Last night wasn’t as cold as it has been, but now the water temperature is low even an overnight of around 0° puts ice on the surface.
A couple of boats had been past by the time we got going, so at least we didn’t have to break any this morning, just elbow it to one side.
Nantwich has extensive moorings on the embankment, either side of the aqueduct carrying the canal over Welsh Row.
Crossing Telford’s aqueduct at Nantwich
Nantwich also marks the junction of the Birmingham and Liverpool Canal with the much earlier Chester Canal.
Bridge 92, last on the B&LJC
The Chester Canal terminated at Nantwich Basin, on the right here.
So we’re now on the Chester Canal. Opened in 1779, it’s a grandad compared to the Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, opened in 1835. The older canal has an entirely different character to the later.
Gone are the long straights over embankments and through cuttings, this canal follows the contours rather than cutting them, so it’s a lot more bendy. The bridges are wider too, as are the locks, but we’ll not see any of those before we turn off at Hurleston Junction.
The canal was built to accommodate barges from the River Dee in Chester, and a terminus was built there, connecting to the river through three locks.
Our trip on this canal wasn’t long; less than half an hour later we were at Hurleston Junction, where the Llangollen Canal joins the Shropshire Union Main Line after dropping down four locks.
That’ll be us, then
Mags waiting to come up the bottom lock.
We were following a single hander, but the boat coming down had left the locks set for him. He actually invited me to go first, but I’m sure he’s glad I declined, otherwise he’d have had to turn all the locks as he followed us up. Nice of him to offer, though.
Looking down the flight from the top lock
Our locking technique was judged by a critical audience…
We topped off the tank again at the services above the locks, then carried on, mooring just short of the hamlet of Burland. We’ve got visitors coming tomorrow, and there are moorings closer to the road bridge, but they can be quite muddy. Meg and I will go and check them out… Now it’s turned mild the frozen towpath will return to mush in the wetter sections.
Oh, and a Happy New Year, everyone! Not too much to drink tonight, now…
(that's what they'll look like if you have too many...)
Locks 4, miles 4½