Familiar Sights

IMG_4647It’s amazing how you start to recognise where you are even though we have only ever done this journey once before.

We moored at Cole Mere a few nights ago and it was a glorious place to be. It is such an idyllic mooring spot, even more so today as there were plenty of sailing boats on the lake.

IMG_4667Lots of families out walking today and they make me smile when they stop to take photos of the boat and say what a beautiful boat but then as soon as they see Wish on the back of the boat all you hear is ahhhhh, what a beautiful dog. Wish has had so much fuss and compliments off complete strangers it is really nice.

IMG_4671It’s been a bit nippy out today so I sat inside the back cabin for short periods and did a bit of crochet. I can’t go anywhere though without Wish checking where I am. She is a very loyal dog…not to mention cute!!

There hasn’t been any locks today, only 5 lift bridges. The locks start first thing in the morning with the staircase locks. We are still making great time so we are definitely going back a different way than when we come and will be turning right at the last lock at Hurleston Locks towards Audlem.

IMG_4652We are already planning our next few weeks out as we are just enjoying being out ion the boat so much. Roy will just have to retire!! That’s the only answer J

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Where did they all come from?

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We left Llangollen Wharf this morning and all seemed quiet until we hit the canal, not literally by the way. With it being a Saturday it must be the start of the hire boaters…they were everywhere. IMG_4609   IMG_4622There were narrow sections of the canal which you can only get through 1 boat at a time. It proved quite challenging. I dread to think what it is like peak season; I can see it now…narrowboat rage. There were a few stressed people about …I think they start to panic when they see another boat coming. I used to be like that in our first year of boating. It used to scare the life out of me but through time you learn to slow down, definitely not panic and if all else fails, duck inside the boatman’s cabin and let Roy take over!! Ha ha.

IMG_4637IMG_4625IMG_4614 (2)I was in charge of the boat today and I was so excited that it was my turn to pass over the Aqueduct. It was a whole different experience steering the boat, standing on the back…it was a little scary. You worry about bumping into the sides and the ironwork giving way and then suddenly steering off the edge of the Aqueduct. I have a very vivid imagination…can you tell? Anyway, all was safe.

The weather stayed dry today but it has gone very cold. Fire was on in the back cabin though so we were nice and warm and with the kettle boiling away we had plenty of cups of tea on our journey.

IMG_4643Another great day!!

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Day of rest…or so we thought!

Nice lie in this morning which was well deserved after 1 weeks travel. Roy made me a bagel and a cup of tea whilst I was still in bed…I have got him well trained!

2015-03-13 10.57.05We heard the steam train calling us this morning so off we went on our travels to have a train ride…or not as the case may be. We only were going to spend a couple of hours there and have a ride on the train except it was £25.00 each for a day ticket. £50.00 for an hours train ride for 2 adults was a bit too expensive but what annoyed us that it was £44.00 for a family ticket (2 adults and a child). How did they work that out? We questioned it but they said that was the price so that was that…and we left. We got to take plenty of photos which was the main thing we wanted to do.

Off we went into town and browsed the shops then we stopped for an all day breakfast in a very popular café by the bridge.

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Most of the shops of interest were shut so there was only one thing for it…we decided…or should I say Roy did, that we ought to walk to the very end of the Llangollen canal as you can’t actually get there by narrowboat, horsedrawn boats can and there was evidence they had been there on the towpath if you get my drift.

So here’s me thinking we were going to have a day of rest…NOT… and we have just walked for 3 hours. I am knackered now!

Back on the boat now. I am not moving for at least an hour.

I will have to move after that as a tidy and clean up is required whilst we have time. The washing machine has been running whilst we have been out so I want to get a few things done before the return trip starting tomorrow.

We get to do the aqueduct all over again. Let’s hope there are no queues as we have noticed each day there are getting more and more boats on the move.

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I would definitely recommend this time of year to visit Llangollen by narrowboat if you want to try and stick to a schedule otherwise you could add days to your trip.

Let’s hope the weather is a bit drier for the return journey as it has rained all day again today.

