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  1. Loved it and would have liked to spend a bit more time there. But I love plants so was absorbed in seeing the diversity of species (most of which I couldn't name) and the general remoteness.
  2. We're home and had a great time. Best mooring: Blake Mere, by far Best food: The Corn Mill in Llangollen (though we had several perfectly OK but quite average meals on this trip - nothing has come close to the Cape of Good Hope on the GU last year). Butty & Sweet are no longer at Trevor so we didn't try the famous bacon butties. Best views: from the top of Dinas Brรขn was amazing, but a vertiginous trek. From the boat, the first time over Pontcysyltte was, of course, breathtaking. Al the timings worked out well, though we left Ellesmere just before their carnival which was a shame. Had a little tour of the Saturn (1906 historic working boat) before leaving. The Llangollen was far from busy, though we got held up at New Marton locks in both directions - westwards there was a boat stuck in the top lock as one of the gates jammed. None of us could find the obstruction but the CRT arrived quickly with a v long extendable rake and sorted it out. Had to duck in to the passing place on the way up the narrows and on leaving, managed to pick the time when all the day boats were returning to Llangollen. But we had plenty of time so just tootled when we could. Astonishingly, the only rain we had was on the journey back to Trevor from Llangollen. Thanks again for all the good and helpful advice. Next year either Peak Forest (my choice) or Kennet & Avon (his choice). And the Mon & Brec at some point over the next year or two, but I need some lock action before that.
  3. Wonderful so far ๐Ÿ™‚ Currently moored at Blake Mere. We were 5 mins late getting to Frankton, having left ourselves (we thought) loads of time, but New Marton locks took a long time with nervous first time boaters. No problem though - I spoke to the CRT chap so he knew we were nearly there - and the Friends of the Montgomery had a fundraising stall where were able to pick up Welsh cakes and an unbelievably good Bakewell tart while we waited. The Montgomery was beautiful and definitely worth the trip. The only disappointment was that the Navigation Inn is not just closed on Mondays and Tuesdays as stated in Pearson (I know, we should have checked) but Wednesdays and possibly random other days too. We were moored up by the time we realised and didn't really have the time it the will to move on to the Queen's Head, and not enough food to stay on the boat, so it was a bit of a trek there and back. The food and service was excellent once we got there though. Frankton through to Ellesmere & Blake Mere also beautiful and not busy.
  4. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has responded to my queries - so helpful and very much appreciated. We're off tomorrow and have decided to go to Chirk, Montgomery and onward, finishing up with Llangollen as @IanD suggested. When we plotted it out it made a lot of sense and felt right... Looking forward to it - let's hope it all works out!
  5. We are seriously considering this, it seems to make much more sense. Starting with Llangollen, as it's the key location for t'other half, was mainly to make sure we didn't miss it if we got held up anywhere. But it sounds like we might have been too cautious. Does anyone have any arguments against us going the other way and finishing, rather than starting, with Llangollen?
  6. Grindley is looking less and less likely! Cheers for the info.
  7. Thanks to everyone for your really helpful replies, it's all feeling much more possible now. Yes, we were aware of the need to book the Frankton Locks - I'm pretty sure it's an online booking but need to check. No, we start on Tuesday and we'll probably only set off at about 4pm (boat pick up is 2-4pm and we can't get there until about 3-3.30). Slightly nervous about not being able to book in advance, but good to know for sure. Glad to hear that it's worth it ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ I confess that we were hoping to get to Grindley primarily because of liking locks... but the Monty might scratch that itch enough! Lots of good info in everyone's replies, thanks so much.
  8. Good point! 'fraid not - though I do see your point. Thanks for the response. I do have a bit of a tendency to tie myself in knots with details!
  9. In a possibly foolhardy move, we have a hire boat booked from Trevor on the Llangollen for 7 nights from next week(!). We've done quite a few canal trips in the past (Warwickshire, Stourport & Worcester rings, plus the odd bit of L&L, Grand Union etc) so we're not completely clueless, but the likely busy-ness and one-way sections are raising lots of questions in our planning. We've read up on the Llangollen narrows, know that Grindley is likely to be busy etc. We've entered various scenarios into the canal planner, but still have some questions, if anyone would be willing to share their real-life wisdom: - We know there's a fee for mooring at Llangollen, but nowhere seems to mention booking in advance? - We were loosely hoping to go down the Montgomery, purely as respite from the predicted busy-ness of the Llangollen, but it seems impossible to do and still travel anywhere! If you were trying to do Trevor - Llangollen - Montgomery - onward to ? - Trevor, where would you plan to turn? Or is the Montgomery out of the question? A bit more info: An evening and following morning in Llangollen is non-negotiable due to partner needing to relive his childhood (;-)) We love locks and are a bit worried about the lack of them on this trip, so squeezing a few more out of a trip is always good... but if there are always queues that might be silly? General tips, best time to cross the aquaducts, good moorings, stuff to watch out for also welcome. Thanks in advance, Ali
  10. We came down Hatton this morning, alone save for passing one other boat around lock 34ish. The volunteers were great - most of the locks were against us but they went ahead and set several of them up - not interfering (we do like to do locks ourselves!) but helpful and chatty. Had a truly fantastic meal at the Cape of Good Hope - what a gem. We're aiming to tootle along to Leaminigton for a visit tomorrow, but moving on for the night. Looking to moor somewhere around Bascote tomorrow and Braunston-ish the night after. Any thoughts? Do we have any hope of finding a mooring space around Bridge 95 or should we aim for somewhere else? Apart from queues through Lapworth (not too bad) we've had the canal - and most of the locks - pretty much to ourselves the whole time. Not what I was expecting.
  11. All going well so far (occasional tree-across-canal and speeding stags notwithstanding). Moored at Hawkesbury, Alvecote, Curdworth and then two nights in lovely Birmingham. Wending our way toward Waring's Green now - thanks everyone for the recommendations and advice. We're all a bit over-excited about the bakery! We've more or less decided not to go to Stratford (and if at the last minute we want to, we'll do the train option), so we have some wriggle room. Any suggestions on where we should give a little more time, stop for a half or a whole day? Never been to Warwick.
  12. We are, and I am, interested in the above but t'other half has a few routes he really wants to tick off his list. Llangollen is one, but Stratford is another. He accepts it might not happen, but he already thinks I'm trying to stop him doing Llangollen ๐Ÿ˜‰, so if we can go to Stratford this time he might realise I'm not. Another change of plan (there have been several since I last wrote!) - teenager is now arriving on Tuesday night rather than Wednesday lunchtime, so we're aiming to push on to Tamworth on a long first full day (rather than mooring overnight at Polesworth), so she can still come to Tamworth station late that evening. It will mean we won't have to hang around on the Wednesday waiting to meet her.
  13. That's the hope (and the plan!) - certainly they seem to love it as much as we do now and are not inclined to stop coming, yet. Looking at those photos, I should probably have mentioned my vertigo ๐Ÿคข We can get back on topic to Warwickshire now ๐Ÿ˜‰. I haven't yet worked out our plans for the rest of the trip (I find I have to be in a certain frame of mind to use canalplan) but I'm sure I'll have several more questions now I've found you wonderful helpful people.
  14. Interesting - those all appeal to me as lock-person. We definitely have something in common! The Llangollen is an itch that needs to be scratched though, as it stems from his childhood holidays looking up at Pontcysyllte from ground level and yearning to be up there. Perhaps we can do a short break. With the older one moving to Cardiff in September, the Mon & Brec is looking likely at some point in the next few years. Distinct lack of locks there too ๐Ÿ˜.
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