Cruise 4 - Anderton to Stone (Potteries Cruise)
23rd – 30th April 2022 (7 nights)
From: Anderton (Trent & Mersey Canal)
To: Aston Marina Stone (Trent & Mersey Canal
VIA: 1/3 of the Four Counties Ring
HIGHLIGHTS: Anderton Boat Lift (viewing),
Lion Salt Works,
Etruria Industrial Museum,
After a couple of days bobbing around at the top of the Anderton Boat lift – POSSIBLY in either Anderton or Uplands Marina (plugged in to mains power), we’ll be ready to depart about 1.30pm when our new guests come aboard.
This trip is approximately a third of the 4 Counties ring and we will aim to cruise for around 5 hours each day. We can adjust this figure so as to facilitate visits to the various attractions along the route such as Lion Salt Works Museum, Middleport Pottery, Etruria Industrial Museum and the Wedgewood factory. None of these are obligatory and we can simply enjoy the cruise rather dash off lest right and centre on tours… it’s entirely up to you.
When our guests have settled in over an introductory blah blah and a complimentary glass of something fizzy, we’ll chug off and aim for Middlewich for our first night’s mooring…
Our next day will see us cruising the beginning of ‘Heartbreak Hill’ – depending on how busy it is, we may stop around Sandbach or press on until everyone is exhausted.
More locks will follow the next morning until we get to Harecastle Tunnel – our aim will probably be to get through the tunnel before night fall … hopefully the current Covid reduced operating hours will have reverted to “normal” and once through we’ll tie up for the night perhaps at the nature reserve at Westport Lake.
After a (hopefully) peaceful night at Westport, we’ll chug a short while around the corner and hopefully tie up for a couple of hours outside the Middleport Pottery so our guests can have a look around/take the tour. After that, we’ll chug on Southwards through Stoke on Trent ad tie up for the day at Etruria. It may be possible to visit the Industrial Museum if we arrive before it closes… and if the group is up for a little wander after our evening meal, the captain will suggest a walk to a pub called “The Holy Inadequate”… it’s about a mile or so but worth it as it’s got quite a buzz and a lot of beers… well it did before the pandemic… here’s hoping it’s survived!
Next morning, we’ll begin the long descent through the remainder of Stoke and on to prettier places – aiming to stop at the Wedgewood Factory visitor moorings for a visit. Another famous pub isn’t far away at Barlaston “ The Plume of Feathers”… (this isn’t a pub crawl honestly).
After that, we’ve got the Meafrod Lock flight to work our way down and then we’ll be in Stone. We might spend our final night moored here (if guests are using the rail network for their onward journey) or continue down to the visitor Mooring we’ll have booked in Aston Marina. Wherever we’ve ended up, our guest will depart the final morning after breakfast and we’ll begin the mammoth laundry and cleaning routine in preparation for our next trip – a leisurely 2 week long 4 Counties ring.
Over night stopping places suggested are not set in stone – some will be weather dependant given the time of year… April used to be a month of showers… thanks to climate change however, EVERY Month now attracts that description and certainly for the last 10 years or so, April has been a lovely and warm month – (famous last words)!
Total distance is about 40 miles and 50 locks . There are 12 small aqueducts or underbridges and 1 tunnel (Harecastle Tunnel (2919 yards long)