Tuesday we set off later than intended (again) and travelled the last mile of the Middlewich Branch to Barbridge Junction, then along the Shropshire Union for a short stretch to Hurleston Junction and the four locks that mark start of the Llangollen. It was quite busy as the locks are very close together and there were more boats going up than down but there were two CRT volunteers an hand to help keep everything moving. Once through these there were a few more locks spaced out over a few miles and the countryside immediately turned more and more picturesque. We stopped at Wrenbury and had a nice meal in the CAMRA local pub where we got chatting to a Canadian couple who were on a narrow boating holiday.
Left turn Clyde, the junction at Barbridge
Above and below, historic working boat Tench passes us near the junction of the Llangollen
The first lock on the Llangollen is famously narrow and some of the old boats that have got a bit of middle aged spread can get stuck, if you can get through this one you know you're safe to go the rest of the way!
Waiting patiently in the queue, there are four locks close together and so a wait is inevitable at this busy junction with such a popular canal
Yep, we just fit!
Crossing another boat in the pound, the volunteer lock keeper is around to make sure the flow of traffic evens out with the water that is constantly being emptied out of each lock
The other three locks were noticably wider
The view improved with each rise
Leaving lock 3, the numbers are confusing as there are four locks numbered downhill, so lock 4 is the last one but at the start of the canal!
Lock 2 or the third one up, are you keeping up?
Heading into the final top lock
The locks have climbed over thirty feet up
We can have a rest now as the next locks are spread out
Plenty lovely boats to see along the way
This is a nice looking one....
Heading into the next lock
These locks are just over 6' so shallower than the Hurleston flight
Picturesque bridges and beautiful farmland abound
After a hearty pub meal and a few pints we retire for the evening - up early again tomorrow!