1st - 8th April 2021 (7 nights)
From: Liverpool (Salthouse Docks)
To: Manchester (Dukes Lock –
Manchester City Centre.
We’re kicking off our 2021 Cruising Season with a change to the original schedule – In a bid to make good a trip which due to Covid had to be abandoned in 2020, we’ll have done a “pre-season” trip to Liverpool.
Once our returning guests have departed , we’ll have spent a few free days in Liverpool and the boat will be prepped and ready for our new travelling companions to join us on 1st April from about 1.30 pm. – after introductions and perhaps a glass of something bubbly, we'll spend our first evening together moored in the Docks in preparation for an early departure next morning.
Once we've travelled through the Liverpool link and beyond Bootle – we’ll possibly stop around Litherland … it’s not the nicest of areas I’ll admit but the visitor moorings are safe enough (it’s also very handy for the water point AND TESCO supermarket *other supermarkets are available* We’ll chug on through Lydiate and Melling… perhaps stopping the night there (a pub is walk able to if desired).
Passing through Maghull , Halsall isn’t far from the canal so we might stop there to facilitate a walk to see the lovely church there. If the weather is ok, perhaps we’ll push on a little farther and Head for Heatens Bridge for another pub stop… (I realise this is in danger of sounding like a pub-crawl… it’s not… HONESTLY.
Next day, we’ll pass through Burscough and on to pretty Parbold to moor for the evening.
Appley Bridge and Crooke lie ahead (we’ll have to fill up with water before we head up the lock) and another pub at Crooke might distract us again.
Our journey now takes us through the outskirts of Wigan and rather than head up through the 21 locks, we turn right onto the Leigh Branch towards Manchester. Today we'll pass through Scotsman's Flash followed by Pennington Flash before the town of Leigh. Depending on how early we departed, there may be time to stop and take a few photos before we head on to Boothstown where we'll tie up for the day – now on the Bridgewater Canal.
After breakfast, we'll chug onwards through Worsley, the outskirts of Eccles and then cross the Manchester ship canal over the Barton Swing Aqueduct, passing Trafford Park shopping centre and then turn left at ‘Waters Meeting’ and end this cruise mooring in Castlefield Basin, where our guests will depart after breakfast the following morning.
None of the stopping places are set in stone – if the weather is good (or more likely bad knowing our luck), we can adjust the lengths of our cruising days accordingly.
Total distance is 57 miles and 14 locks. There are 20 moveable bridges of which 3 are usually left open; 23 small aqueducts or underbridges and 3 tunnels (Museum Tunnel (96 yards long), Cunard Tunnel (108 yards long) and St Nicholas Tunnel (208 yards long.