Westport/Longport to Marple £540pp
6th – 10th October 2021 (4 nights)
From: Westport Lake/Longport
(Trent & Mersey Canal)
To: Marple (Upper Peak Forrest
Via: Harecastle Tunnel,
Continuing our plan to stay local (ish) to Stone, we’re going to take a relaxing Segway up to Bugsworth Basin (Upper Peak Forrest Canal) and back… mainly for the autumnal colours.
Since our previous guests departed we’ll have spent a couple of days re-stocking and cleaning the boat and will be ready for our new travelling companions to come aboard about 1.30 pm. After the usual introductory blah blah (and perhaps a glass of something fizzy) we’ll pull ropes and hopefully get through Harecastle tunnel before the day is out. Usually you can just turn up during working hours and they’ll let you through… since covid changed things, we might have to book… if that’s the case we may end up spending the night outside the southern portal… there are worse places to be.
Once through the tunnel, (keep a look out for the boggart) at Hardings Wood, we’ll turn on to the Macclesfield Canal and begin our ascent. Chances are we’ll pause at Hall Green to top up the water tank before we chug on. The beauty of this canal is that whilst shallow in parts, there are plenty of places to tie up for the night so we don’t HAVE to stick to indicated mooring spots. We can play it by ear and stop wherever we like… perhaps taking a trip to the occasional public house if desired.
The journey takes us through Congleton , Buglawton and up the lovely Bosely Lock flight – the view from the top of “cloud mountain” being one of the nicest in the area. After Bosley, the next big town is Macclesfield with the famous Hovis Mill buildings canal side.
Following our northerly journey, we pass through Bollington and Higher Poynton before we end this trip just before (or at if there is room to tie up) Marple Junction.
Once our guests leave us after breakfast on the final morning, we’ll have a clean around, re-stock the boat and get read for the next leg of our journey to Bugsworth Basin and back.
Total distance is 31 miles and 13 locks . There are 2 moveable bridges; 14 small aqueducts or underbridges and 1 tunnel (Harecastle Tunnel (2919 yards long