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    Enkhuizen, The Netherlands

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  3. Thanks all so much for the suggestions and replies. Good to hear Brum is very much different from Manchester canalwise. And nice to have a forum like this instead of going with Google streetview photos 😅 We still have a few months before we travel (and might even change our plans last-minute or while cruising), but faith in the original route restored. Thanks again 😄
  4. I assume you are travelling to the UK by plane? If you are travelling to the UK by car you might have a go renting them at your local bike shop or at Bergsma.
  5. Thanks for your suggestions everyone! Hadn't looked into going the Liverpool way. Time for more homework and canalplanning It's the sum of all above I guess (the locks not in numbers, but in the state of them), and add to that, just an unlucky day. Mooring at Castlefield was excellent! But the day after, we had some issues getting through the Rochdale 9 - water levels low, garbage that abstructed a lock gate and having all sorts of stuff around the prop. The sight of syringes in the water and watching where to walk to avoid human waste on the part below the tall office buildings didn't help having a good mood too. We eventually moored overnight halfway the Ashton locks due to a persistant sleeping bag on our prop. (So much for tight planning a canal trip, hence why we are now reluctant when people suggest to 'just have a long day pushing it and you will have passed the nasty bits'). Nothing serious happened other than people banging on the boat at night or walking over the boat, but still this was the most unpleasant experience we had on a boating holiday so far. Husband made me promise we would never ever go through such stretches again, and I don't want to risk single handling the boat halfway through our holidays while he is on a flight back to Schiphol 😅
  6. Hiring a boat for 20 days from Anderton together with the husband (just the two of us). Planning on cruising the Four Counties Ring clockwise, but not sure what to extend the route with. Already cruised the Llangollen on our last UK trip, together with Chester and back, so that's off the list for now. We were initially looking at the combining the Four Counties with the Black Country Ring - skipping the Staffs & Worcs canal - but previous experience in Manchester has put husband off from big city boating. The Aston and Farmers Bridge locks do not sound tempting to him. We really do want to visit the Black Country Living Museum though. How is the stretch from Wolverhampton, mooring at the BCLMuseum for a visit, continuing through Netherton Tunnel and the Dudley and Stourbridge Canal, then back to Wolverhampton on the Staffs&Worcs - either clockwise or anti-clockwise? Might go for a detour to Kinver for the rockhouses as well if time is on our side. We also thought about avoiding the Birmingham area altogether and try the Caldon Canal and leisurely explore both branches, but as strange as it sounds, I might be afraid it will all be too rural and 'more of the same'. Better safe this canal for a future, shorter holiday I guess. Any advice is welcome, also for pub mooring or hidden gems or walks away from the towpath. Thanks in advance! Ps. Our holiday style: 6ish hours a day cruising - loving to take it slow, mooring up for lunch, having time to explore surrounding villages and sites, going for a nice pint. No rushing or long days cruising. Don't mind a lot of locks!
  7. We started before 7 am, you'd say that would be early enough ? it learned me you can plan a canal trip on paper very well, but once reality kicks in, you just have to accept and adjust. I'm glad we didn't hire the boat for just 1 week to cruise the Cheshire Ring, or it would have been a race instead of a holiday to get back to base ?
  8. Thanks! I think we'll definitely be mooring in Chester itself as well. So, simple itinerary: Nantwich - Chester - Ellesmere Port - Llangollen - (if time permits - Montgomery) - Nantwich Dull and uninspiring is fine, even some industry isnt bad. Weird me was all exited last holiday when we moored for the night near Anderton, having the spot where we had a view right through the trees at the TATA Chemical Works - oh the pretty lights It was just the grimy bits of Manchester - i guess we had an unlucky day with waterless locks, lots of rubbish in the weed hatch, reality checks of big city life and mooring overnight halfway at the Ashton where we really didnt want to - which now make me a little bit reluctant to go to parts which other people described as 'rather not go there'. But reading your replies it's not as bad (or you lot are a brave bunch of people ?).
  9. Wow, thanks so much for all replies! Chester (and beyond) it is then @johnmck, Beeston castle looks like a perfect mooring spot with a pub and a scenic walk nearby - thank you!
  10. Booked for a two week holiday in autumn, starting in the Nantwich area. We really want to go to Llangollen to have a proper re-do of our first ever narrowboat holiday and do some walking near Llangollen. There is quite some time left as I guess the above takes 7-8 days on a leisurely pace. So, where to go next? To Ellesmere Port, museum, but... reading some travel reports, the canal from Chester onwards sounds like hard work and a little bit grimy - not sure if this is really the case though. But after cruising through Manchester, which my husband really disliked, I promised him we'd only do scenic cruises from then on, and I dont want to risk my marriage lol! Or.. to the Montgomery Canal, which seems really rural. Can you spend a few days cruising back and forth or is most of the canal still unnavigable? We love to walk and take it slow, so we rather have some lazy days in the country than having to cruise(race) 10 hours a day to be back at the base in time We have cruised the Four Counties and Cheshire Ring before and dont mind re-visiting some stretches of canal, but want to explore some new areas too. Hope you guys have some advise, thanks in advance!
  11. Probably in the CRT yard together with the bike they pulled out of the lock before... They were cleaning/maintaining water levels when we went through there.
  12. Rusty, Definitely did not put us off boating - apart from certain areas I loved our trip. Hester from the hire company already warned us, if you go through Manchester you will have to use your weed hatch - so we were prepared and expectations were met However what Rob mentioned, I think I'd skip my evening meal and a narrowboat holiday for a few years when finding that in the hatch... Eew..
  13. We have hired a narrowboat before without any prop trouble whatsoever, but on our most recent trip on the Cheshire Ring in May we finally got to dive into the weed hatch. Multiple times! Leaving us wondering why is it called a weed hatch? Most things that we pulled out were very inorganic. Just wondering, what is the strangest thing you guys have pulled out of your weed hatch? Just for fun we decided to take some pictures of our finds... We started off in Manchester on the Rochdale Nine, with a nightclub rope of the Gay Village district (we now regret throwing it on the towpath, it would have made a brilliant souvenir...). Soon after, on the Ashton, our boat started to sound like a proper techno record due to something metal in the prop. This was a brilliant day for weed hatch diving, as later that afternoon (still on the Ashton Canal) we found a sleeping bag like object around our prop shaft and we couldn't get it out... Had to ring the hire company for assistance and decided to moor up for the night at this idyllic spot. The next day, still on the Ashton, we pulled out a Superdry jacket. Well, obviously, not so superdry anymore.. It took a while, but at Gurnett Aqueduct there was a very good pub around the corner to celebrate with a cold pint our first weed hatch dive after Manchester. And what a find, more plastic than Pixee Fox! After that, it all went a bit dull on CRT-waters. Luckily, the Bridgewater wouldn't want to be left behind and also treated us to some random plastic stuff. We were over the moon! Finally, after 2 weeks of cruising, we pulled out something we could describe as 'weeds'. Success!
  14. Nice video with the copter-views included, well done to your son! Loved seeing the water treatment plant - for some odd reason we always ended up mooring near one of those stinky things in our first narrowboat holiday and it became a running gag during our next boating holidays (when I took a picture of one last year I got some weird looks from passersby lol)
  15. This one is brilliant, thanks for sharing! Especially now the after-narrowboat-blues is kicking in after our Cheshire Ring holiday, seeing all these familair places again make me feel a bit homesick (boatsick?)
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