Friday, 21 October 2016

We're Back

Saturday saw us arrive back in the marina after a fantastic week away on Hobbit. Also it has been a few days since I last updated the blog mainly due to data issues (not having enough left) so this post is really a catch up on the rest of the journey.

Monday morning was an early start as we had decided to tackle the remaining 12 miles and 27 locks (Heartbreak Hill) in one go with the aim of arriving in Middlewich late afternoon. This was the first time we had attempted this many locks in one go, and in all fairness we really enjoyed the experience, and it also helped that the majority were set in our favour. Its also worth noting that a number of the locks are paired so the chances of having at least one set in out favour was pretty good.

Example of the paired locks going down Heartbreak Hill
One big surprise was how few boats were out on the Trent & Mersey, in fact between Red Bull and Middlewich we only passed two. Our overnight mooring was at Kings Lock, Middlewich. Probably not to everyone's taste as its situated next to a busy main road and could be the reason that there were only 3 other boats moored there, however once the rush hour was over it was pretty quiet and we had a good nights sleep. It's also worth noting that there is a good fish and chip shop nearby.

Mooring at Kings Lock, Middlewich
On Tuesday we were going to be joined by my parents for the day, with the plan of taking them for a little cruise up the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal, followed by a late lunch in the Kings Lock Pub. We only had time for a short trip of a couple of miles, but that was enough for us to want more and we will definitely be back to cruise the whole 10 mile length at some point. Lunch in the Kings Lock was excellent and they have a wide range of locally sourced beers on draft (definitely worth a visit if your in the area). We left Middlewich around 3:00pm to start our return journey, with an overnight stop planned in Wheelock.

Entrance to the Shropshire Union Canal, Middlewich Branch

We arrived at Wheelock just as it was going dark, about 6:00pm. Its probably worth noting that although there are a good number of moorings available, it was busy even at this time of year, and we only just managed to moor up on the end, near to the service point.

Moorings at Wheelock

After an early breakfast we set off to do the return journey up Heartbreak hill, the weather was good once again and spirits were high, especially as we were able to buddy up with another boat. By 5:00pm we were once again moored up on the Macclesfield Canal for our much anticipated visit to the Rising Sun at Scholar Green. I cannot recommend the Rising Sun enough, the food and the service are excellent and there is plenty of mooring available within easy walking distance. I had planned Thursday as a bit of a day off, with only a small amount of cruising needed in the afternoon to position ourselves at the bottom of Bosley Locks.

I had kept this plan to myself as I had wanted to surprise Anne-Marie with a visit to Little Morton Hall, a short walk from the canal. Its somewhere Anne-Marie has wanted to visit for quite a while and although by road its only an hours drive from home, the plan was always to visit while out on the boat. Now owned by the National Trust its a fascinating place and defies all logic as to how it hasn't fallen down.

Little Morton Hall

Friday was a pretty straight forward run up through bosley Locks, although some of the pounds were quite low on water, a combination of leaky gates and the fact that someone had left the bottom gates open on lock 9.

Leaky lock gate at Bosley
After one last Night on the Macclesfield Canal, it was a steady cruise back to the marina. Due to circumstances this was only our second full week out on Hobbit since her launch last year and we have enjoyed every minute of it, and the icing on the cake has been the weather which for this time of year has been fantastic.

Until next time........
Mark & Anne-Marie
NB Hobbit


  1. I've only just caught up with your posts about your cruise, guys. I'm so glad you had such a good time. Much of your route coincided with some of ours on our last cruise. It's really lovely, isn't it? Here's to much more for you next year!

    1. Your right it is lovely, we hope to get a bit further next year. Hopefully explore more of the Shropshire Union.