Higher Poynton to Bugsworth Basin
We set off to skirt Greater manchester today and had Manc weather all the way. Makes going back to work/school more bearable after the lovely weekend weather I suppose.
Thought of the day – If CRT increasingly advise us to wear lifejackets on the cut and boaters tend to ignore this advice because we understand the risks and the shallowness of the water (see yesterdays pic), why do some boaters keep their first line of safety, their lifering, so far out of reach to make it a waste of time having it?
Approaching Strines, we saw a small ‘stoat’ like animal swimming in the canal. It bounced of the boat and headed back to the bank and climbed out and was away into the hedge before Brenda was able to get a photo. Shame!
On through lovely countryside, past small villages and views across the valley to peaks covered in cloud. Deep breaths were taken as we cruised by the Matlow swizzels factory – I wonder if they have a factory shop? It certainly brought memories of our youth flooding back.
Target achieved – we pulled into Bugsworth basin at 2:30pm and did a lap of the middle and upper basins before filling with water near the guaging point and then reversing into the lower basin for our overnight mooring – thankyou Brian and Diana (nb Harnser) for the advice about the A6 road noise on your blog.
We were ready to explore the area but the weather had other ideas, the rain didn’t clear until 6:30pm and we’d had dinner by then.
Off for an evening constitutional, a walk around the basin before heading off up the tramline trail. This was the route that was used to bring stone down from the quarries into the basin for processing and onward shipping to Manchester and other locations. We found the village of Whitehough and the Old Hall Inn. The eight handpumps with an excellent selection of ales plus the long list of bottled Belgian beers made the uphill ‘stroll’ worthwhile. A lovely Inn that still does rooms like an Inn should.
At one point, near a vinyl factory, the old tramway sleeper supports are still visible through the tarmac surface of the road where the delivery lorries bring supplies into the factory.
During our return walk we found the village well surrounded by wild strawberries. We seem to have now left wild raspberry counrty so we ate strawberries instead ;^) Back to the basin and a visit to the navigation Inn, more real ale but pricier than the Old Hall Inn . The food on offer here even looked expensive by Oxfordshire standards and the interior wasn’t as nice.
Back to the boat for 9:30pm, just in time to watch a heron catch and eel in the middle basin and then have difficulty eating it.
We are planning to have a holiday from our holiday tomorrow – more info after the event.