Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Piddle on Summer Nights

This week we have done … Rode Heath to Kidsgrove on Trent and Mersey; turned onto the Macclesfield Canal through Congleton, Bosley lock flight, Oakgrove, Macclesfield and now moored at Bolllington.

Now fed up of weekly weather report - more of same for last couple of weeks. Nearly at end of August now and its not been really “summer” weather since middle of July. We even had to light a fire last Monday evening cos it was so cold and chucking it down with rain.

And you’ll be getting fed up of me writing about pubs!! BUT we have been in some good ones with excellent real ales again this week: Fools Nook at Oakgrove was very nice where we sampled a couple of pints of piddle - yes, that’s right - piddle ….. Or to be more precise “Piddle in the Leaves” brewed by the Wyre Piddle Brewery. According to their website …..

The Wyre Piddle Brewery was started in 1992. The original Piddle in the Hole ale was hugely successful and eventually led to another six ales of varying strength and taste being evolved. The brewery supplies direct to selected pubs within a 50 mile radius (of Pershore, Worcs)
The name of the Brewery and it’s ales derives from an old children’s rhyme which was popular in the area around Wyre Piddle village.

Upton Snodsbury, Peopleton and Crowle,
Wyre Piddle, North Piddle
And Piddle in the Hole

And the second brill pub this week is in Bollington, called The Vale Inn. This is a freehouse and brewery tap for the Bollington Brewery which is the local micro brewery now up to brewing 45 casks a week. Last night we had a lovely meal there and a pint of their Summer Nights and one of Long Hop. Maybe we might just wander down again tonight to sample their other two beers available at the moment.

Earlier this week we stopped over at Congleton - a market town which was quite busy with quite a good number of shops. We didn’t stop at Macclesfield as the visitor moorings were just about non-existent. If they don’t want to encourage boaters, then we won’t bother to spend any money there.

Bollington - on the other hand - has lots of visitor moorings and it’s quite a quaint sort of place. The shops are spread out over about a mile on the main road through and amazingly there are 3 butchers and 3 bakeries! We counted about 6 restaurants and were told by a local on the towpath that there are 20 pubs!! (Personally I think that’s a bit of an dream rather than reality, although we have spotted about half-a-dozen.)

Originally Bollington had 13 textile mills - two we saw on the canalside have been renovated into apartments/offices/manufacturing units.

The Mac Canal is beautiful - very rural with lots of cuttings and embankments with the Pennines running by on the west side. Parts are shallow but not causing us any problems.

Our plan now is to move onto the Peak Forest Canal which is where we should be when I write to you again next Wednesday.

Since last blog we have done … 23 miles and 25 locks
This makes total since Setting Off ….. 647 miles and 707 locks.

Bridge 77 on the Mac which is one of several roving bridges known locally as "snake" bridges   In the days of horse-drawn boats, this design of bridge changed the towpath from one side to the other without having to un-hitch the horse.
where was the Wool Boat when I needed it ?
It was light when we went in !

This heron didn't fly away !
fancy a nice canalside home ?
so, I kept seeing gravestones on the towpath.   No, silly me - they're the original mile markers on the Macclesfield Canal.
The first and original Hovis Mill (in Macclesfield).   Don't believe the telly adverts!

typical view on the Mac - beautiful isn't it


  1. You're right about the Macclesfield moorings, they're dreadful. But you can get to the town from the moorings at Gurnett Aqueduct, which are much better.

  2. ar, right-o, thanks for that Adam .. we will probably be going back down the Mac once we have done whaley bridge and bugsworth so this info is welcome - Janice