So back to Friday,
Day 26 - Park Lane Wharf to Consall Forge
A bit of a grey day but not cold and, much to our surprise, very little wind. We set off and within minutes we came to Hazelhurst Junction. One cannot help feel a sense of Deja Vu here as the junction is modeled on the one at Kidsgrove. It feels odd but we turned South to continue North to Leek.
The Leek branch runs parallel to the mail line then passes over it via an ornate aqueduct. The view from which is quite splendid.
|Approaching Hazelhurst Junction and bearing right to Leek. Main line is via the locks.|
|This bridge reminded me of the one at Hawkesbury.|
|For those who may be confused THIS is a barge.|
|This used to be a winding 'ole but now is used for long term moorings.|
|Now I've heard of Land Cruisers but this is the first I've come across.|
|The really tight turn onto the aqueduct|
|And the view from it. Below is the main line to Frognal.|
|Passing over the Aqueduct|
|This is just the garden shed|
|Now I want this place. Would love to settle there.|
|This photo does not do justice. Light filtering through the trees was magic.|
|The south Portal of Leek tunnel|
|The north Portal.|
|Glad we didn't have to wait here!|
On the way back after the tunnel we spotted the tower of St Edwards, former mental asylum, now a swanky des res of appartments apparently. Wouldn't mind that tower appartment, bet the views are fantastic from there!
|The ominous looking St Edwards tower|
|Hazelhurst top lock and a boat just entering below.|
|Bow into the lock opening as we make the turn.|
|Attractive portal of the aqueduct|
|The Holybush Pub|
|Is this the missing boat we wondered?|
|And this is the missing boat|
We cruised past Flint mill and descended the locks there. Not long after signs of the Churnet Valley railway could be seen.
|Churnet Valley Railway, we would see the Green engine again.|
|Ron goes back to dozing after we leave him be.|
|The Level gauge, thankfully in the green zone.|
Just before rejoining the canal we came across Consall forge moorings. We stopped here for the night and enjoyed the best Rump Steak we have ever had. One simply must stop for a meal here as the food is rather yummy, especially the steak!
|Moored at Consall forge|
|Ahead to the right is the canal and dead ahead the river disappears under the bridge |
and over a weir to continue down the valley.
|The Black Lion, if you stop here do have a meal.|
|This fella actually posed for the camera, what a swarve.|
|King of the|
|The weir, reminds me of a small horse shoe falls.|
|On our return we found this Red Admiral sunning itself on the top box|
Day 27 Consall Forge to Cheddleton.
Next morning we got up and broke out the bikes. We knew we could not get through Frognall tunnel so set about cycling there to see it. It was a lovely warm, sunny day so off we set for the 5km round trip.
As we got ready to leave a steam whistle could be heard then the green Hotspur steamed through. Incidentally access to the pub from the canal is over this railway line so do be carefull.
|This is the engine we saw on the way here|
|Passing so close we got a wave from the driver|
The section from here is particularly pleasing. From Consall forge to Flint Mill it is so narrow passing would be nearly impossible except only in a few places would it be possible. At the lock a 70 foot winding hole would be the limit of our navigation.
We made Frognall tunnel and could see why not many boats can pass through. I have to admire Jo and keith for managing to get through on Hadar (Click). They only just squeezed through so no way would AmyJo. You can see why
|If you cannot pass these red and white guides without touching you cannot go through.|
|Frognall Basin is so peaceful we wish we could have stopped over night here.|
|The last lock on the cut just before the basin|
|From here the canal would have carried on to Utoxetter|
|This lovely loading shed is soon to become a tea room.|
|Bridge 54 near Consall would not look out of place in or near a church.|
The winding hole is a very conservative 70 foot one. We only had 3 feet of room as we spun with the bow on the bank all of the time. If you are taking a 70 footer there be prepared to pole her round.
|Squeezing past the overhanging railway station.|
|Yes the canal is theresomewhere after a left turn under the bridge behind the hedge and its a blind turn too.|
We retraced our steps along the Churnet and locked onto the canal again eventually stopping down stream of Flint Mill in Cheddleton.
It was so sunny we passed this beautiful scene. I promise I've not post edited the picture and it would make a perfect wallpaper for Microsoft I think
|What a beauty, just right for a PC background|