In which I continue my return trip to Middlewich but then do a 90 degree right turn onto the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire Union canal, get some fuel and fenders from a fuelboat, go all the way along to Barbridge and turn left onto the Shroppie, and past the entrance to the Llangollen canal.
Several people suggested that as I was going all the way up to Middlewich I ought to go that little bit further north and visit the Anderton Boat Lift, an amazing engineering structure dating from 1875, which lifts boats from the Trent and Mersey canal down to the River Weaver and vice versa. So I did.
Taking the narrowboat up to and through Middlewich and out the other side.
Continuing my narrowboat journey on the Trent and Mersey canal, tackling the many locks of “Heartbreak Hill” as you start heading away from Kidsgrove and out into the countryside through Rode Heath and Hassall Green.
It’s finally time for me to face me greatest canal tunnel fear and go through the (almost 3,000 yard long) Harecastle tunnel. It’s wide enough only for one boat and has partially collapsed in the middle so headroom is extremely limited and all boats are checked before they enter (and counted in and out by dedicated tunnel-keepers). Here goes!
After spending the night at the village of Barlaston, I’m ready to go through the substantial town of Stoke-on-Trent, past the CRT facilities yard at Etruria and on towards the southern portal of the infamous Harecastle tunnel.
Continuing my journey up the Trent & Mersey canal, this time I go through Stone in Stafforshire and its assorted locks before arriving at Barlaston for the night ahead of the trip through Stoke on Trent the next day.
In this vlog, I move on from Fradley Junction, take a sharp 90 degree turn to the right and start heading North West, still on the Trent and Mersey canal, up towards Shugborough. En route, I get a haircut in Rugeley and despair of the plastic waste drifting along the canal.
After a couple of days in the rather lovely village of Alrewas I take the boat further along the Trent & Mersey canal to Fradley Junction, where it meets the top of the Coventry Canal. From the CRT cafe, I buy and enjoy a nice slice of lemon drizzle cake. Yum.
As I continue along the Trent & Mersey canal on my narrowboat, I need to get some coal – the early April evenings are still a bit chilly sometimes – as well as kindling, a new Calor gas cylinder and most vitally of all, do a load of laundry. So I stop at Barton Turns marina for those essentials as well as popping into PC World in Burton-on-Trent for a portable hard disc to offload loads of old vlogs onto; my poor old laptop is filling up!