I’ve arrived at the Llangollen canal on which I plan to stay for several weeks. I had to get onto the canal by Monday 20th before the locks at the junction with the Shropshire are closed for repairs. Success. Leaving the Trent and Mersey at Middlewich, which is on the southern edge of an big industrial region, I joined the Middlewich branch of the Shropshire canal – a very attractive stretch of about ten miles. The canal runs along the top of the hills to the south of the River Weaver valley and so, unusually one get to look out over a river valley from on high rather from the bottom. There is a lot of good mooring and no towns or villages, or even roads crossing the canal- only a scattering of large old farm spreads. The fields and mixed woodlands fall away to the river on one side of the canal offering several places where the view was delightfully pretty. Everything was made even more lovely by the bright blues skies and low winter light.
I met the Shropshire canal – known as ‘The Shropie’ – and turned south for about a mile before turning west onto the Llangollen up a flight of four locks. Because of the considerable help I had from a couple of women who were coming down the locks I didn’t have to leave my boat – negotiating locks is so much easier with help.