Having explored the furthest, murkiest depths of the Caldon canal, I turned around, came back the way I’d come and continued up the Trent & Mersey canal, through Harecastle tunnel and then took a sharp left onto the Macclesfield canal. Spoiler alert: it’s utterly lovely.
Having stopped overnight at the end of the Froghall arm, I turned the narrowboat and headed back the way I’d come, up to the junction where the Caldon canal had split into two. One very sharp left turn later and I was going down the Leek branch through heavily wooded sections and a very narrow tunnel indeed, emerging at the navigable end of that part of the canal.
This is a BONUS VIDEO; not one of my regular vlogs. It is a real-time recording of a narrowboat journey on the Caldon canal from the water point near the Black Lion Inn to the western portal of Froghall tunnel.
Having stocked up with provisions at Endon I carried on down the Caldon canal, stopping briefly to empty the loo and top up the boat’s water tank then going to Denford where the canal splits into two branches. I took the Froghall branch which soon after runs underneath the Leek branch. It gets very dense, there are deep locks, a heritage railway and I bumped into Aussie Boater as well as going past a historic mill.
With Jasmin now gone back to her own boat in London, I carried on along the Caldon canal out of Stoke on Trent towards Endon where I’d stop to get some supplies from a convenience store. Along the way I had to deal with two lift bridges, the first of which was easy and the second quite the nuisance.
A video in which Jasmin (who is still my guest at this point) and I turn off the Trent and Mersey canal and onto the Caldon, going through the suburbs of Stoke on Trent and I get very grumpy about how many narrow sections and tight, blind corners it has not to mention a distinct lack of convenient spots to moor up.
Day two with Jasmin aboard and we headed up from Stone through Stoke on Trent. There are several rather deep locks to traverse but the day was fine and we stopped to pick some towpath damsons as we went along.
When I reached the town of Stone in Staffordshire, I paused to pick up a special guest – Jasmin from YouTube channel “This Narrowboat Adventure” (link below). Battling the mighty forces of wind, rain and vicious swans, we made it through the town until calling it quits for the day.
In this episode, I set off from Handsacre and squeeze through the tiny narrow section just after the town where it’s only just wide enough for one boat and you can’t see if anyone’s coming the other way. Then I went through Rugeley, which was very busy and moored near Weston, waking up to an emergency involving a sheep. Yes, really.
The end of August meant the resumption of my travels on the canals so I set off again from where I left off in Vlog 184 – Fradley Junction – and went up the Trent and Mersey canal towards Handsacre, in the process managing to look like an utter incompetent as I bashed into another, stationery, boat at a lock queue.