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Chain Bridge Hotel

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Estedford Site

It hasn’t dampened our spirits though and as long as you are in the correct clothing it does not spoil your day. Just wish I could get a full waterproof outfit for the dog including wellies!!

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On Top of the World

What a fabulous day. I am buzzing with excitement from the whole experience of today.

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The day started off at Chirk where friends Angus & Janet met us as they wanted to cross the aqueduct also. Angus brought his bike on-board as he was going to have to bike the whole journey back so he could pick their car back up. All went to plan. It was fab.

Chirk Aqueduct first which was great crossing seeing all the countryside below and beyond.

2015-03-12 10.10.13Next was Chirk Tunnel. We had to wait for one boat to come out and whilst we were waiting there was soon a queue of boats behind us. Luckily we were first.

2015-03-12 11.25.39Plenty of cups of tea on the way and then we were ready for it….the whole reason we came this way…The Pontcysyllt Aqueduct.


I have seen lots of photos of it and also many reviews on TV but when you are actually there experiencing it for yourself it is just amazing.

What a spectacular view.
Breath taking.
Bit scary…. But totally amazing.
Lots of people were taking photos of our boat as it crossed.
It was just one amazing experience.


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2015-03-12 11.45.54Thank goodness the weather stayed dry for the whole trip and it only started spotting with rain just as we were about to moor up in Llangollen.

Off we all went for a fabulous lunch in The Bridge Inn.
With our bellies very full we then took a walk around the town.

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Someone recommended that I buy an …a Cornish pasty originally eaten by miners in Cornwall.  Click here:

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I have taken so many photos and we have had so many laughs that my head hurts with laughing.

Six and a half days of travelling on the boat and we made it!!! It was well worth it.

We are staying in Llangollen now until Saturday morning and then we shall be making our way back.

What happy memories looking back at these photos.

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Every Little Helps

2015-03-11 09.58.282015-03-11 10.08.18We left our beautiful mooring opposite Cole Mere at 9.30 this morning and our first port of call was going to be Tesco at Ellesmere.

Through Ellesmere tunnel first.

Never in my entire life have I found food shopping so exciting and so incredibly easy. Why? You may ask…well we moored the boat right at the very end of the Ellesmere Wharf. Tesco was literally a 10 second walk and we even managed to push the trolley to the boat where Roy passed me all the shopping through the side hatch!  This is one occasion where Tesco can say “Every Little Helps”.

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2015-03-11 15.29.56It has been raining for most of the day, no sun in sight at all but it has still been enjoyable. We are always warm at the back of the boat when steering as we always have the fire on and plenty cups of tea on our way. I think I am going to rename myself galley slave!!

We have covered 13 miles, 2 locks and a whole Tesco store today😉

2015-03-11 18.08.30We are now moored at Chirk ready for the big day tomorrow. Very excited. I am not very good with heights so it is going to be fun to say the least when we pass through the Aquaduct.

Hopefully it is going to be dry until 2 pm tomorrow, let’s hope because I want to take lots of photos. It’s an opportunity not to be missed, after all it has taken us a long time to get here. 6 days so far…apparently 1.5 hours by car!!

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Happy Birthday – Wish (7 Today!)

Early Start From Marbury

Early Start From Marbury

Well what a beautiful day it has been. The sun has been shining all day long. No need for coats or woolly hats. Love days like today, sitting on the roof of the back cabin just admiring the view as we are travelling.

Happy 7th Birthday Wish

Happy 7th Birthday Wish

Few more boats about and everyone seemed to be in the same cheery mood. Surprising what a bit of sun can do. We have traveled for just over 7 hours and are making great progress. No queues at any locks, which is fab as we have heard that during peak season the Llangollen Canal gets very congested, boats can wait around 3-4 hours just to get through a lock. Nightmare!!

Grindley Brook Staircase Locks

Grindley Brook Staircase Locks

15 miles covered today, 9 locks including the Grindley Brook staircase locks.We have the best mooring spot ever tonight, Cole Mere Lake. What a stunning view.

Overnight at Colne Mere

Overnight at Cole Mere

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Gone are the days of high heels!!

