For the final leg of my 2019 autumn cruise, I continued along the Upper Peak Forest canal, south towards Whaley Bridge and Bugsworth basin. The six mile streth of canal includes two swing bridges and two lift bridges so I shamelessly took advantage of some passing hire boaters to help me through.
The northern end of the Macclesfield canal was in sight (well, about six miles away) and a beautiful day dawned so the engine was engaged and the boat chugged along up to Marple where, at a T-junction, you meet the Peak Forest canal. I turned right and headed south along the Upper Peak Forest, just a little way to find somewhere to stop.
My journey up the Macclesfield canal continued, leaving a lovely mooring at the top of Bosley locks and going through two swing bridges which weren’t as bad as I feared even though they are a nuisance when you’re travelling solo. Through Macclesfield itself where I stopped to nip to the shops, and then Bollington before stopping just on the north of the town.
Pressing on from the mooring at LMH – see last vlog – I unexpectedly stop early for a week when the Bosley lock flight is closed due to a leak in the canal at the top. Once it’s re-opened, I go up the flight in a pretty good time, all things considered, despite the peculiar “dual top gate” installation on these locks.
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.