Sunday, 11 March 2018

Overwinter Cruise Week 18

Sunday 4th March - Monday 5th March

We have spent these 2 days in the Marina as the canal is still frozen in places and it is a little chilly!

On Sunday we treated ourselves to Sunday Lunch at The Combermere Arms, Burleydam, our pub of choice for eating whilst at the Marina.

Tuesday 6th March - Overwater Marina to Coole Pilate

Today we decided to move out of the Marina and begin our trip north towards Chester.  We were very adventurous and went all of 1 mile to Coole Pilate Visitor Moorings and stayed there overnight.  We have spent many a pleasant hour with friends and family at this spot.  

Much as we like our Marina, we do prefer to be out on the canal where we can enjoy open views rather than staring at other boats.

Wednesday 7th March - Coole Pilate to Barbridge

This building at Hack Green Lock is all that remains of the stables for changing the horses on the 'fly' boats that used to travel day and night carrying urgent, perishable cargoes.

At last, a field full of spring lambs, another sign that spring is on it's way!

As we cruised through Nantwich we passed nbBeefur moored up.  Our paths won't converge anymore as they will head up the Llangollen Canal and we shall continue on the Shropshire Union.  Look forward to seeing them again in September!

We also passed this handsome pair of boats, the butty on the inside, Lyra, is set up as a trading boat, Reverie Canal Trading Company, and the boat on the outside the living quarters.

After stopping to put on water and diesel at Nantwich Canal Centre we continued to Barbridge and moored up for the night outside the Olde Barbridge Arms.

Thursday 8th March - Barbridge 

Woke up to a cold, wet and sleety morning and made the decision to stay another night.  Had a very quiet day, but enjoyed a lunch in the pub, very pleasant indeed!

Friday 9th March - Barbridge to Below Beeston Stone Lock

Bunbury Staircase Locks are 2 wide locks with these handsome stables used to exchange tired horses for fresh horses on the fast 'fly boats' which covered the 80 miles from the Mersey Ports to the Black Country factories in just over 24 hours.

The premises are now occupied by Anglo Welsh hire boats and here Dave is waiting while they are moving a boat into the dry dock below the lock.

Toby keeping his eye on me as I went below into the boat.  Just in case I escaped out the bow!

At Tilstone Lock there is an unusual circular building overlooking the head of the lock chamber.  It has been restored and was once used by the lengthsman to store maintenance equipment for his work of looking after the length of canal he was responsible for. 

Dave was lucky to get this photo of a cormorant as it was busy diving for fish as we passed it.

We moored up for the day between Beeston Stone Lock and Beeston Iron Lock.  The Iron Lock is an unusual feature and because of the potential for getting stuck on the iron plates, great care needs to be taken.  The lock was Telford's way of dealing with ground instability at this point.

We also found The Lockgate Coffee House and enjoyed a lovely cup of tea and delicious cake.  It really is worth stopping to visit, especially as it is dog friendly, Toby even got his own treats!

Saturday 10th March - Below Beeston Stone Lock

We have decided to stay here another day and explore the area.  We walked along the canal and to Beeston Castle, then on to Peckforton Castle and finally back down to the canal.

This is an old signal box on the railway line, still showing the name of the closed railway station, Beeston Castle and Tarporley.

We walked to the entrance of Beeston Castle but decided against visiting it, just enjoyed the different views of it on our walk.  Beeston Castle is a major medieval fortress built in the 1220's by Ranulf, Earl of Chester.

We then followed the Sandstone Trail through the Peckforton Estate catching glimpses of  Peckforton Castle, a Victorian Country House built in the style of a medieval castle and which is now a wedding and conference centre.

We returned to the boat, clutching cake from the Coffee House and in time to watch the Six Nations Rugby matches.

Next week we shall continue our journey towards Chester and Ellesmere Port before turning round and retracing our journey back to Overwater Marina.

Map Key   
Week 1 - Brown   Week 2 -  Purple   Week 3 - Dark Blue   Week 4 - Light Blue
Week 5 - Green    Week 6 Olive Green   Week 7 - Yellow  Week 8 - Orange  

Week 9 - Pink      Week 10 - Dark Pink     Week 11 - Dark Brown  Week 12 - Light Purple         

Week 13 - Indigo  Week 14 - Blue/Green   Week 15 - Dark Green  Week 16 - Muddy Green
Week 17 - Yellow Week 18 - Light Orange 

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