IMG_3967Just as we were getting ready this morning we heard a horn keep blowing. What a lovely surprise when we looked out the window to see Coalboat Alton. I have recently become friends with them on Facebook so it was great to see them out and about.

IMG_3993I left Roy to untie the boat this morning whilst Wish & I walked on ahead to check if it was clear at Barbridge Junction.

The towpath was extremely muddy this morning.  Gone are the days of high heels when I used to go to work as now it is the good old wellies. Woolly hats, waterproof trousers and wellies is all this girl needs now!!.

IMG_4017It was so windy out on the canals today that we really had to hang on to our woolly hats. It didn’t stop us from taking selfies though, even Wish got in on the act.

IMG_4042We had a bit of a panic when we turned to go into the entrance of the Llangollen canal at Hurleston Locks as there were diggers and all  we could see was  a big sign saying closed but luckily it was only the towpath. Roy still had to fill the second pound though where they were working so we had a bit of a delay. Thank goodness though it wasn’t shut.

The locks were very narrow, more so than normal and the boat only just fitted in length wise. This was the first time we have travelled through these locks.

IMG_4060Once we reached the top of the locks it was time for a quick water top up and a cup of tea.

It was getting windier by the hour but luckily the rain was holding off.

IMG_4089We passed Swanley Bridge marina where we were hoping to see a boat that was recently painted called Duxllandyn.  The couple contacted me via the blog to say they had also gone to Sally Tooze of Willow boat painting to have their boat done and they also went for the same colour scheme as us.  I have sent them our email address as I can’t wait to see the photos.

IMG_4099Lots of walking again today and helping out at the locks.

Wish is just loving it out on the canals. She always hunts for sticks at the locks. Think she found the biggest one today.

Talking of Wish, it is her Birthday tomorrow. She will be 7 years old. We have only had her since she was 3. She is still so much like a puppy and everyone who meets her just thinks she is so adorable.

Just look at this smile!!


We only had a bit of rain on the last hour of our journey today. We were very lucky. We have travelled for 7.5 hours, 10 miles and 8 locks today.

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It’s been another great day.

Sun tomorrow…YEAH!!!

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Just A Walking In The Rain (Whistle)

2015-03-08 10.09.34 HDRWell that is what I was singing and whistling this morning as I walked alongside the boat as Roy was taking Foxglove along the canal. Wet and miserable… the weather … not Roy!!

2015-03-08 10.43.47I don’t mind the rain so much when we are travelling, it is the wind I don’t like . Waterproofs on and fire blazing away we were both kitted out for the next few hours.  You do have to amuse yourself in this kind of weather so the obligatory selfie is definitely required

Plenty of cups of tea and cheese on toast for lunch as we travelled in the rain which kept us happy and then later this afternoon the sun made an appearance which certainly brightened up our spirits. It has actually been a lovely afternoon.

2015-03-08 10.42.53We have travelled for 7 hours today, 15 miles and 9 locks of which the last 2 I can’t believe I managed to get through as the sun was shining so hard I could not see anything going into the lock…you just hope & pray and take it slowly…………worked for me!!

Lobby is cooking away nicely and dumplings just about to go in. It smells divine! Plenty for tomorrow which I like as it saves me cooking the next day.

We will be cruising on new waters tomorrow as we will be starting the Llangollen canal. Really looking forward to seeing the new parts of the canal we are yet to discover.

IMG_3900Rain & wind tomorrow and the temperature drops tonight to 0 degrees. I don’t mind, we are warm and cosy and still having a great time. We have also bought ourselves new walkie talkies, which believe me we have had lots of fun with…singing to one another at the locks…being rude (of course, that’s a must!) and basically just having a good laugh.


Let’s see what tomorrow brings…bit more rain and apparently wind….the rest is up to us!

