9th - 16th August 2021 (7 nights)
From: Portland Basin (Ashton Under
Lyne Ashton Canal)
To: Stone (Trent & Mersey Canal)
Via : Lower Peak Forest &
Hardings Wood Junction,
After a month or so playing around on the Huddersfield Narrow canal, given the time of year (and it's tendency to be short of water) we're going to have a bit of a segway on to the Lower Peak forest, Macclesfield and then Trent & Mersey canals. Our route will take us along part of The Cheshire Ring, The Four Counties ring and when it ends, line us up for our next trip which will take in part of the Black Country Ring as we continue our exploration.
This trip takes in many iconic locations on the canals, including the famous Marple lock flight, Bosley locks (on the Macclesfield canal), Hare-castle Tunnel, Etruria (with the Industrial Museum)- not to mention the world renowned “Wedgwood” site. Our planned cruising schedule should allow us to stop a while each day to visit whatever is of interest.
As usual, we expect our guests to arrive about 1.30pm and after quick introduction (and maybe a glass of bubbly stuff) we'll set off and make the turn on to the Lower Peak forest canal. Our plan will be to get close to the bottom of the Marple lock flight (16 locks) and moor up for the day.
After a reasonably early breakfast, we'll begin penning our way up through the 16 locks to and when we reach Marple will probably top up the water tank. After lunch, we'll try and stop a while so we can explore the town before chugging off with a view to mooring for the evening around Ryles Bridge – if our guests haven't take too long exploring Marple,we may even be able to travel a little farther on and end the day in Bollington... (2 pubs) – we'll play it by ear.
Next day will see us arrive in Macclesfield around lunchtime and we'll tie up for a couple of hours to look around the town before heading off towards Bosley locks – where (once topped up with water) we can either moor at the top -or put a couple of hours extra in and tie up at the bottom. The Bosley flight has some stunning views so if the sun is shining, it might be worth working our way down in the light of a summers evening... assuming it's not bucketing down of course :-)
The following morning after breakfast we'll continue our southerly sojourn passing Buglawton and Congleton. Depending on timings, we might get through Harecastle Tunnel today (2919 yards) – if it's getting on, we'll hang back a bit and moor for the night before the junction where it's a bit quieter.
Once through the tunnel, (depending on the time) we can either moor over night at the lovely Westport Lake or stop and explore a while before we work our way through the potteries to Etruria.
After Etruria, we'll probably keep on going until we reach Wedgwood Visitor moorings where we'll moor so as to facilitate a visit to the Wedgwood site if desired... if not, we'll aim for Barlaston and perhaps stop off for a pint in the Plume of Feathers.
Our final day will take us down the Meaford Flight of locks then the Stone flight where we'll tie up at the bottom on the visitor moorings for our guests to depart after breakfast the following morning.
This trip is a total distance of 50 miles and 43 locks. None of the mooring places are set in stone... there should be enough time for us to stop and explore as the mood takes us