Aston Marina (Stone) Return - via Tixall Wide
24th - 27th Decemeber 2021 (3nights)
From: Aston Marina Stone
(Trent & Mersey Canal)
To: Aston Marina Stone
(Trent & Mersey Canal)
Via: Great Haywood & Tixall
Wide (Staffs & Worcs Canal)
Weston Upon Trent,
As you may have gathered, 2020 was a rotten year both cruising and financially for ‘Ellis’ – The Start of 2021 is looking equally precarious thanks to the ongoing global pandemic - That said, as more folks are vaccinated, I'm optimistic we should have a better END to 2021.
With that in mind (and hopefully a period of lesser restrictions continuing), 'Ellis' is going to offer a few more out of season trips this year - including a couple of Festive Specials... when I say Festive, I mean the time of year NOT the Capt… he’s not overly keen on the commercialism of Xmas but does accept as a Yorkshire man, the hypocrisy of running a couple of income generating Yule-tide jollies.
In case anyone is worried about it being cold on a boat in Winter – rest assured that when the fire is lit, it’s usually a case of being too hot with hatches flung open to let some air in! With luck, we’ll have a couple of frosty days though so that when we wake up over looking Tixall Wide, Jack Frost will have made everything look crisp and clean – who knows, we may even see some snow.
To make life a little easier than normal, we plan for our guest/s to arrive around 1.00 pm on the first day… share a glass of fizz (or 3) and then chug out of the marina - turning left on to the Trent & Mersey Canal. There is parking available outside the Marina pub which appears safe enough… I’ve certainly left hire cars there untouched for a few days at a time and boaters also park here without problem.
We’ll chug on for a couple of hours –working our way through Sandon lock and aim to tie up for Christmas Eve together around Weston Upon Trent… a short walk after dinner to visit a pub might be the order of the day if we're feeling sociable - if not, we'll stoke up the fire and be all Christmassy on the boat instead.
Next morning after a leisurely breakfast, we’ll head down Weston Lock and meander our way towards Great Haywood Junction where we’ll turn right and on to the Staffs and Worcestershire Canal.
Tonight’s mooring spot will be the lovely “Tixall Wide” – the Capt. may get the urge to try and do a couple of donuts first in the expanse of water, before turning the boat around and tying up to prepare Christmas Dinner.
The next morning, once breakfast is over, the plan is to chug gently back to Stone and probably spend our final evening together tied up on our winter mooring... plugged into lovely shore-line.
There’s every chance we may pull crackers, wear silly hats and behave like idiots – apparently that is the sort of thing people who LIKE Christmas do!
Our guest/s will depart after breakfast the following morning and we’ll probably spend a couple of days recovering before we work out what to do next.
Total distance is 17 miles, and 6 locks . There are 14 small aqueducts or underbridges.