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Tuesday, 6 October 2015

October Cruise down the Llangollen Canal.

After turning round at Trevor, we pulled over just after the bridge where the canal carries on to Llangollen, Gill fancied an ice cream, so I held the boat while she went into the Hire Base shop, at this point the trip boat appears from Lllangollen and pulls over opposite me, I waited about ten minutes until Gill came back with the ice creams, whilst the trip boat helmsman did the same. We ate our ice creams, then the helmsman says, why are you waiting, the aqueduct is clear of traffic, so I said I am having an Ice Cream, he then launched into a tirade of abuse, saying he had pulled over because he thought I was waiting, bugger me, he had a clearer view of the Aqueduct than us. Off he went with a revving engine and heavy wash with all his customers looking a little bemused, we eventually followed him over, then he turned round at the other end and came back still having a go at me. Nob.
View from the Aqueduct
Chirk Bank
We spent the Tuesday night at St Martins Moor again, lovely quiet mooring.
Wednesday morning the sun took a while to appear through the mist and cloud, we had no queue at New Marton locks, and headed for Ellesmere.
Passing Frankton Junction, boats waiting to lock down
onto the Montgomery Canal. We gave it a miss as there is a stoppage
at Aston Locks.
The lovely windy section around Val Hill.
After passing NB Bendigedig we moored outside Ellesmere and walked over the wooded hill and the castle mound to Ellesmere for lunch in the visitor centre. After lunch we had a quick look at the old houses in the town, then walked down the arm back to the boat. Passing Eric, Elsie, and Ben from Bendigedig walking back to their boat with the shopping.
Ellesmere Visitor Moorings.
Shropshire Union Wharehouse.
Moving on, through the tunnel, we passed Blake Mere then pulled over at Cole Mere for a quick look at the Mere. Surrounded by woods views are hard to obtain of the Mere from the footpath.
Clear sky's at Ellesmere.
We carried on to moor at Prees Junction for Wednesday evening. After lunch we had a walk around the nature reserve trail in the late evening sun.
Whixhall Straight. The motorway of the Llangollen, deep, straight, and
piled both sides.
Whixhall Straight looking to Prees Junction.
Prees Junction mooring.
Prees Junction.
Whixhall Moss Nature Reserve.
Looking towards Platt Lane.
Thursday morning the mist cleared early and we headed towards Whitchurch, the sun was warming and the sky's became blue. We passed Platt Lane and Fenns Bank, pulling over near the old Whitchurch to Welshpool railway bridge where I had a quick explore of the track bed before carrying on to moor in the Whitchurch arm. We walked into town for lunch, what was once a nice walk closely following the old route of the Whitchurch arm is now blighted by new build housing under construction.
Lovely boat near Fenns Wood.
Reedy section near Whitchurch.
Whitchurch Parish Church.
Whitchurch Arm.
After lunch and a nifty reverse manoeuvre out of the arm with judicious use of the bow thruster's which earned applause from another moored boat we reached Grindley Brook staircase locks, no queues and straight in to the staircase with a volunteer lockie to help.
Grindley brook top lock ready and waiting.
Going Down.
Gill keeping clear of the by wash weir.
And steering through the strong by wash.
Back on the Cheshire Plains near Willey Moor Lock.
We spent Thursday night round the corner after Quoisley lock. If you don,t like noise it is best to moor away from Grindley Brook and Whitchurch on Thursday evenings as the bikers from Chester, Wirral, and West Midlands all gather at Whitchurch services and scream up and down the bypass, very noisy.
The following morning the mist soon cleared and we headed further down the canal, passing our base at Wrenbury Mill and eventually reaching Swanley.
Misty Morning.
Blue sky in sight and mist clearing.
Check out that sky at 10am,
Just Lovely.
Wrenbury Mill Lift Bridge.
We had lunch at Swanley, before winding and returning up the 3 Baddiley locks back to Wrenbury Mill for the dreaded packing up and cleaning time, the evening was spent in the Dusty Miller for dinner and drinks followed by the scramble on Saturday Morning to pack the car, get diesel, pump out, and gas amongst the hire boats, the only downside of mooring here, otherwise we get excellent servicing from ABC Boats, and the syndicate takes advantage of good discounts for mooring and a good servicing contract.
Last leg, approaching Wrenbury.
Wrenbury Church Lift Bridge, planning permission has now been
given for a new Marina to be build on the left after the lift bridge.
What an excellent week that was, lovely weather, and a lovely time of year to be out with the leaves on the trees just turning. This may be the last time we are on the Llangollen Canal for a while as we move to Gayton Marina early next year.

Monday, 5 October 2015

October Cruise up the Llangollen Canal

Gill and I have just returned from a glorious week on the Llangollen Canal. We had brilliant weather all week, misty most days for the first hour or so but burning off quickly with temperature's heading into the teens. We left Wrenbury Mill on the Saturday, cruising up the canal, it was reasonably quiet lower down the canal, our Saturday evening mooring was above Marbury Locks.
Near Marbury
On Sunday we carried on up the canal, up the single locks then past a very quiet Grindley Brook and Whitchurch, then along the long straight parts up to Prees Junction and Whixhall Moss. Our mooring for the evening was at Hampton Bank.
Misty Sunday Morning at Marbury
Soon cleared up with lovely blue sky
Reedy section near Quoisley Lock
Leaving Tovey's Lock
Grindley Brook Bottom Lock
Nice view of Grindley Brook Lock 2
Near Whitchurch
Approaching the lift Bridges after Whitchurch
Gill at the helm.
Saw lots of Kingfishers, impossible to get a decent photo of the
speedy little things though, this is the nearest I got.
Lovely sky and views over to the Mosses.
Our Sunday overnight mooring at Hampton Bank
On Monday morning we where away around 10am after a leisurely cooked breakfast, cruising past Cole Mere and Blake Mere, then through Ellesmere Tunnel, we called in at Ellesmere where the arm was nearly empty, after a coffee in the town we winded at the end of the arm and carried on past Frankton Junction.
After Maestermyn the canal was busy with hire boaters, the last week of September is usually busy with hirer's as the hire boat bases lower their fees, our first queue was at New Marton Locks, the queue was 5 boats as we arrived with first time hirer's causing havoc. We moored for Monday evening at St Martins Moor above New Marton Locks.
Lovely twists and turns near Lyneal Wharf.
Lonely watcher.
Blake Mere.
Near Tetchill.
Lovely view over into Shropshire.
Near Hindford.
Near Hindford.
Queue for New Marton Locks.
Sunset at St Martins Moor.
On Tuesday we only went as far Trevor, firstly crossing the Chirk Aquaduct then onto Pontcysyllte Aquaduct before turning round at Trevor,the towpath gossip was that the canal from Trevor up to Llangollen was a heaving mass of hire boaters with congestion at the narrow sections and a full mooring basin at Llangollen so we gave it a miss.
Congestion ahead at Chirk Bank.
Chirk Aquaduct.
Entering Whitehouses Tunnel.
Leaving Whitehouses Tunnel.
Canoeists crossing the Aquaduct.
Gill crossing Pontcyscllte Aquaduct.
River Dee below.
Return Journey to follow.