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Tap To Snooze

IMG_3873IMG_3878IMG_3876Well what an early start to the day. We set the alarm for 7am but we were so tired that I wacked the alarm to switch it off rather than the gentle tap to snooze button. Get up , get up I told myself, otherwise CRT will be knocking on the boat and we will be in our pyjamas!!. Not a good look. So after dragging myself out of bed, breakfast was made, eaten, boat tided, bed made etc etc and we were off at just turned 8am!!! We were the only boat moored up outside Harecastle tunnel so we made it through in record time……28 minutes!!! (+7) Just a private little joke there with someone we know J The water is always very brown on the exit and entrance to the tunnel. Roy said its because the local Bisto factory pours their waste into the canal.!! He is so not funny!!

IMG_3925IMG_3932We knew today was going to b e a long one as we aimed to do 26 locks!!. We were traveling through the Cheshire Locks also known as Heartbreak Hill…Don’t know about that, arm ache, back ache and knackering is more suitable!! Even the dog (Wish) is shattered that when we stopped she fell straight asleep in the back cabin. It was a beautiful day again, clear blue skies and you could even see Mow Cop castle in the distance. Very quiet on the canals again, in fact we had done 14 locks, which may I add were all against us, then suddenly we both gave a cheer as we saw our first boat of the day just coming straight out of a lock ready for us to go into…….YEAH!!! That also probably meant that the next 12 locks would be in our favour………..We hoped….and they were….another YEAH!!! Well we have covered 9 miles, 26 locks and I promise you Mr. Fuller that I practised my strapping in today (I will never go to heaven!! ;-)) Feet up now and a cuppa and a film…..hopefully I won’t fall asleep.

Rain tomorrow!IMG_3934IMG_3890 (2)

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Llangollen – Here we come!

Well it has been a while since I have blogged and I don’t want to bore you with all the details but this is a quick recap:

Stone 9:30am

Stone 9:30am

First and hopefully last time ever we have had to call the ambulance out to Roy, we were travelling back on the Macclesfield when he was taken ill. Scared me to death… lesson to be learnt…..never moor in the middle of nowhere as trying to explain to ambulance where you are is like mission impossible.

Helped our Daughter Jessica move house … more than just moving furniture as we were decorating, put new kitchen in, walls plastered etc. etc., I think you get the gist. It was almost a complete renovation. Lots of help from Angus our friend and long weekend, my daughter and her now fiancée are all moved in and settled.  That nearly takes us up to Christmas where we went out on the boat for 2 weeks. Best time of year as the canals are so quiet.

Our new mooring

Our new mooring

The New Year was also a new start as we said goodbye to Great Haywood marina which has been fabulous. We were offered an opportunity not to be missed and that was a private mooring in Stone with its own garden space on the canal and best of all Foxglove is now back in her birthplace.
We have really settled in Stone and it is lovely to be outside the boat builder who actually built Foxglove, Roger Fuller. It was really nice to bring her back home. Well we have made progress on the garden space that is all prepared for when we get back so I can start doing some planting of veg and flowers.
Another bonus is that we are now only 15 minutes’ drive away from our Daughter and she can also catch a bus down to see us so it has been a very positive move.







After two months of being there and now the nicer weather is on its way we have decided to take a few weeks out and travel to Llangollen. This was one item on our to do list that we wanted to do. I am very excited about “flying” over that Pontcysyllte Aqueduct…..that is what it looks like from the ground!
So there you have it…………..a quick update, believe me I could have made it longer.

IMG_3853So here we are day 1 of our trip out. Sun shining but still a chill in the air, but who cares when you have the back cabin fire on when you are travelling.
We went in through the first lock of the day……….I think we have around 150 locks to do on this trip. GULP!!! We will have muscles like Popeye when we get back.
It was great travelling through Longport today as it always reminds me how this boat story began. Longport brokerage is where we bought our first boat from just over 6 years ago, so it always brings back home memories and I would never have thought 6 years ago that we would have sold up and be living on a narrowboat.
IMG_3861  IMG_3860We contacted our daughter on the way to say we would be passing her workplace in a few minutes and there she was with her work colleague waving through the window.


IMG_3869We are moored up now and in the queue ready to go through Harcastle tunnel. We will need to put our alarm clocks on as we will be first one though tomorrow at 8am. Lets hope I am not in my pyjamas still!!
All in all it has been a fabulous day and it great to back out again travelling…….oh and blogging. 

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