Saturday 12th September 2020 saw us set off for our first trip on Tranquility, after picking the boat up at about 2.00pm, familiarising ourselves with it and unpacking we set off down the Middlewich Branch of the Shropshire Canal towards the Shropshire itself.
For the first afternoon we navigated two locks and after an easy couple of hours cruising decided to moor up for the night just after joining the Shropshire at Barbridge.ollowing a nice plate of sausage & mash cooked by Kaz, we decided to take Bob (the dog) for a walk along the towpath and soon came across The Olde Barbridge Inn and spent a nice hour or so in their lovely garden sampling a drink or two.
After a hearty breakfast on Sunday morning we set off again looking to take in a full day’s cruising, and soon came to Hurleston Junction where a flight of four locks took us onto the Llangollen Canal. Alongside the locks is a large reservoir which is very picturesque as you climb the flight. We arrived at Willey Moor Lock after Kaz had tackled 11 locks (I just watched her hard work as I drove the boat in and out the locks) and we moored just below the lock itself for the night.
After a quick freshen up we went for a meal at the pub located alongside the lock, called The Willey Moor Lock Tavern, the pub had an extensive beer garden alongside it and after a very nice meal where Kaz had a hearty looking Mixed Grill, I enjoyed a very nice steak, Bob had a packet of crisps and we each polished off a couple of drinks, we retired for the night ahead of another day on the canal.
Monday morning and another hearty breakfast to set us up for the day.
Our cruise to Ellesmere saw us through 8 locks including the Grindley Brook Flight after which we enjoyed a very nice ice cream (Bob had a doggie version too).
We then passed through Whitchurch before mooring up at Ellesmere for the evening.
We decided to have a takeaway tonight and after a nice walk through the town with Bob we decided on a Chinese and visited the “New Wan Loy”, before returning to the boat for a glass of wine & a beer.
After a good night’s rest in Ellesmere although we were booked to go onto the Montgomery Canal today we decided to just turn around and take a nice leisurely cruise back towards base.
We cruised for a couple of hours before reaching Welshampton and seeing a sign for The Sun Pub (“10 minute” walk along the road from the canal), we decided to moor up, take Bob a walk and part take in some lunch.
Thirty minutes later we reached the pub (can only presume that it was some world record power walker that made it in 10 minutes) this pub also had a very nice beer garden and was dog friendly.
Once again we enjoyed some really nice food both of us sampling the Luxury Prawn Cocktail followed by a very nice sandwich.
Once we had digested the food and finished our drinks we set off on the walk back to the boat – funny how it never seems quite so far on the way back.
On reaching the boat we decided just to relax for the afternoon and evening and stayed moored where we were.
Kaz did her magic in the kitchen for tea and we rounded the day of with some alcoholic beverage and a night in front of the telly.
From The Sun Pub to Willeymoor Lock
Wednesday saw us start our return journey in earnest and a steady day’s cruising passing through 8 locks, including Grindley Brook (and the obligatory ice cream) ended up with a return visit to The Willleymoor Lock Tavern, Kaz had been so impressed by the mixed grill that she thought she would try it again, while I had the Seafood Platter. As the weather was a little bit less kind we ate inside and the pub had a very nice relaxed atmosphere and was also very dog friendly.
From Willeymoor Lock to Hurleston Junction
Thursday saw use cruise for about 7 hours negotiating 11 locks on the way back to Hurleston Junction where we decided to moor up for the night. On mooring up we took the opportunity to let Bob have a good walk before eating on the boat and relaxing for the evening.
From Reservoir to Aqueduct Marina
We awoke on Friday to the prospect of another dry day weather wise and before setting out decided to take Bob for a walk around the reservoir, which was very pleasant.
With only a couple of hours cruising left to get back to Aqueduct Marina and only 2 locks to negotiate we ambled along taking in the scenery.
We decided to stop off at Venetian Marina on the way to have a look around and purchase a replacement fender for the one I managed to loose on our first day.
When we got back to our base we took the opportunity to Pump Out and re-fill with diesel and water before the Saturday morning rush of boats coming into the marina, we then tied up at Tranquility’s moorings.
Once safely moored and all of the maintenance checks on the boat had been completed, we decided to take a ride out in the evening to try and locate one of our favourite pubs – The Saracens Head at Weston , this was then followed by a trip into Nantwich to get a fish & chip supper, and jolly good they were too, all washed down with a nice bottle of Asti from Morrisons in Nantwich, must remember that chip shop for our next trips.
Farewell to Tranquility
Saturday morning we went for a breakfast sandwich at the marina which we both thoroughly enjoyed while awaiting the cleaners which we had booked beforehand to valet the boat prior to the next crew taking over.
Once we had finished our breakfast we loaded the car up with all of our belongings, checked over the boat once the cleaner had finished and said goodbye to Tranquility
Our first trip was just as we had envisaged when we first saw Tranquility she is a credit to all of the owners who have had shares in her and we will endeavour to play our part in keeping up that standard.
We were all sad to leave (including Bob) but look forward to many more adventures on her.
Next Trip due December 2020
The Olde Barbridge Inn
Seemed very well used, didn’t eat here but food looked good, sold Real Ales and had a lovely beer garden right on the side of the canal.
The Willeymoor Lock Tavern
Dog friendly pub which as the name suggests is sited alongside Willeymoor Lock we ate here on both our outward & inward journeys.
Good home cooked food at reasonable prices with a large beer garden
The Sun @ Welshampton
Dog friendly pub with a nice beer garden and good food, well worth the walk from the canal.
The Market Plaice Fish & Chips Nantwich
Superb fish and chips freshly cooked and really big portions