After a “day off” on Saturday, we made a short trip yesterday to moor at the Dane Aqueduct just below Bosley Locks.
What a fantastic spot for a farm, tucked away in it’s own valley with The Cloud looking on.
Crossley Hall Farm
Moored at the aqueduct. I got the counter bands finished earlier, just the tipcat and button to refit.
Dane Aqueduct moorings….
…..and the aqueduct from below.
Another frosty night, but a fine bright morning today, so Meg and I decided to have a look up The Cloud before tackling the locks. We went up before, in 2008, with Amy (NB Black Briony), and Gloria (NB Completely Foxed).
The Cloud across the fields
And a bit closer, clearly showing the gritstone cap.
Halfway up, looking north-ish
You can just see, to the left, the long viaduct carrying the West Coast Main Line over the River Dane
At 08:00 we reached the top, with spectacular views all round.
Trig Point and information “wheel” on the summit
Mow Cop is the lump in the middle.
Rudyard Reservoir in the middle of the picture. Early mist is still hanging in the valleys.
Croker Hill on the horizon.
…And finally NW
The white blob is the large dish at Jodrell Bank, the smudge on the horizon just beyond is from Fiddlers Ferry Power Station, on the Mersey 27 miles away.
The Cloud sits just outside the Peak District National Park, part of a ridge of high ground on the Cheshire border. It’s 1125 foot high gritstone cap sits on top of a soft mudstone base, and the distinctive elongated teardrop shape was caused by glaciation.
We were back down at the boat by 09:00, having had a cracking start to the day.
By 10:30 we were on the move again, this time by water, heading for the 12 locks of the Bosley flight.
Approaching Bosley Bottom Lock
Each lock is about 10 feet deep, making the bottom paddles particularly heavy to lift. Unfortunately we were following another boat up, so I had to empty each one. Still, the extra work was well compensated for by the views opening up as we rose up the hill.
Mags heading towards Lock 6, The Cloud on the horizon.
The muddy "pond in the foreground is one of the side ponds, built to save water on the flight. At Lock 4 there’s an explanation of their use, alongside a restored one.
Side Pond at Lock 4 (Click to enlarge)
The flight climbs through open country, with a main road crossing below Lock 5, at Wheatsheaf Farm.
Wheatsheaf Farm and Lock 5
Two hours of windlass waggling saw us at the top lock, not bad considering we had to turn every one.
Bosley Top Lock, No 1. The building is the amenity block, where we filled and emptied the appropriate receptacles before moving on and mooring 5 minutes further on.
We’re now on the summit level, 520 feet up. This is the height we’ll stay at to Marple and then on the Upper Peak Forest to Whaley Bridge and Buxworth Basin. The Lower Peak Forest drops down 16 Locks at Marple, heading down to meet the Ashton Canal at Duckinfield Junction. That’s the route we’ll take after visiting Buxworth, timing it to arrive in Manchester for my next run in the city centre.
It’s been fine weather all day, mainly sunny but with a sneaky cold breeze. We’ve seen only another four boats on the move all day, one in front of us, one following, and another couple heading downhill after we’d moored up.
Heading for Macclesfield tomorrow.
I'm missing my camera, especially today for the shots from the summit. They would have been so much better at 14 megapixies, rather than the 3 from my phone camera.
Locks 12, miles 1½