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22nd -30th June 2021 (8 nights)
From: Nantwich (Shropshire Union Canal)
To: Portland Basin (Ashton Canal)
Via: Trent & Mersey Canal
Lower Peak Forest Canal
Nantwich to Portland Basin £1080 pp
'Ellis' will be leaving the Llangollen for the main part of the school holidays – we like the hustle and bustle (to a point) but it's the perfect time to head off to the Huddersfield Narrow Canal.
There are two ways we could get there – a relatively easy (36 locks) route of about 62 miles which isn't very pretty... OR a similar distance but with 64 locks... us being us of course, have opted for the prettier (and more heavier locked) route!
Our guests will join us around 1.30pm and after introductions (and maybe a libation) we'll chug off northwards to Barbridge Junction and onto the Middlewich branch. Our fist evening will probably be spent around the pretty moorings at Church Minsull.
Next morning after breakfast, we'll chug onwards to Kings lock and then chuck a right – we might have to nip in to the Chandlery to buy an oil filter but that won't hold things up for long. We might make a bit of a longer day of it and aim for Rode Heath or Church Lawton for tonight's mooring... we'll see how it goes.
Tomorrow will see us to Kidsrove, turn on to the Macclesfield Canal and on perhaps as far as Congleton.
We've Still got quite a distance to cover but we'll try and be as flexible as we can be. The journey ahead includes Congleton, Bosley Locks (with their stunning views), Macclesfield, Bollington Goyt Mill and the Lovely Marple.
We'll try not to be to regimented but ideally we'd like to stop a night in Marple before we turn left onto the Lower Peak Forest canal and work our way down the Marple flight and spend our last day chugging on towards Portland Basin where our guests will depart after breakfast on the last day of this cruise. After our guests departure, we'll have to be quite water conscious on this trip as Marple is the last tap for us until we get to Stalybridge...submariner showers being the order of the day!
Total distance is 62 miles and 64 locks . There are 3 moveable bridges; 29 small aqueducts or underbridges and 2 tunnels (Hyde Bank Tunnel (308 yards long) and Woodley Tunnel (176 yards long)
NB - there is scope to turn this into a 7 night cruise if guests are prepared for longer days in case of lock queues.