2018 Part 1. Debdale to Middlewich

Published: Wednesday, 25 October 2017

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2018 Part 1: Debdale to Nantwich

Via River Avon and River Severn

Week 1: 21st-28th May

Once again we will start the season at the Crick boat show over the Late May Bank holiday 26-28th May starting from Debdale around the 20/21st May. The route includes the 10 locks at Foxton and possible detours to Market Harborough and/or Welford.

Week 2: 29th May -2nd June

After Crick we plan to head south down the Watford flight to the junction with the Grand Union then west through Braunston tunnel and past the marinas to Napton Junction. From Napton down the Calcutt flight and the long flight of locks past the Blue Lias and Leamington Spa to Cape Locks and Warwick.

Week 3: 3rd-9th June

From Warwick up the Hatton flight to Lapworth to join the Stratford Canal and turn south towards Stratford upon Avon and the River Avon.

Week 4: 10th-16th June

From Stratford on to the Avon through Evesham to Tewksbury and the junction with the River Severn. North on the Severn to Worcester.

Week 5: 17th-23rd June

From Worcester continuing up the Severn to Stourport to join the Staffs and Worcs canal through Kidderminster  and The Bratch to Autherly on the outskirts of Wolverhampton.

Week 6: 24th - 30th June

From Autherley North on the Shorpshire Union to the Nantwich/Chester area for a Temporary mooring before venturing on to the Welsh canals.

2018 Part1


2018 Part 2: The "Welsh" Canals

Published: Friday, 17 November 2017

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2018 Part 2: The Welsh Canals

Llangollen and Montgomery Canal

21st July - 10th August

From the Swanley Marina, above Hurleston locks at  the start of the "Welsh Canals" . Past the market town of Ellesmere with its moorings next to the lakes (mere's) and then onto Chirk over the first of the two major viaducts and the first major tunnel on this route.

The former significance of Ellsemere is shown by the name of the town of Ellesmere Port on the Wirral, at the end of the Chester Canal, which originally provided Ellesmere with access to the sea for its goods via the Canals.

From Chirk over the Pontcysylte Aqueduct to Trevor and then up the navigable feeder to Llangollen for a few days.

Returning from Llangollen over the aquaduct to Frankton Junction and the start of the Montgomery canal. This canal was restored from its derelic state a few years ago and passes through Maesbury Marsh a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) so the numbers of boats visiting are strictly controlled and there is a 3mph speed limit imposed. At the navigable limit of the Montgomery there is a superb restaurant The Navigation Inn.

Returning to Frankton and then to Ellesmere and back down the main line through Whitchurch and Wrenbury and a temporary mooring probably at Swanley Marina.

Welsh Canals

2018 Part 3 Nantwich to Fenny

Published: Wednesday, 03 January 2018

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Via the MSC, River Weaver, Trent and Mersey , Coventry and Oxford Canals.

~ 25th August to 29nd September

On the night of 15/16th March there was a major breech between locks 1 and 2 on the Middlewich branch draining the whole pound between the locks and causing extensive damage to the embankment.  It is likely that it will take 6 months or more to repair effectively closing this route for the whole if the 2018 summer season.

An alternative route does exist but this includes the large commercial Manchester Ship Canal between Ellesmere Port and the mouth of the River Weaver, and the lower Weaver which is also still used by large commercial traffic. While this is a challenge it is possible in a narrowboat given proper planning and preparation.

The plan is to leave Swanley around 25th Aug and head to Ellesmere Port for a passage along the MSC around 28/29th August. At Marsh lock we leave the MSC and join the River Weaver to spend a few days exploring the River up to Northwich before returning to Anderton to get the boat lift up to the Trent and Mersey .

South on the Trent and Mersey along the top of the Weaver valley through Cheshire salt country to Middlewich, then continue South through Stoke to Fradley Junction to join the Coventry canal to Hawkesbury Junction and the Oxford Canal then continue south to Braunston. West to Napton then onto the South Oxford canal to Fenny.

Swanky to Denny via MSC