I feel i must be doing something right as i look back at the memories because a lot of what has been seen and experienced can`t be seen through the eyes of a car traveller and best of all the rest of my life has been blessed by my meeting Jaqueline.So let me take you back and share a few memories.
Warwick Castle and Warwick itself are just a few minutes bus ride from the canal. Like many other places visited my home is close by so no long journeys to endure with the chance to have a second visit the following day to see and enjoy everything at a casual pace.
Moored in York, the bridge is the City centre just 2 mins walk. The journey up the R. Trent was my first experience of tidal water cruising albeit scary at first the scale of the river against the canals made the trip
enjoyable. I remember climbing the 275 steps to the top of York Minster Cathedral and the views, walking the many narrow streets each with an historic past. Above The Shambles with buildings giving an impression of reaching out to each other as the rise above the narrow street. Shambles was the city`s butcher`s market and is mentioned in the Doomsday book.
The Bingley Five-Rise staircase locks in west Yorkshire built in 1774 lift the canal 60 feet. The whole trip across the Leeds & Liverpool canal brought stunning views of countryside, canal buildings, and old Mills of the 19th Century standing silent their secrets hidden in the dusty interiors.
Litchfield Cathedral easily accessed from both the Coventry or Trent Mersey canals or even the northern sections of the BCN. Nice market in Lichfield and i remember buying a pair of steel toecapped boots for use on the boat for £10 that are as good as new today.
Cannock Chase seen from the Trent & Mersey canal consists of 26 sq miles and is a designated area of outstanding beauty in other words it`s a great place to walk. Henry Vlll used it for hunting.
Pink Floyd playing live canalside? Ok so it`s Twycross Zoo near Atherstone on the Coventry canal. I remember finding it by a chance glance over the map and visited on a lovely sunny day. From the bus station i discovered a bus service that offered a bargain combined bus and zoo ticket. The 16 seater mini-bus turned up and went through villages and hamlets on the 40 min journey twice the direct route but hey i`m a boater so time is on my side and i sat back and enjoyed the countryside.
Skipton is a lovely town in Yorkshire with a 900yr old castle and short canal arm that is a highly recommended walk. Also Skipton has an annual canal festival and the famous market stretches all up both sides of the main road past numerous alleyways or `Ginnels` as they call em up north.
Now up here in Yorkshire things water side are big and this lift bridge, glad it didn`t need a windlass to get it up, is the New Jct canal our route from the Aire & Calder to Keadby and a tidal cruise south on the R. Trent.
Still talking Yorkshire `Big` this is what you share water with on the Aire & Calder.
Gongoozlers are everywhere you go on the waterways. Just hear mum saying " now just watch but don`t think about chasing them"
The Bridgewater canal was a pleasure to cruise and an overnight stop at Dunham Massey led to witnessing a St,. Georges Day motor bike blessing by the local biker vicar. Hundreds of bikes both 2 & 3 wheeled took part and then attended a rock concert set up on a lorry trailer. Soft drinks were order of the day and the event ended at about 6pm with the police in attendance only having to control local traffic.Another spin off from this cruise break was easy access from Altrincham to Manchester by tram plus the National Trust Dunham Massey Hall and deer park.
Some unusual lock gear on the Rochdale in Manchester.
Friends passing by is a regular all over the system, here is Andrew Denny on Granny Buttons another blogger.
We all have our favourite mooring places and this one is on the Trent & Mersey past Anderton. It`s very quiet and looks down across green fields to the R. Weaver in the Acton Bridge area. Anyone new or experienced who hasn`t used the free boat lift from Anderton to the Weaver is missing a really wonderful experience.
Unusual sights a boat appears to be lost on the road bridge but i think the lorry driver knows where it will all end.
Another nice mooring on the Shroppie just a short distance from the bottom lock of the Audlem flight.
Hitchhikers guide to the waterways.
A blurry hurriedly taken picture of a mink passing me in the shallows.
And at the end the sun sets on another day of freedom but it all starts again 1st light