Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bit of a disappointment

----- was the length of Shropshire Union canal between Barbridge Junction and Chester.    Can’t really explain why but the only place we enjoyed mooring was near Beeston Castle between Bridges 108 and 109.    Was a disappointment as we hadn’t been on this stretch before and were looking forward to it.    Yes, Chester itself is a lovely city but they don’t seem to care much about the canal as the moorings looked dire.    We had been advised by several boaters to moor at the City Walls at Bridge 123E before the Northgate Staircase Locks (right by a big Tesco) as it was a bit pointless going any further unless we planned to go on to Ellesmere Port.

We did moor at Christleton before hitting Chester which is a delightful village but the only place we could moor was opposite a boatyard right next to the Cheshire Cat pub.    Now we do like pubs but not mooring directly by them!    But to be fair, there was no noise or carrying-ons so from that point of view it was OK.    

Caught the bus from Christleton to Chester and spent a few hours wandering around the city and doing a bit of shopping and checking out the “Tesco” moorings.   Decided after seeing the moorings that we could not bother coming any further than Christleton.   

Great rugby last weekend - Wales won and for once Dai cheered on England as they beat France!     Final games next weekend and Wales well up for the Grand Slam!

Had a couple of sessions in the Shady Oak pub (at Bridge 109) - it has only been re-opened a couple of weeks.    Good beer - Black Sheep, one of our flavourites - sorry, mean favourites!!    Good basic menu - we had their hot beef and onion baguette with chips and salad for around £7 and it was delicious and big enough meal even for Dai !   Also had Sunday lunch there which again was good value at £10.75 for three courses.    Now, I never really like Sunday dinner out as it is so rare that I get vegetables cooked as I like them (almost raw) and unfortunately this was the case ---- however, the roast beef was some of the best I have ever had.    Dai had lamb which he also raved about and as he can eat well cooked veg if necessary, cleared his plate completely!

Talking about pubs closing and re-opening under new management, we had our second taste of this happening this last week!    The Barbridge Inn at Barbridge Junction has re-opened after refurbishment and change of hands.    Good real ale but the lunchtime menu was very expensive - £10 for a burger at lunchtime??   I don’t think so.    Don’t know if same menu in the evening as we didn’t look but - to be fair - some boaters moored next to us did eat in the evening and said the food was good and plentiful.     

Back at Nantwich now - and again, not able to moor on the Embankment as still full of the same boats that were there mid January!    I will be generous and surmise they are fully paid up members of the winter mooring rentals gang!

Since last blog we have done … 23 miles and  10 locks
Total since Setting Off ….. 1675 miles and  1296 locks  

this same structure is at two consecutive locks
(Stone Lock and Tilstone Lock)
but sadly both looking a bit unloved 

Chester Cathedral (£6 adult entrance fee)

Beautiful clock in Chester

obligatory tourist photo of Chester

obligatory tourist photo of Chester number 2

No, we decided not to come down
and moor in Chester itself

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