Most have been converted but one or two are still working.  This was followed by lunch in Arighi Bianchi an Italian furniture shop that has been trading in Macclesfield since 1854.  Before shopping in Aldi and catching the bus back we had a refreshing cuppa in The Cheshire Gap.  Phew all that eating, we were exhausted!!
Sunday we walked along the canal to Clarence Mill, another Discovery Centre and the Waterside Cafe for lunch.  We did walk that off tho by walking to White Nancy (currently painted to mark 200 years since Waterloo).  It’s a folly and was quite a climb.  Amazing view from the top.  Yesterday we moved about half a mile and went off to the launderette.  Today so far has been a bit wet!  We have lit the fire and will probably stay here another night.

Enjoying a meal with real ale at The Vale, Bollington

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Enjoying the Scenery

Leaving Congleton

We are making our way slowly along the Macclesfield.  The scenery is lovely, it is a very rural canal and unusual that it was built up onto embankments in many areas.  We arrived at Congleton on Monday and went exploring.  On Monday on our bikes to a Farm Shop, then on Tuesday we explored the town.  Fairly small with lots of old building with lots of character.  We walked as far as the River Dane where there was a pretty park before doing some shopping and catching the bus back.  We left yesterday and after an overnight stop today we have climbed the 12 Bosley Locks.  Some quite deep, but apart from one shallow lock just after we came of the Trent and Mersey these are the only locks on the canal.  Tomorrow we should arrive in Macclesfield where we will stop for a couple of days.
Lock 12 done lock 11 coming into view. Only 10 more after that!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Transit the Harecastle Tunnel

Nearly at the end

Well we finally made it on to the Macclesfield Canal yesterday.  Came through the Harecastle Tunnel, 2926 yards of it, without mishap (last time travelling in the other direction Paul lost his hat that he bought in New Zealand!).  It was only a short cruise from our mooring on the Caldon, but we did make an overnight stop by Westport Lake.  A pretty spot with lots of water birds, we had a walk all around the lake.  This morning a mother duck swam by with we think 16 ducklings.  So tiny and cute!  It was difficult to count them as they didn’t keep still!  Unfortunately the weather isn’t so good today, but I expect we will move on later.

Finally out in the daylight again

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

May Bank Holiday

Having a good time
Well we had a lovely weekend with Alec and Sheree.  They arrived on Saturday and after a look around Stone we moved on up through 4 locks before mooring for the night.  The next day there were 4 more locks before we moored at Trentham.  They had to leave on Monday and Paul and I got on our bikes and cycled along the tow path past the Britannia Stadium where Stoke City play and on into the town.  Yesterday we moved on up through 5 more locks and currently are just at the start of the Caldon Canal where we are spending 2 nights.  The next couple of days will see us return to the Trent and Mersey and thus on to the Macclesfield.

Friday, 1 May 2015

Staying in Stone

Built in 2008, you can just see the canal in the background
Spent a lovely weekend in Hereford at Paul’s 309 Squadron reunion.  Stayed in the Green Dragon this time which is right in the centre so very handy.  Also saw Joan and Colin, friends we made on the cruise last year, on our trip down.
Well yesterday we arrived in Stone, a pretty little town that we have visited a couple of times before.  Have been shopping in Morrisons and Aldi.  Why do we always spend about £60 when we go to Aldi despite only 4 items on the list!  Paul got a new rucksack.  I have been telling him to get a new one for ages.  His is heavy before you put anything in it! Anyway he already likes the new one better!  All the shopping gave him opportunity to try it out!!  Tomorrow Sheree and Alec arrive from Plymouth for a couple of days and we will cruise on to Stoke on Trent.

Feed me, feed me now!