Thursday 31 March 2011

Wrenbury to Grindley Brook

Set off today in blustery conditions, cruising became challenging at times due to the very strong winds. At one point trying to moor for the lock I was blown onto the opposite side of the canal, completely pinning me to the bank. The countryside has been very impressive, miles and miles of green fields and stunning views. Having done four locks today, we have moored just below Grindley Brook to prepare ourselves for the six locks tomorrow morning, including the staircase of three. Hoping for a calmer day.

002Lift bridge ahead


Stopped for lunch at Willey Moor Lock


Poveys Lock


Tonights moorings

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Burland to Wrenbury

Only a short blog today as we cruised most of the time in the rain and didn’t take many photos. To start with it just seemed like a light shower but continued steadily for the next few hours. We can’t complain as this is the first time we have got wet since we set of at the beginning of March. We got through five locks and the first lift bridge, mooring at Wrenbury for the night.

002Swanley lock, all the locks have strong by-washes making it tricky to enter the narrow locks


The first of many lift bridges on the Llangollen canal

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Audlem to Burland

It was to be our last day on the Shroppie today, a pleasant run through to Hack Green locks then through Nantwich before we took a sharp turn onto the Llangollen Canal. Remembering to take up our fenders before entering the narrow Hurleston locks, a flight of four. We moored between bridges 3 and 4, Pip and I took a walk across the fields to buy Snugburys Ice Cream. This is a place we always pass many a time by car on our way to Wales but have never called in, now we have sampled it we will definitely be doing so in the future.

005 Hack Green locks, newly replaced beams and gates


The aqueduct at Nantwich over the Chester road


Leaving the Shropshire Union Canal and onto the Llangollen


Hurleston Junction


Hurleston locks


Snugburys Ice Cream

Monday 28 March 2011

Adderley to Audlem

Awoke to a foggy morning. As we set off for the flight of fifteen locks down to Audlem, we missed some of the early views across the Shropshire/Cheshire countryside, but luckily the fog eventually cleared and we had blue skies and sunshine for the rest of the day.

002 Setting off from Adderley, luckily the fog is not too thick






The Shroppie Fly and Audlem Mill Canal Shop


The view from tonight’s moorings

Market Drayton to Adderley

Only a short run today, ready for the fifteen locks through Audlem tomorrow. It was still a very pleasant cruise through Bretton cutting and the flight of five locks at Adderley.  The Adderley Wharf farm shop at the top of the flight is well worth a visit for a good range of meat and fresh eggs, we resisted the temptation of the cakes on display.

030Bretton Cutting


The top of Adderley locks


038Good overnight moorings at the bottom of Adderley locks

Saturday 26 March 2011

Norbury Junction to Market Drayton

What a difference a day makes, yesterday we were dressed in t-shirts and having to put on sun cream. Today there was a fair chill in the air resulting in coats, hats and gloves, trying to keep warm. We have cruised through some of the infamous cuttings on the Shropshire Union canal and the picturesque flight of Tyrley locks. Mooring for the night at Market Drayton to enable us to drop Dave off to get back to his car.

004 Probably the most photographed bridge on the Shropshire Union Canal, no 39 Grub Street Cutting


The former Cadbury factory at Knighton. There was still a strong smell of chocolate in the air from the new factory in the background


Windsong going past the landslide in Woodseaves Cutting


Woodseaves Cutting


Tyrley locks, a flight of five locks



We have spent an enjoyable few days with our friend Dave

Brewood to Norbury Junction

Seen lots of wildlife today on our travels, from the usual herons to a wide variety of butterfly. Met our friend Dave at Wheaton Aston, who will be staying with us a few days. Also stopping off there for fuel. Passed through cuttings and a short tunnel, over an aqueduct and embankments offering wide open countryside views. We decided not to moor at Gnosall Heath but instead at Norbury Junction.

003 Avenue bridge, the road to Chillington Hall


Brewood (Broooood)


Stretton aqueduct over the A5


Lapley Wood Cutting


Dad, this ones for you



Looking towards Gnosall Heath


Norbury Junction

Thursday 24 March 2011

Penkridge to Brewood

Long may it last, who would have thought we would be in t-shirts in March, but the weather is holding and we have had another wonderful cruising day. Although we ended up cruising further than we would normally. We passed through Gailey where we watered and then on through Coven to moor overnight at Brewood.

001 Early morning view from our mooring


Entering Otherton Lock


Windsong following behind


Gailey Roundhouse, unfortunately the shop was closed.


‘Pendeford Rockin’ a half mile long narrow cutting


Autherley Junction stop lock, we have now turned onto the Shropshire Union Canal

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Tixall Wide to Penkridge

Yet another great morning, waking up to blue skies again, long may it last. There were batches of cheerful daffs all along the banks today, along with the forsythia. Passing the lovely village of Acton Trussel.  Earlier on we heard a ticking noise from around the engine, Ian had a quick look but could see nothing obvious, then the noise stopped. It came back later, this time as a clunking sound, as we were approaching Longford lock, just outside Penkridge. On inspection this time it was very obvious that the main alternator belt had shredded, which then resulted in a quick walk into Penkridge for a replacement belt.

004The shorts are out.


Tixall Lock


Deptmore Lock, it is good to see the renovation of the old lock cottage, which has been boarded up for the last few years at least.

021 Above Deptmore Lock


The offending belt, luckily now all fixed.

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Wolseley to Tixall Wide

Another stunning day, wall to wall blue sky and sunshine, not bad weather for March. Had a leisurely cruise today, although it was quite busy and we had to queue for the locks, Windsong was fifth in line, luckily we only had two to do.

003Just setting off, perfect weather.


Colwich Lock


A nice spring garden


Turning off the Trent & Mersey onto the Stafford & Worcestershire at Gt Haywood junction


Idyllic mooring for the night at Tixall Wide


Our first bbq of the year