Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Following the Trent

Since we left Stoke yesterday, we’ve been following the Trent valley. But it becomes a lot more obvious as the canal swings eastwards and runs into the river’s flood plain.

At 07:00 this morning, the sun was just starting to lift the mist off the water.
We were away from our overnight mooring at around 11:00. We would have been earlier, but I got talking to a couple on another boat…..

It was another brilliant day for boating, a cool start but warming up rapidly.

On the way to Meaford.
The first landmark today was the 4 lock flight at Meaford. We were following another boat so had to fill each lock as we came to it, but even so it only took 50 minutes to drop the 32 feet.

Coming down Meaford Locks.
Then a mile later we were into Stone. This is one of our favourite canal towns on the network, only let down by a lack of moorings in the centre. Still, there are plenty of opportunities on the edges.

In Stone

The 4 locks through the town were easy to drop down, all still against us apart from Yard Lock, where one half of the Ladyline Hotel Boats was coming up. We’d already passed Lady Margaret near the old Joules brewery.

Hotel Boat Lady Selena, leaving Yard Lock.
They’re on their way to Middlewich to pick up a party who want to go to Bugsworth Basin.

The Star pub, alongside Star Lock, was busy with patrons inside and out. The tantalising smells of other people's lunches reminded me that it was time we ate, so Mags made some butties as we moved out of the town.

Star Lock and the pub
It was a treat to come through Stone in sunshine, usually it’s raining when we get here, and still raining when we leave. The town seems to attract quite a few visitors by other than boat. I had a chat with a couple from New Zealand at Newcastle Road Lock, and a group of chaps from Ireland at sampling the offerings at Star Lock.

Away from the town, the last lock of the day was at Aston, then we moved another couple of miles to moor in splendid isolation above Sandon Lock.

Just below Aston Lock another new marina is being constructed.

Due to open in October, it looks like there's quite a bit still to do...

A bit of cloud rolled in this afternoon, and with a freshening wind it got cooler. But all is still and clear again now, another cool night in the offing. We lit the fire tonight when we stopped. It’s been out since Sunday night. You’re not allowed to have a fire going in Harecastle tunnel, and we didn’t bother to relight it last night. But it was decidedly chilly in the cabin this morning. Must be getting old or something…

A poor shot of a Lapwing taken on the fly as we passed.
Locks 9, miles 7½


Cathy said...

Hello there
Its me again, I finally remembered where I took those photos

It was at Stoke Bruerne - we had been visiting friends in Northampton and went there for a drink at one of the pubs.

Walked along the tow path to the tunnel entrance, then went through the Museum, looked at the 'dry dock'? but didn't go across to the other side tho as it started raining quite heavily.
Take care

Geoff and Mags said...

Hi Cathy
We'll be heading back up the Grand Union mainline in the summer, so will be going through Stoke Bruerne.
I hope we get better weather than you did, though.
All the best,