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Stretford Marina to Plank-Lane & Return - Via Castlefield Basin

£405 pp

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11th - 14 December 2021 (3 nights)

From: Stretford Marina (Bridgewater Canal)

To:      Stretford Marina (Bridgewater Canal)

VIA:    Castlefield Basin (Manchester Centre)

           Pennington Flash (Leeds & Liverpool Canal)

HIGHLIGHTS:    Castlefield Basin,
                                 Barton Swing Aqueduct,
                                 Pennington Flash.

As you may have gathered, 2020 has been a terrible year both cruising and financially for ‘Ellis’  – the outcome of it being we couldn’t afford to tie up in Aston Marina for the winter as originally planned… Instead we’ve ended up pottering around the northern sections  for the stoppage season – hoping not to get trapped anywhere too horrible.  Luckily unlike some of the  proper  Hotel boats, because we can only  take 1 or 2 guests (from the same household) we were able to run some of the planned trips.

With that in mind (and hopefully a period of lesser restrictions for the Christmas period) we’ve decided to offer 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 Pennington Flash, 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 1.30 pm on the first day… share a glass of fizz (or 3) and  then chug into Castlefield Basin in Manchester for the evening together.  There is free parking available outside the Marina 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.

Once tied up in Castlefield (it’s at the bottom Deansgate to help with your bearings)  we’ll have dinner onboard and either people watch or maybe even head to a nearby pub  if we fancy it… the moorings can be a bit noisy  there but hopefully it will only be folks enjoying a well-deserved  friendly Xmas tipple.

After Breakfast the following morning, we’ll pull ropes and retrace our steps  (well chugs) as far as ‘Waters Meeting’ before turning right and heading on towards  Worlsey – passing by the Trafford Centre (the quieter way), crossing over Barton Swing Aqueduct,  through Leigh and then tie up somewhere overlooking the beautiful Pennington Flash.

The next morning, once breakfast is over, the plan is to chug a little farther on to Plank Lane visitor moorings, top up with water and then turn around and meander our chugs back to Stretford Marina – where we’ll pull onto a visitor pontoon, plug in the Shoreline and spend our final evening together.

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 following 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 31 miles, 0 locks . There are 8 small aqueducts or underbridges.

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